Suited to Success, an affiliate of Dress for Success, has been helping women become self-sufficient and financially independent in Australia, by helping them enter or return to the workforce. This valuable, non-profit program has opened the doors to autonomy for more than 2,000 women in the Greater Brisbane area already.
I stopped by the Dress for Success office and met Lana Gishkariany, Executive Manager and her assistant, Geeta, who took some time out of their busy day, to show me around the Boutique where disadvantaged women can comfortably pick out a nice outfit to wear for job interviews. It is nicely set up, with mirrors, dressing rooms, mannequins wearing fashionable outfits, shelves of shoes and handbags, and an assortment of jewellery. There is also an area set up for volunteers to work one-on-one with clients during practice interviews. The folks here are warm and friendly and the Boutique is comfortable. It's a great environment in which to help encourage women to reach for their own potential.
Dress for Success starts by providing an outfit and accessories suitable for a job interview to women who have been referred by groups like the Red Cross, job placement agencies and others. Volunteers work with clients on mock interviews to help them gain confidence. There is a four week Breakfast Club program which encompasses topics such as cover letters, resumes, interviews, confidence building, essential skills, and personal grooming, all in a supportive atmosphere. Dress for Success continues to provide encouragement and support for women, until they are gainfully employed and then celebrates their successes. Once clients have acquired a job, they can come back and get a second outfit, to add to their work wardrobe.
A successful program like this one relies on volunteers, corporations and donations! You can help Dress for Success by donating quality, business style clothing no more than 3 years old, in sizes 6 to 18 plus. Other items they need are handbags, shoes, unused makeup, and accessories. Having a nice outfit to interview in can make such a difference in a person's self-confidence.
In Fortitude Valley, the Boutique is open Tue. through Fri. from 9:30 am to noon so you can drop off donations, but be sure to call before you go. Items in the Boutique are meant for the women who are being helped by Dress for Success, however, they conduct a Monthly Garage Sale , open to the public. It is the last Saturday of the month from February to October. The next one is Saturday, 30th of June, 2012 from 8am to noon at 47 Anderson St, Fortitude Valley. Most items in the garage sale are only $5 All sales will be cash only. Reserve these dates on your calendar if you wish to attend in the future: July 28th, Aug. 25th, Sept. 29th and Oct. 27th.
Clothing, hand bags, shoes, jewelry and more are always welcome donations
Finally, come have a great time and support this worthy cause by signing up for the Spring Fling. Be inspired by guest speaker, Karen Jacobsen, The GPS Girl. Spring Fling will be held at the Southbank Institute of Technology Restaurant, 17th of August, 2012. The cost is $75 a person for members or $750 for a table of 10 or $85 for non-members. Purchase tickets on the Dress for Success website but don't wait too long because this terrific event sold out last year!
Guest Speaker, Karen Jacobsen, is known worldwide as "Australian Karen", a voice in over 25 million GPS units. Karen sings, acts, writes, speaks and inspires. She was named as one of People Magazine's Most Intriguing People in 2010. She is a local gal, from McKay, QLD and is currently based in NYC. Karen will be releasing her book, The GPS Girl's Road Map for Your Future this August in Australia. She uses humor and analogies, inspiring us to go from being a passenger in life to becoming the driver. According to her wisdom, you can "recalculate" at any time and find success in life. Follow Karen by joining her Facebook group.
Hi everyone! Just a reminder, if you want to find a few nice dress clothes at mostly bargain prices of $5, (most items gently worn), Check out Suited to Success July 28th, the last Saturday of July at 47 Anderson St, Fortitude Valley, from 8am to noon! Any money you spend will go to help this great cause!