Royal Connection closing

BENTON HARBOR — A store operated by past southwest Michigan pageant queens is going out of business due to COVID-19 struggles.

Royal Connection, a consignment boutique, operated by the Southwest Michigan Blossom Queen Sorority, is going out of business. Starting Monday, the store will be hosting a going out of business sale that will last two weeks. The store is located in the Orchards Mall, 1800 Pipestone Road, Benton Harbor. The store currently has more than 2,000 dresses available along with shoes, jewelry and interview wear.

The Southwest Michigan Blossom Queen Sorority was established in 2012 by past Blossomtime Pageant community queens. Royal Connection was opened five years ago as a way for the sorority to raise funds for charities including the Shriners Hospital, Blue Star Mom’s, Blossomtime, and Hope Lodge, an affiliate of the American Cancer Society. The group also donates a scholarship to the incoming Blossomtime queen each year.

“Unfortunately, COVID took a toll on our business, as it did so many others,” said Donna Bradfield, chairwoman. ‘Along with that, the Orchard Mall in Benton Harbor has continued to decline in services, and despite promises of better things to come, we have decided that we can no longer remain open. … We appreciated all our consignors and our customers and will miss serving them.”

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