The cost of school uniforms was a little daunting to Major Libby Blair. When her daughter enrolled in Georgia Military College’s Prep School five years ago, Blair was not in a position to buy brand new pieces. So, she found gently used uniforms instead.
She knew other parents were in the same boat, and Libby’s Closet was born as a way to help. Prep School student Katie Nelson, who has since graduated, and Blair, who teachers seventh-grade science at the school, started the project two years ago. So far, 200-300 families have benefited from it.
The store originally was located in a corner of the school’s former auditorium and moved to the bottom floor of the renovated Old Capitol building this summer. Prep School students in grades six through 12 can buy coats, pants, short- and long-sleeve shirts, physical education uniforms, hats and shoes for $1-$4 each.
“(We’re) having a lot of happy repeat customers. The parents who come in are always very grateful. It always tickles me to see the look on their faces when I tell them how much they owe me,” said Blair, a Prep School alumnae. “If it wasn’t for the donations, I couldn’t do it. That’s the key.”
A new pair of uniform pants are $60-70, and shirts are $30-40. That can add up quickly for parents when they have growing children, Blair said. Her daughter changed sizes four times in three years when she was in middle school.
The uniforms at Libby’s Closet are donated by students who have graduated or are leaving the school. Blair makes sure the pieces will pass inspections before she offers them for sale.
The profits cover dry-cleaning costs at Chambers Cleaners in Milledgeville, which provides its services to the school at a cut rate, Blair said.
“The availability of gently used GMC Prep uniforms at a minimal cost through Libby’s Closet has been a real blessing to many of our GMC families over the past few years,” Principal Col. Pam Grant said. “We are grateful to Libby Blair for bringing this idea to reality and making a true difference in the lives of our students.”