Seven women were referred by Careers Under Construction and Families First to receive donated work attire brought together by the Women in Business group during a recent pop up shop.
Local women are reentering the workforce looking and feeling good through some help of the local women’s business support group.
With referrals from Careers Under Construction and Families First, a clothing pop up shop was organized by the local Women in Business group in late October. After hearing mothers had to step up and seek employment when their husband’s E.I. was starting to run out or cases of women separating from their husbands, the group created a temporary boutique offering all sorts of clothing to outfit women who are returning to work.
“We’re professional women, we have professional wardrobes and we should be able to step up and help these women out bring them back into the workforce. If you look good and feel good, then you’re going to do good,” said WIB event organizer, Kathy Stevenson.
“Our ladies were so excited. They helped pull together outfits and sizes. They got the full treatment. It was like a boutique.”
Overall, seven women were supported with multiple outfits. A woman who recently separated from her husband after fleeing domestic violence was one of those helped. The Fort Record agreed to protecting her identity. Picking up two business suits and a classic grey dress, she likened the pop-up shop experience to a scene out of Pretty Woman.
“It gave me confidence and that extra push. It made me feel really good,” she said.
“They had everything for every size and every type of woman. It was so well put together and so welcoming. You didn’t feel ashamed being there. It was very welcoming, very accepting and they said, ‘Come on, you deserve this, let’s get you dressed and ready to get out there so you can nail that job interview. If you’re going to that job interview, we want you to feel like a million bucks,’ — and that’s how they made you feel,” she added.
After not working for ten years, the mother of two daughters is hoping to reenter the workforce either in health or government administrative work and she is also studying to be a level one insurance agent.
“Leaving a domestic (violence) situation, your confidence is already down to the floor. You never put yourself first, you always think about your children. Being separated and having to do everything on your own while being a good role model for your daughters but not having that extra money to go out and buy outfits, so having this available, it’s phenomenal.”
“Thank-you for having our backs and offering this. Thank-you for having women who were in charge there, that made us feel worthy and empowered. It’s nice to see women building women and we need more of it,” she added.
Going forward, Women in Business looks to partner with Careers Under Construction to develop who they should be reaching out to and will promote the cause with more advertising and word of mouth.
“We feel like we have a certain level of social responsibility. We knew there was a need,” added Women in Business member Rene Holinski.
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