Rocking the Runway and Dressing for Success …

Sima (left) and Maggie (right) with the collected donations for Dress for Success

Sima (left) and Maggie (right) with the collected donations for Dress for Success

Collected donations (including those from the fashion models) for Dress for Success

Collected donations (including those from the fashion models) for Dress for Success

When faced with a challenge to develop a fashion show that truly gives back to charity, Kent Place Upper School co-Presidents of GLAM’D (Girls Learning and Making a Difference), Maggie and Sima, discovered the mission and the meaning behind the organization, Dress for Success. The result was an inspiring look into the world of Dress for Success and a fashion show that rocked the runway at GLAM’D’s recent inaugural event.

Maggie explains how they chose Dress for Success: “Sima and I chose to support Dress for Success because their mission and philosophy paralleled beautifully with our own goals for GLAM’D. We love that we were able to make this event about female leadership and networking; we did not just donate clothes or money – our event was centered on Dress for Success’ goal of women helping women.” Continue reading

Your thoughts?

I love comments. Feel free to share yours

When Philanthropy and Fashion Unite …

Courtesy, Harper's Bazaar

Courtesy, Harper’s Bazaar

Yesterday was International Women’s Day, a day to celebrate the achievement of women. This year the theme was accelerating gender parity. In honor of the day, Harper’s Bazaar highlighted 12 fashion brands that support women around the world by combining philanthropy and fashion. Here are just three of the brands and the remarkable stories – be inspired …

Akola Project: A verb, meaning, “she works.” Says founder Brittany Merrill Underwood, “Here at Akola we are trying to create a product line that is both made by but also fully benefits marginalized women in war torn regions in Northern Uganda, women in Eastern Uganda who have experienced the HIV-Aids epidemic, and women in Dallas who have been sexually trafficked.”

FashionAble: “To be clear, FASHIONABLE is not a charitable model of business. We believe that generational poverty is interrupted when people can provide for themselves. We believe that social businesses whose aim is to alleviate poverty should use their business skills to create job opportunities for the poor, not give them more charity. What we seek to ‘give’ to those living in poverty is opportunity by purchasing goods from them, and helping those businesses grow and employ more.”

Rallier: Founder Olivia Rose Fay, was inspired after see the documentary Girl Rising: “Research led me to a study in Kenya, which found that giving school uniforms to students who did not previously own one reduced school absenteeism by 64%. Even in cases without the requirement, schoolgirls likely wouldn’t go to school if they didn’t have a school uniform. I think we can all relate to the influence that clothing has on where and how we decide to show up. So, three years later, RALLIER is launching and for every dress sold, school uniforms are sourced from regions plagued by gender inequality and given to local schoolgirls.”

 

 

Your thoughts?

I love comments. Feel free to share yours

Kate Hudson’s Fabulous Fabletics

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - OCTOBER 16:  Kate Hudson opens a new Fabletics Boutique at Bridgewater Commons Mall on October 16, 2015 in Bridgewater, New Jersey.  (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Fabletics)

BRIDGEWATER, NJ – OCTOBER 16: Kate Hudson opens a new Fabletics Boutique at Bridgewater Commons Mall on October 16, 2015 in Bridgewater, New Jersey. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Fabletics)

For me the most exciting thing about Fabletics has been making sure we’re designing for every woman and every body type. I want every woman to be able to afford great quality, great fit, and hip styles. With Fabletics we want to create a community, a movement to help you live fit and achieve your passions in life. We believe in you!” ~ Kate Hudson, Co-Founder, Fabletics

Last Friday, October 16, actress Kate Hudson opened a Fabletics boutique at Bridgewater Commons Mall, New Jersey. What started in 2013 as an online shopping community has grown to include five brick-and-mortar stores – the latest opening in New Jersey. Says Hudson, “The success that we’ve had is actually just shocking to all of us.And now the possibilities are endless. With the help of her brother, Oliver Hudson, Hudson recently launched a men’s component to the line, FL2, and Hudson wants to keep growing: “I want to make some cute active clothes for kids— tracksuits, things that they wear and I think would be good.” She also has her sights on opening more stores and even overseas in Europe.

I love her Fabletics mission and bringing her Southern California vibe to all of us. I believe in you, too, Kate Hudson! I’m buying it!

 

 

Your thoughts?

I love comments. Feel free to share yours

Five Days of Dressing for Success: How it works

Dress for Success Morris County - Transforming Lives

Dress for Success Morris County – Transforming Lives

The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step.” ~ Lao-tzu, The Way of Lao-tzu (Chinese philosopher 604 BC – 531 BC)

There are three steps critical in shaping the mission, the vision and the core values of Dress for Success Morris County:

Step One: The Suiting Program – A free-of-charge shopping experience where women are welcome to shop the boutique with the assistance of a volunteer personal shopper, and select attire that will earn them respect in the interview process. Each woman receives one hour of dedicated time and may choose one suit or business casual outfit, several separate pieces, two pairs of shoes, a handbag, two pieces of jewelry, and a coat and extras, including cosmetics, pantyhose, etc. Everything is donated from individuals and corporations and only top quality items are chosen for the boutiques. Continue reading

Your thoughts?

I love comments. Feel free to share yours

Carolina: “It’s not just me!’

Caroline Misan Alvo

Carolina Misan Alvo

Carolina Misan Alvo is a woman with a mission: to create a movement for petite women to feel better about their size and themselves while giving them a chance to shop for fashion-forward clothing, specifically designed for the petite woman. The name of Carolina’s business is Gambita, which means literally “little shrimp” in Spanish: it was a nickname her husband gave to her as a joke. At 4’9″ herself Carolina had heard every short joke but when it came time to name her business “Gambita was original.”

Launched in January 2013, Gambita is just a few months old. But I feel that women will respond enthusiastically. Here is Carolina’s story …

I was born in The United States but have had an international upbringing. Born to Brazilian parents, I lived in Ecuador for two years, Mexico City for nine years, and then my parents and I settled in the suburbs of New York City (Westchester). From my early college experience and career choices I have been interested in international relations and development. Before launching Gambita I worked for VisionSpring, a non-profit organization dedicated to providing affordable eyeglasses in the developing world … Continue reading

Your thoughts?

I love comments. Feel free to share yours

Cindy’s BOOM! Revolution!

Cindy Joseph

Cindy Joseph

Women take on a unique beauty every chapter of their lives.There is a shift that occurs as we age. One kind of beauty is replaced with another as time goes by. When we stop hiding and start celebrating and wearing our age proudly, others recognize our beauty as well.” ~ Cindy Joseph, CEO and Founder of BOOM! by Cindy Joseph, makeup artist turned supermodel, introduces the first pro-age cosmetic line for women of every generation

At a time when many women are confronting the negative messages they have heard about aging, Cindy is guiding them to a new path by sharing how she has come to embrace and celebrate her own age at 62!  Cindy says, “Some say I have an ageless beauty, however, I am not a blank ageless slate. I believe the beauty they see is age-full.” Continue reading

Your thoughts?

I love comments. Feel free to share yours

Fierce!

Ceylone's crown and sash - Mrs. New Jersey America

Ceylone’s Mrs. New Jersey America crown and sash

One question intrigues me … what drives someone to rise to be the best of himself/herself, regardless of what else is going on in one’s life? If you ask Ceylone Boothe-Grooms, she would say it is her imagination. Ceylone is now a grown woman with a full life: a former Mrs. New Jersey America and Mrs. New Jersey United States, a professional make-up artist, a motivational speaker and a wife and a mother of four children. But when Ceylone was just a child, she was a dreamer with a big imagination. Ceylone believes it is this single ability, to imagine and to dream, that propelled her life and continues to guide her today. You know what? I couldn’t agree more.

I first heard Ceylone speak at the December meeting for The Morris County Dress for Success organization and I was moved by her presence and her ability to connect with the women in the audience. I needed to meet her again, and hear more from this inspirational dreamer who made her visions a reality. We sat down today and talked about her life, her upbringing, and her desire to bring beauty and joy to people’s lives. Here is Ceylone …

I grew up in The Bronx at a time when the area was changing before my eyes. As a child, I remember the strong sense of community and the different cultures. I remember loving the smells of the local Delis. But as I grew up, people started moving out and new groups of people moved in. Eventually, the drugs came and that changed everything. What saved me was my family and my very strong mother. She taught me many important lessons, told me every day how smart I was, and that I have too much to do to be stopped by drugs. She gave me a sense of confidence and humility that has helped me connect with people … Continue reading

Your thoughts?

I love comments. Feel free to share yours

Empowered!

p10301153

Dress for Success Morris County

I returned tonight to Dress for Success Morris County to share in its December monthly networking meeting (part two of the three-step process to help women in need pursue an independent life). DFSMC hosts this monthly meeting for the women, to have a chance to stay connected with friends (I was told that some have been coming for at least eight years) and to feel empowered to continue moving in a positive direction. It’s an evening that includes dinner, an informational keynote speaker and babysitting for their children. What I witnessed was an overwhelming outpouring of love and uplifting energy.

I arrived just in time to see the women finishing dinner and enjoying each others’ company. Everyone looked polished and professional, as they wore outfits that they had selected from their suiting and styling session with a DFSMC volunteer. But what was most noticeable were their genuine smiles being among friends and supporters. I met Simone, who told me that she had just landed a job and “felt like a queen!” To Simone, this job means freedom. “When I first came to Dress for Success Morris County I had no confidence. Now, I am full of confidence and this new job is power.” Similarly, Nancy described her remarkable transformation: “I had given up on myself and now, I feel like a professional again. By coming here – they give you anything you need – you get over your negative feelings and find your strength again.”

With a warm introduction, speaker Ceylone Boothe-Grooms took the floor; from the moment she spoke she made a connection with the audience. Ceylone’s message rang true for these women, all of whom like Simone and Nancy have had much to overcome: Believe in yourself. In Ceylone’s words, “We are women. By design we are fierce and fabulous! Confidence is powerful!” Perhaps Ceylone struck a cord with everyone when she told her own story; growing up in The Bronx in an environment filled more with drugs than dreams. She was forced to leave college early to work and help support her family. But she had strong parents who saw her potential and she herself began to dream big. It was then that she decided to hold her head high and change her thought process. By chance, she landed her first job in Alexander’s Department Store and later advanced to Macy’s as a makeup artist, all because of this belief in her dream and her unwillingness to give up. Today she is a national make-up artist and image consultant, performer, speaker, and former Mrs. New Jersey America (2011).

She was as if a spiritual leader, and the women reacted with applause and appreciation. There was something so moving about Ceylone’s message: first, believe in yourself and then, give yourself the best chance for success by dressing the part. When she finished, she answered makeup questions and provided makeup lessons.

I think we were all transformed tonight.

What do you think?

p10301021

Simone: feeling confident

p1030113

Speaker Ceylone Boothe-Grooms answering questions and providing a makeup lesson

 

Your thoughts?

I love comments. Feel free to share yours