DALLAS - A new outfit is helping North Texas women take the first step towards a new life. It’s all about building their confidence by helping them dress for success.
The Dress for Success Dallas racks are full of clothes – blazers and dresses in every color and size. Purses, jewelry, makeup and hair products to complete the look.
“When they walk out they’re going to have a polished look. We call it dressing for success,” said Dr. Lauren Freeman, the Dallas Dress for Success board chairman.
The halls are also filled with inspirational messages and mirrors… lots of mirrors.
“The mirrors I believe help you see where you are. So having mentorship and having guidance, they’re able to embrace and learn it’s okay to love you,” Freeman said.
She knows looking and feeling the part is only one aspect of the equation.
“We’re available to help her build a resume and cover letter. We do mock interviews. We help her develop her confidence, how to articulate, how to land that job,” she said.
Ashley Booth came to Dress for Success ahead of an interview for a job at an insurance agency.
“I needed some interview skills for a position that I was really, really wanting,” she said. “I came on a Friday, had my interview on Monday and I landed the job. So that was great.”
Some stories are just that simple. Others are more complicated.
“I had gone to prison and upon my release I was in a halfway house. And one of my friends had been with the organization for a few months already,” said Brandi Campbell.
Campbell now works at a convenience store and is on the management track with the company. She also plans on going back to school to finish her degree.
“For the first time in my life I really feel like I have value and have something to offer. And that’s been a life changer for me,” she said.
“Every woman wants to feel beautiful. Dress for Success helped me to get that back,” added Anna Butler.
Butler said her dignity was restored after being homeless for four years. She hit rock bottom and finally decided to ask for help.
“I need that encouragement and I finally realized that. Can’t be alone,” she said. “That was a huge step for me, for me because of where I came from.”
She’s now an assistant manager at a clothing store.
“I’m just really grateful for everything they’ve done for me because they’ve done a lot for me and encouraged me along the journey,” Butler said. “I don’t know what the next step looks like. I just know that I have to keep stepping forward.”
She’s armed with confidence and a support system of women who won’t let her quit.
Dress for Success Dallas is helping about 200 women a month.
O, the Oprah magazine, created a collection for Dress for Success at Talbots. Thirty percent of net proceeds go to the non-profit organization.
Direct donations are also welcome at dallas.dressforsuccess.org.