Tuesday, April 29, 2014

IMPACT 360 Spotlight: Mahnaz Nakhaee

As promised, we have another feature of one of our amazing clients who will be walking down the runway on June 5th at IMPACT 360. On April 14th, we featured a comprehensive guide to everything IMPACT! To read more about it, visit our last blog post.

We would, now, like you to meet Mahnaz Nakhaee. She is one of 10 women who has kindly shared her story with us, her experiences with Dress for Success Vancouver, and her process of empowerment.

To hear more of her story and see her proudly walk down the runway, join us at IMPACT 360 as we Celebrate Fashion and begin Fundraising for Change!

When did you first get introduced to Dress for Success Vancouver?
I was introduced to Dress for Success for the first time in January 2013 by a program called Job Option Program to receive an outfit for my interview. This experience was invaluable because it actually led me to PWG program that I found so inspiring with incredible success stories presented by PWG members, wonderful mentors whose support is always there, and great speakers invited to the meetings.

How has this experience impacted your life?
It helped me to change the way I looked at my life, my work, and the world. This program is filled with inspiration and invaluable insights.

What has been your most important lesson from PWG Program?
My great experience in this program has been networking. I met successful women with the same or even more challenges than I have had as a new comer, and I found out how they have overcome those challenges. I also had the chance to share all my own dreams, concerns, and ideas with them and receive great pieces of advice.

What is your occupation?
Retail, but I used to work as an instructor at University and also a tour guide in my home country.

If you could share a piece of advice to other women looking for a career, what would you tell them?
Don't hesitate to join Dress for Success Program. It is more than just clothes. It is so rewarding and inspiring. It leads them to set realistic and achievable goals to get them where they want to go and enables them to embrace a new season of life and reengage in a world that makes their dreams come true.

What made you want to be a part of IMPACT 360?
I am passionate about empowerment for women. The reason I wanted to be part of the IMPACT 360 was to let other women looking for a career know about Dress for Success and tell them whatever I have accomplished has been due to their generous help and support. To be truly successful means that you have people in your life that support you and care about you. This program paved the way for me from no job to a career that fits my goals and dreams.

Who is your hero?
Helen Keller, a strong woman I admire a lot and her life story taught me nothing is impossible.

What is your motto?
My motto is actually a quote from Helen Keller:
"Optimism is the faith that leads to achievement. Nothing can be done without hope and confidence."

Where is your dream vacation?
Heaven on earth Keukenhof garden in The Netherlands. It is the world's largest tulip flower garden. It is very fantastic!

Monday, April 14, 2014

Celebrating Fashion, Fundraising for Change

IMPACT 360 is quickly approaching and we've decided to give you the inside scoop on what you can expect to see, who will be there, and what your ticket will be contributing to.

IMPACT 360 is our signature fundraiser of the year. This year’s theme is ‘Celebrating Fashion, Fundraising for Change’. The night will include a myriad of different activities, from live & silent auctions, vodka & scotch tastings, beauty bar, fresh fare, and door prizes! It will be held at the brand new Regency Lexus at 6th and Burrard on June 5th.

The name ‘IMPACT 360’ comes from the idea that these women have come full circle in their lives, and this event is a chance for them to share their stories and impact other women the way that they’ve been impacted. ‘360’ also represents how much it costs to put one woman through all of our programs for a year, including dressing services, Career Centre services, the Professional Women’s Group (PWG), and much more.

Our main spectacle of the evening will be our fashion show. It will feature 10 of our Dress for Success clients who have shown tremendous growth from our programs, exhibit leadership in their lives, and share a strong passion in their careers and everything that they do. They have shown us a willingness to share their stories, all of which you will hear at IMPACT 360. Some have also volunteered to be a part of a promotional video for the event. You can watch the video here.

We wanted to introduce you to these 10 incredible women to give you an insight on who they are, and why they were chosen to represent the values and mission of Dress for Success Vancouver. Over the next couple of weeks, we will be featuring Q & A's with all of them and sharing them here on our blog. Tune in to follow their inspiring stories and don't forget to buy your tickets to IMPACT 360 to hear these stories from the women themselves!


Our first feature is Sunny Johnston. We've recently featured Sunny in one of our Client Spotlights, but we thought we would share some more about how and why she got involved in Dress for Success in her own words.

Sunny came into our program about a year ago, looking for a stepping stone to push her towards pursuing the goals of her life:

"When you walk into a work place and you’re not dressed appropriately for the job you’re pursuing even though deep down inside you know I am awesome for this job, I can do this job, I can give a one hundred percent, but I don’t look the part, people won’t hire you and it sucks, but that’s just the way that it goes. It’s nice to have the confidence, knowing that there is someone out there that is just like you, that is in the same exact situation that you are. It’s almost healing in a way." 

How has this experience impacted your life?
Coming to Dress for Success and being a part of the PWG has always given me the power to meet these women and these women are the strongest women I have, so I am very happy. My experience at DFS has been absolutely phenomenal, amazing, I have been treated so well. It’s been a blessing in disguise really.

If you could share a piece of advice to other women looking for a career, what would you tell them?
For any person that actually wants to come into this program, just do it, you’re going to find so much more than it is that you’re actually looking for. It’s more than just a shirt. It’s more than just a pair of shoes. It’s something more. It’s confidence, it’s a reason to go out there and get the job that you want. 

What is your motto?
One day I will be...
One day I will have...
One day I will accomplish...
Because "Enough" is all you will ever need...

To read more about Sunny, visit her Client Spotlight!

Tune in for more spotlights in the coming weeks on these 10 inspiring stories of the women who have been so kind to share their stories with us.

To purchase your tickets for IMPACT 360, visit our website!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Client Spotlight: Sunny Johnston

Name: Sunny Johnston

When did you first get introduced to Dress for Success Vancouver? I was referred to Dress for Success Vancouver in June of 2013 by a program called ACCESS ( Aboriginal Community Career & Employment Services Society). It was very comforting knowing that there are women out there that were in the exact same situation as I was in.

What has been your most important lesson from the PWG program? You are not alone, there is always someone willing to help and show you the way. Networking is such a huge part of the working world and it's a blessing that the PWG had made it so much more interesting and easy. The PWG gives you a sense of security and belonging so you're able to open up easier about your dreams and goals that you have set for yourself.

What is your occupation? Retail/Student/Youth Worker

Who is your hero? My Mother. She has taught me the importance of being myself and never settle for anything less then what I deserve.

Where is your dream vacation? I have a whole bucket list full of them. So many to name but I will see them all. I am very optimistic about that.

What is your motto?
One day I will be...
One day I will have...
One day I will accomplish...
Because "Enough" is all you will ever need...