Dress for Success is helping women get ready for the workforce with some retail therapy

Posted at 7:47 AM, Feb 12, 2021
and last updated 2021-02-12 07:47:04-05

FORT MYERS, Fla.  — They're here to help! Dress for Success is hosting their 10th annual Shop for Success event, helping women in need get back on their feet, and ready for the professional world

“It's just great working with the women, they don't know what to expect when they first walk into the door, but we try to give them a lot of love and a lot of understanding. We're working with them on getting dressed, but when they walk out the door, they see themselves in a completely different light,” said Diane Ivey, Board Member with Dress for Success.

Executive Director Nicole Hendra says the pandemic, has made their cause even more impactful.

“More than ever now women have taken the biggest hit as far as job losses. So we’ve seen a lot more women come through our doors and in need of our services whether they’ve been furloughed, or they are just starting to get back into the workforce,” said Nicole Hendra, Executive Director for Dress for Success.

Volunteers and local moving companies have been donating time and trucks to prepare for the event. Hendra says it takes the entire community to make this day a success

“We collect clothes over the year, we collect shoes, jewelry, we clean and sanitize everything to make sure there are no tears, buttons missing. The dedicated volunteers spend hours setting everything up so it's like walking into a pop-up shop, so it has sizing, branding, it's like walking to a Macy's or Dillard’s,” said Hendra,

Dress for success has one goal and that's to make women feel empowered with a new outfit from head to toe.

Long time volunteer Pamela Menendez says her favorite part is seeing the smiles on the faces of the women when they walk out the door.

“I wanna give back to women who’ve taken a misstep through no fault of their own and want to get back in the workforce,” said Pamela Menendez, a long-time volunteer with Dress for Success.

Dress for Success SW Florida will be hosting a two-day shopping event, Shop for Success, on Friday, Feb. 12, and Saturday, Feb. 13 at the Crowne Plaza Fort Myers at Bell Tower, 13051 Bell Tower Drive. VIP tickets start at $50, offering exclusive early shopping opportunities. General admission is free on Feb. 13 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.