Mercy Beaucoup Customer Perfects Fashion on a Budget

I think ultimately if you want to be creative without worrying about your budget, shopping at Mercy Beaucoup is just such a fun thing to do.

Shirley Jean-Baptiste has a motto when it comes to fashion: style doesn’t have to be pricey. It’s not surprising, then, that she has become one of Mercy Beaucoup’s best customers.

Mercy Beaucoup is a high-end resale boutique that benefits Mercy Home with every purchase made. It provides a wealth of great finds that are consignment quality at thrift store prices.

Jean-Baptiste began visiting Mercy Beaucoup in 2011 and now has a weekly habit of coming to the store.

“I usually make a point to stop during the weekend,” she said. “It’s very social for me.”

Though COVID-19 has put a temporary hold on the social aspect, she still speaks fondly about meeting other shoppers and seeing Lynn Spaeth, the manager of Mercy Beaucoup.

“I have two small kids, so it’s just an easy way to decompress, leave the house for a few minutes, and then I would always find awesome finds,” she said.

I look at clothing as artwork.

The awesome finds are definitely one of the things that keep Jean-Baptiste coming back. Though she notes there are “just so many” great ones, she was able to name a few favorites, including a Pucci scarf (“if you go to Neiman Marcus, it’s like $350, $400 for a scarf; [at Mercy Beaucoup], it was like $8,” she noted), a lace dress she wore to a family Christmas party,  a pair of pants with black leather panels in the front and white panels in the back, and many Lily Pulitzer items.

“I look at clothing as artwork,” she explained. “It’s just another way of expressing yourself.”

As a dermatologist, Jean-Baptiste’s means of expressing herself through her clothing could be limited—she wears a doctor’s coat to work. But she’s found a way to personalize her work wear, thanks to great things she finds at Mercy Beaucoup.

“If I wear something super, super cute, I’ll probably get sweaty [or] get splashed with blood,” she explained. “It’s fun to feel like I can be stylish because once the outfit runs its course, it’s not like I spent a ton of money on it. It’s nice to feel like I can have a nice professional wardrobe.”

As one of Mercy Beaucoup’s best customers, Jean-Baptiste has some tips about how make the most of your shopping trips to the store.

Keep an open mind and remember new things come in weekly is her first tip. “You’re more likely to find something if you don’t have anything in particular you’re looking for,” she said. “You want to come with the desire to just see what’s there, because ultimately when I go there, I never go there to shop.”

Instead she goes to say hi to the employees, browse, and has surprised herself with the great things she’s found.

“It’s almost like a practical way of living, to go without any specific expectations,” she mused.

Jean-Baptiste also recommends looking at everything, even things you may not think you’ll be in the mood to buy. A trick of hers is to turn men’s ties into scarves or other accessories. (Her best find? A Hermès men’s tie that her seamstress was able to make into a hair accessory.)

“You can make things that are creative and it’s truly custom-made in a way,” she said.

Another great, unexpected find was a mini juicer that she picked up for $15 and uses each week to juice limes and lemons for her morning drink. She also found a Chihuly wine glass bottle that she was able to use as a gift.

And, after years of shopping at Mercy Beaucoup, she has noticed that her finds are making an impression.

“I had a patient recently give a review of me and it was like something like … she’s a great doctor, but she also has this really cool sense of style,” she said. “And that makes me feel really good because really, 90 percent of my work wardrobe comes from Mercy Beaucoup.”

And coming back to her motto that style doesn’t have to pricey, Jean-Baptiste emphasizes that it’s not the price of your wardrobe that makes it fashionable, it’s the way you put it together.

“I think ultimately if you want to be creative without worrying about your budget, [shopping at Mercy Beaucoup] is just such a fun thing to do,” she said.