Dress for Success Halifax was opened in 2001 by a group of women who wanted to help other women succeed. Through their various programs, or pillars as Executive Director Brenda Saunders/Todd calls them, Dress for Success assists women to improve their careers and professional lives.
Each client that comes to Dress for Success is referred by agencies, typically when they need help with interviews or require a professional outfit. The initial process begins with a one-on-one interview so Dress for Success can get a feel of what the client is looking for. This is called the Suiting Program, which is what they are most well-known for across the globe. Through this process, clients receive everything needed to begin their career search. From shoes, to purses, to jackets – Dress for Success gives their clients whatever they need to look and feel ready for the first step in their new career. Once a client is fully employed, or if they want to change their career path, Dress for Success offers a second program called Employment Suiting. This program continues to supply women with professional clothing, so they can put the money they earn towards more important things.
The final programs they offer is called Professional Women’s Group (PWG), which is a service only offered to employed clients. Through this, their clients receive intermittent coaching on various subjects by professionals. This is to boost their confidence and educate them on various workplace topics. Dress for Success works with women to enhance their self-esteem, wardrobe, resume, and more all for free! When asked why she got into this type of work, Brenda told me “It’s the instant gratification; seeing women come in as wilted flowers and become fully bloomed in just a few hours is amazing!”
“All clothing that comes here not only gets a second life, but serves a huge purpose. These clothes help women get jobs, contribute to the economy, and be successful. The clothes here help more than just the individual.”
Dress for Success is based solely on donations and profits earned from their side organizations, such as The Social Boutique in Bedford. All clothing that isn’t suited for interviewing, but is still very good quality, gets taken there to be sold for a discounted price.
Dress for Success will have a booth at the Fix-it Fair on Sunday, October 21st! They’ll be sharing some information about the programs and services they offer to the women of HRM. Brenda is excited to celebrate repurposing culture with other like-minded people. Her personal motto is “waste not, want not”, and she believes repurposing and repairing is vital to keeping our environment healthy, especially in terms of textiles. Read about textile waste here.