Rebecca Schiering has long been an inspiration to the women living at St. Margaret’s Shelter.
The Spokane Valley woman escaped drug addiction and an abusive relationship, found stability at the shelter and went on to open a successful clothing consignment store.
Her life was cut short last summer in a violent rampage at the hands of her ex-fiance, who also stabbed one of her twin sons to death before taking his own life.
The tragedy shook the Catholic Charities community, which includes St. Margaret’s Shelter for homeless women and their children.
On Wednesday, a new boutique at Schiering’s former home was dedicated in her honor.
The Pearl offers used women’s clothing for residents and alumni of St. Margaret’s.
Schiering, who owned The ReClothery at 613 S. Washington St., was helping shelter staff design the store when she was murdered July 18. She was scheduled to teach employees about merchandise placement just days after she died.
“She understood what I wanted to do better than I did because she’d lived it,” said Lauri Sweeny, shelter volunteer and store manager. “It wouldn’t be what it is without Rebecca.”
The Pearl is open for a few hours a day five days a week. All residents and alumni receive $40 in “Pearl bucks” each month that can be used at the boutique, which is open only to them and sells merchandise donated by the community.
Schiering’s mother, Bev Volk, said she didn’t realize how big of an impact her daughter had on the community until after her death. She attended the store’s ribbon-cutting ceremony Wednesday.
Volk said Schiering’s surviving 10-year-old son, Jack, lives with her and is doing as well as can be expected. The ReClothery store is for sale.
Misty Buchanan, 30, works at The Pearl with four other residents and alumni of St. Margaret’s. Buchanan and her two daughters have been at the shelter since last December.
She called Schiering “somebody I strive to be.”
Store employee and St. Margaret’s alumna Lori Simmons called Schiering “an inspiration to everyone who lives here.”
A painting near the store’s entrance features a quote from Schiering: “Remember me as the one who woke up.”