Get Dressed Hire and Culinarius and more than 150 women from across the Illawarra community raised money to helped many other women find a career opportunity on the weekend.
The second annual Spring Fashion Parade and Sparkling High Tea in support of Dress For Success has been described by Michelle Taylor as another overwhelming success.
When the Get Dressed Hire owner teamed up with Monika and Rebecca Armstrong, of Culinarius, to support a charity that helps disadvantaged women last year they wanted to do something significant with other women across the Illawarra to help.
Many women brought along garment of clothing, shoes and handbags they no longer use to donate to Dress For Success to help disadvantaged women get back into the workforce.
“We are also donating $10 from each ticket sold for the event to the charity Dress For Success,” Mrs Taylor said.
Wollongong executive Nicki Bowman said the charity was just getting underway in the Illawarra when the two businesses decided to host a high tea and fashion parade in support of its work in 2016.
Ms Bowman said that was an enormous help.
“We were just a glimmer in the eye when Rebecca Armstrong and Michelle Taylor took a leap of faith with Dress For Success. In part because of their great support we were able to start operating in March this year,” she said.
Ms Bowman is extremely grateful for all the support of women from across the Illawarra including those who came out in great numbers at Wollongong Art Gallery.
“I think that is one of the defining elements of the Illawarra. When you do have a good cause people come out for it. They have donated clothing today. We’ve had 32 donations as well as cash donations today. There is north of 150 women here today. They are drinking champagne and all buying raffle tickets in support of our cause. And then hearing what we have to say about helping their fellow women.”
In part because of their great support we were able to start operating in March this yearDress For Success's Nicki Bowman
Ms Armstrong described Sunday’s turnout as amazing. “I am getting involved with Dress for Success as well with some other upcoming events. It think its really good finding ways to empower women when they are trying to rebuild their lives and get back into the workforce.
“Not everyone has the support of a wonderful mother like I do,” she said.
Official launch soon
It has kept a relatively low profile to date but Dress for Success will officially launch in the Illawarra in mid September.
Illawarra Women in Business support:
This Friday’s Illawarra Women in Business lunch at Centro CBD hosted in conjunction with Essential Employment and Training is also supporting Dress For Success.
IWIB director Glenda Papac said “at this IWIB Lunch event we will be supporting Dress for Success with our charity raffle. We are also asking everyone attending to bring in any unwanted business clothing you may have (suitable for a job interview/work) - shoes and bags included - please make sure donated items are in good wearable condition... we will be donating these donated items to Dress for Success”.
“Dress for Success empowers women to achieve economic independence by providing professional attire and styling services at no cost to their clients, to assist them in looking their best when presenting for a job interview, training course or other activity directed at getting them back on their feet,” Mrs Papac said.
“With this one simple act you can have a real impact on a woman’s journey to employment and financial independence. Please check out your wardrobe for that special item that will make a difference.”