Dress for Success nonprofit to open in Rogers

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 199 views 

Dress for Success Northwest Arkansas will hold a grand opening of the nonprofit's boutique at 11:15 a.m., on Saturday, Aug. 17 at Frisco Station Mall, 100 N. Dixieland Road in Rogers.

The boutique is where Dress for Success Northwest Arkansas will meet with and service clients by appointment only. 

”The organization’s mission is to empower women coming out of disadvantaged situations by providing professional attire, a network of support and career development tools with the ultimate goal of bringing economic independence through successful, sustainable employment. Helping women in disadvantaged situations obtain work-appropriate attire is the organization’s first step in helping clients develop economic independence,” said Dana Engelbert, Dress for Success volunteer. “What follows for each client is training, support and mentoring as she succeeds.”

Donations of clothing and other items will be accepted during the open house, and community members can learn more about the Dress for Success mission. Information about potential volunteer opportunities and boutique tours will also be available.

“We are thrilled with the opportunity to establish a Dress for Success boutique to help women achieve their career goals in Northwest Arkansas,” said Jane Behrends, co-founder, Dress for Success, Northwest Arkansas affiliate. “With strong support from donors, strong partnerships within our community and the generous gift of time and energy from our core project team, we are ready for a successful start-up launch. Our goal is to help hundreds of local women transition into meaningful careers.”

As the first Arkansas affiliate for the global nonprofit, Dress for Success Northwest Arkansas received its charter in February and has since been raising funds and spreading awareness about its mission. The Wal-Mart Foundation supported the efforts with a $25,000 startup grant, and many individuals have also donated time, money and clothing.
Dress for Success serves clients by referral only, and women must have an interview scheduled before receiving clothing.

“Our clients will come to us from a continually expanding and diverse group of nonprofit and government agencies, including homeless shelters, immigration services, job training programs, educational institutions and domestic violence shelters, among many other organizations,” said Krischelle Tennessen, co-founder, Dress for Success, Northwest Arkansas affiliate. “On her initial visit, a woman receives a suit appropriate for the industry in which she is interviewing and, if available, accessories.”

After a woman finds a job, she returns to Dress for Success for additional clothing that can be mixed and matched to make several outfits, providing her with the foundation for a professional wardrobe.

With a local poverty rate at nearly 19% and an unemployment rate of 5.7% Dress for Success leaders believe Northwest Arkansas is a an important location for the organization's first affiliate in Arkansas.