FUSION founder Peggy LaPorte and Board President Byron Hiller stand in the entryway of FUSION Decor Boutique’s new location. The business, which helps support the nonprofit organization’s mission to help the homeless, moved from its previous location to 1108 S. 322 Place, next to Poverty Bay Coffee Company, July 1. Jessica Keller, the Mirror

FUSION Decor Boutique getting fresh start at new location

With more square footage, a loading dock and garage, a better layout and more light, FUSION Decor Boutique’s move uptown to a new location has served the nonprofit organization well.

The boutique, which sells gently used donated home furnishings, moved from its previous location on Gateway Center Boulevard to its 6,000-square-foot building next to Poverty Bay Coffee Company. It opened July 1.

The hard work was worth the effort, said Peggy LaPorte, founder of Friends United to Shelter the Indigent, Oppressed and Needy.

She said the business closed for a week, and FUSION’S group of dedicated volunteers spent more than 800 hours to complete the move. Sales on opening day, however, made up for the week’s loss of profits, to the delight of LaPorte and FUSION Board President Byron Hiller.

Customers loved the new building, with its 6,000 square feet, spacious layout and plenty of daylight from the windows at the front of the shop.

“They walk in and say that it feels like a real furniture store,” LaPorte said. “It’s something about the lighting and the space.”

While the previous boutique was adequate, LaPorte said FUSION was looking for a permanent location to set up shop. As well, FUSION’s lease agreement at its last location was precarious, since it was paying month to month in rent. Since opening, the boutique has become quite successful in the last three years, and FUSION’s Board of Directors is feeling confident in the decision to purchase the new building.

“We wanted to be in control of our own destiny,” LaPorte said.

LaPorte and Hiller agree the move was a prudent business decision, and it helps solidify the boutique’s presence in the community further. Hiller said FUSION will also save approximately $50,000 a year with the move.

“To us, that puts us in a really good position for the people we’re trying to help,” Hiller said. “It will be our catalyst for growth.”

FUSION’s mission is to provide homeless families with housing and support services. It currently owns and operates 19 fully furnished housing units in Federal Way and northeast Tacoma. In addition to the transitional housing, families also receive professional case management. Services include family counseling, job training, educational opportunities, financial management, employment, health services and funds for children to participate in athletics, the arts and camps.

Hiller said with additional profits, FUSION would like to add one residential unit every year, and they are feeling confident they can get closer to that goal with the move.

The business, 1108 S. 322nd Place, Federal Way, is open from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. To donate gently used home furnishings, call 253-839-4045, or email fusiondonation@gmail.com. People should include their name, phone number, description and photo of each item to be donated. FUSION also offers free pick up for larger items. Visit www.fusiondecorboutique.com or follow the nonprofit on Facebook.

To celebrate its new location, FUSION Decor Boutique is celebrating with an open house and ribbon cutting from 4-6 p.m. Wednesday.

FUSION Decor Boutique sells donated gently used home furnishings to support the nonprofit organization’s mission to help the homeless. FUSION offers transitional housing and services to those in need in Federal Way and northeast Tacoma. Jessica Keller, the Mirror

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