Friday, February 28, 2014

Influential Women in Business: Laurie Schultz

We are so proud of our Board Chair, Laurie Schultz, who is being honoured on March 5th at Business In Vancouver's Influential Women in Business Awards. Congratulations Laurie!

Find out more about Laurie in the Business In Vancouver article!

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Let's Hear It For The Girls!

Grace is all dolled up and ready for her interview with Kim
This past Saturday, three of our previous clients and active PWG members came in for a photoshoot! The ladies had a great time getting their make-up done and having their photos professionally taken! Why all this fun, you ask? This is all in preparation for our largest fundraiser of the year, IMPACT 360! This year, we are going to be celebrating fashion, hosting a fashion show fundraiser! We will be inviting 10 of our clients to participate and share their stories in an effort to give our donors a new perspective on our clients and what we do here at Dress for Success Vancouver.

Geraldine is getting her makeup done!

Our Dress for Success volunteer mentor, Kim Conroy, was on-sight interviewing the women to find out more about their stories. The three women involved--Carrie, Grace, and Geraldine--were kind enough to open up to Kim about their experiences with Dress for Success Vancouver, and will also be participating in the upcoming fashion show at IMPACT 360 on June 5th.

Carrie, being photographed at our Dress for Success Vancouver office.

If you would like to hear more about these women's stories, and others like theirs, be sure to mark your calendars and attend our biggest fundraiser of the year:  IMPACT 360! Tickets go on sale in April so be sure to stay tuned for more information on our Facebook page!

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Our volunteers who make magic happen!

On Saturday, February 8th, Dress for Success Vancouver volunteer stylists helped dress five clients from Ts'zil Learning Centre Lil'wat Nation/Mount Currie Band. Our style consultants made such every woman feel special and they left feeling completely happy and empowered! Here are some of their feedback:

"It was so nice to have a day to myself!"

"I don't remember the last time that I got something for myself. My last $5 always goes to my kids."

About the DFS volunteers:  "Those women were volunteers?! I can't believe they volunteer to do this. I hope one day I can volunteer to help there too."

"I had so much fun today" (said with a gigantic smile)

One woman told me that her volunteer tried to get her to wear a skirt but "that was not her". She did not get a skirt but now she is thinking about how she is dressing and she said, "I know that it is a risk, but I think I am going to try a skirt."

Finally, another volunteer did her best to try to get another woman to add colour to her black and white outfit but this student would not budge. In the car, I showed this student a red scarf that we had picked up for a missing student and she said that she liked it. I said, "You like this? But it is red!" She said that she liked it and would wear it. I promptly gave it to her. Miracles do happen :)

After DFS, we went to Value Village to purchase items that the students needed for their new outfits or other articles of clothing to mix and match with their DFS outfits. Finally,we went out to lunch and headed home. We had a fashion show in the bus, in which each woman showed everything that she received/bought that day. It was empowering!!!! I can't think of a better way that I could have spent a sunny 

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Employee Spotlight: Sandy Sucloy, Merchandising & Logistics Manager

Name: Sandy Sucloy

What is your role?: I am the Merchandising and Logistics Manager at Dress for Success Vancouver, which means I am responsible for coordinating all the donations that come in and go out of our shop. I also work with our volunteers in a training capacity, and assist with fundraising events throughout the year including our regular clothing sales.

Volunteer since: I was a volunteer for 6 years starting in 2004, right up to March of 2011 when I was hired as an employee.

Sandy in action!
What is the best thing about working here? First, it's working with the most dedicated and passionate volunteers in all of Vancouver. I have said this at every volunteer orientation that I have been a part of. We have the best volunteers ever and if you become a volunteer at Dress for Success Vancouver, you are one of the luckiest people ever. The second best thing about working here are the clients that we serve. These are women in many cases who are struggling to make ends meet, let alone find a job. We get to play a role in helping them reach the next step by providing them with an interview-ready outfit and some basic resume and interview skills. When they get that job, it's life changing in many cases. God, its the best thing ever. Thirdly, I love women's fashion and I get a chance to work with them everyday. It really is a great job.

Can you share a memorable moment? The most memorable moment for me is one that I speak about often. It is my very first day when I was coming up in the elevator to meet Deb and realizing that I had not mentioned the fact that I was male in my initial e-mail. The look of shock and surprise on her face was priceless and I was sure my career at Dress for Success was over before it even got started. After a few awkward moments we sat down and chatted, and I was allowed to become a volunteer at Dress for Success. Talk about life-changing. 

What do you do with your time outside of the 9-5 with DFS Vancouver? When I am not at Dress for Success, you can usually find me training at my favorite gym Sweat Co. or Barre Fitness after work. I have recently taken up chess in hopes that it helps with my concentration. I also enjoy reading about fashion and biographies, usually about those who have made a difference in the world. Speaking of which, I also spend some time taking care of an elderly parent who has made a big difference in my life.

Who is your style icon? My style icon is Karl Lagerfeld. He continues to inspire me with what he creates for Chanel, Fendi, and of course his own line of fashion for men and women.

My dream vacation would be... My dream vacation would be to return to Israel and spend more time travelling around, learning more about the culture and religions of the Middle East and all that it entails. Its also a good excuse to work on my Hebrew.

My motto is: My favorite motto would be from Coco Chanel: "Fashion fades, only style remains the same." Love that.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Threads: Weaving together the stories of women from across the globe
This month Dress for Success Worldwide unveiled Threads, our first ever coffee table book that features the firsthand success journeys of 20 women from around the world. It is our first ever published collection of client stories, complemented with the stunning imagery of world-renowned photographer Danielle Levitt.

The concept of Threads comes from the idea that, together, each woman’s experience forms a fabric of support, of women helping women, of shared challenges and achievements. Her individual thread is woven into others, forming an undeniable worldwide bond.

Dress for Success curated the stories of these particular confident and courageous women because they all came to the organization in a time of need but have since transformed into influential leaders, continuing to inspire other women who share their challenges and achievements.

Amongst these stories is Vancouver’s very own Genevieve Sechter. Genevieve’s story represents the experiences and emotions that embody many women in our city, and around the world. In providing a local narrative to these experiences, Genevieve is reminding each woman that she is part of a bigger story and has a greater purpose. Her story is one of the 20 shared in this book in an effort to provide a tangible representation of the stories we often share with all of you.

Sharing these stories is important for several reasons. Firstly, it provides readers with an insight into the ways in which these success stories can materialize in different ways. Each woman’s story is unique, but still offers a relatable anecdote to remind us that we are not alone in our journey.

The power of women helping women can be seen at the Dress for Success Vancouver office

In having these stories altogether in one book, we are empowering these women and many others like them to share their stories in an effort to remove the stigma and shame from sharing one’s struggles with another—a way for women to become their own agents of change.

Finally, sharing these stories can initiate action. When women share their experiences with one another, it empowers both the story-teller and the listener. This creates a dialogue amongst women to begin understanding better the obstacles we face, and finding the right resources that can knock down those barriers to success.

We, here at Dress for Success Vancouver, believe in the power of women helping women. Sharing our stories with one another is one of the most powerful ways for us to do this. Threads provides the framework for this kind of call for action, and we need you to help us spread this message!

If you would like to find out more about these women's stories and contribute to the empowerment of women across the globe, you can Purchase Threads Online. The book (pictured below) is now on sale for $45, or $55 with delivery. All proceeds go straight back to Dress for Success, to ensure the continued success of many women like those featured in the book. 

Threads now available for purchase

This post was written by Ida Lotfi.
Ida is an Outreach Coordinator volunteer at Dress for Success Vancouver.