‘It’s one of a kind’ – A Spotlight on L’Atelier Boutique


Rocco Crockett

Inside of L’Atelier Boutique

L’Atelier Boutique, founded in 2003 by Ms. Viadero and Ms. West, is Taft’s very own thrift store located within the premises of the school. The store is run mainly by students in Ms. Viadero’s class. Even with Ms. West’s absence, the Boutique continues to run strong. The Boutique is connected directly to Ms. Viadero’s class, C115.

“The L’Atelier boutique is actually part of a class, it is a class. Students can work in the boutique during class time if they’re hired, and the purpose is to have kids familiarize themselves with the work world, professional behavior, how to work as a team –learning all the soft skills that you need to know in business”

— Ms. Viadero

The Boutique sells many items from everyday clothes to jewelry and other miscellaneous items. Student workers are mainly responsible for everything that ends up in the store. The store often has sales and promotions, and there is a half-off discount to school staff, and Boutique workers on most items.

Students who work in the Boutique are given many tasks, from small daily tasks to creating their own displays for the store. These tasks and participations give grades to students working in the Boutique, and also teaches them valuable skills for future jobs. For example, the midterm for students working in the Boutique before winter break was for each period to create a themed display, with a mannequin, decorative items, and even a backdrop pertaining to the theme.

Prices at L’Atelier are extremely cheap, in fact cheaper than most thrift stores, which is one of the huge reasons they attract a lot of customers. Many of the articles in the Boutique are donated to the store, where the workers then choose what ends up in the store, as well as pricing and tagging. Don’t worry though, the clothing that does not end up in the store are donated elsewhere, or kept in the stockroom as a student bank.

“The most important thing about the boutique is if you work there and you do a good job, I would be a reference for you for real jobs. And a lot of kids actually have gotten jobs in the mall because they put their experience at L’Atelier on their resume, for an application. So that’s a huge benefit.” – Ms. Viadero

— Ms. Viadero

Students who work in the Boutique say that they really enjoy it, because they’re building the skills necessary for adulthood, and not only that, but they’re also building connections through their on-school job. Having a boutique like this at Taft is very exciting to a lot of students and staff because of its rarity.

As Ms. Viadero says, “There’s not anything like this in LAUSD. Nobody has this program, it’s one of a kind.”