If you’ve stopped by The Cottage Shop lately, you may have noticed a new face on staff. The Women’s Home is excited to introduce our new Cottage Shop Manager, Cheri Barton. With a background in both fashion merchandising and psychology, Cheri’s rare combination of skills makes her a perfect fit as manager of The Cottage Shop. Raised in St. Louis, Cheri got her Associate in Applied Sciences in Fashion Merchandising from St. Louis Community College, originally intending to be a designer, but found herself drawn instead to the business aspects of what it took to keep a fashion boutique running than what it took to design the latest styles.
It wasn’t until decades later, after she moved to Texas in the early nineties that Cheri went back to school to pursue her other passion, acting as people’s counselling ear. Cheri had always found herself as the confidant and advisor to those who needed someone to listen, whether in her personal or professional life. So she pursued first her Bachelors of Arts in Psychology and then her Master of Arts in Clinical Psychology from University of Texas Pan American. After receiving her Masters and becoming licensed by the state of Texas, Cheri left the retail world to work for a private practice as a therapist. Contract work as a therapist unfortunately didn’t provide the salary a single mother in Harlingen, Texas needed to support her family, and so Cheri returned to retail with a managerial position at Dillard’s.
Ultimately, her work at Dillard’s brought Cheri to Houston, when after her son graduated high school, the retail chain promoted her to a position here in Houston. She discovered The Women’s Home and The Cottage Shop one day while eating at Katz’s and initially worked as a volunteer in The Cottage Shop. Back in Harlingen she had volunteered at Repeat Performance, the resale shop for the Harlingen area Family Crisis Center. Volunteering at both shops allowed Cheri to put over 20 years of retail expertise to good use giving back, so when she heard about the open manager position at The Cottage Shop it felt like an opportunity to use all of her training for a more rewarding career.
“I wanted to work with an organization that helps women, that helps empower women, especially women in need of help.” Cheri says, regarding what drew her to The Women’s Home. In her position as manager, she will not only make sure The Cottage Shop staff have all they need to train our residents and keep the shop running smoothly, but she also acts as the community liaison for the shop, working to build connections with boutique donors and other local businesses. Cheri is excited to join The Women’s Home staff and help support our residents.