As Dress for Success Columbus celebrates its eight-year anniversary, CEO Vicki Bowen Hewes looks back
Dress for Success Columbus is celebrating eight years of outfitting local women with professional guidance and attire.
The organization will host a Celebr8! Anniversary Open House today, Feb. 24, from 5 to 7 p.m. at its 1204 N. High St. location. Bring your donations (gently used work-appropriate clothing), and enjoy light refreshments.
We asked Vicki Bowen Hewes, the founder and CEO of Dress for Success Columbus, to share eight moments that have stood out to her from the past eight years. Her answers (including two bonus memories-"too many for me to cull!") are below.
>>Read more about Vicki and what lead her to launch a local Dress for Success.
1. The first beautiful woman we empowered in 2007 and the clients we engaged and encouraged this morning. Every woman trusting us to help her is an incredible honor. Sharing their journey humbles me to the core.
2. Our first Dine. Drink. Dress. (called TASTE then) fundraiser in 2008 with a case of donated wine and three trays of appetizers hosted at Willis Shively's former studio. Forty people attended, and my heart was bursting with gratitude for the amazing support.
3. Launching our Professional Women's Group employment retention program in 2009 and sitting in a circle with those first five members, hearing how dedicated they were to being the best they could be at their new job and achieving a better life for themselves and their families. It was transformative.
4. Accepting the Lublin Award, named after the incredible visionary and Dress for Success founder Nancy Lublin, from Dress for Success Worldwide in 2010.
5. Moving into our new space at the corner of 5th and High St. in February 2011 and celebrating the transition with our board members. It was an empowering, galvanizing, surreal experience.
6. The mission's sustaining sponsors and those who generously contribute whatever they can. We can't do what we do without each and every advocate. We're gleefully grateful for every donor!
7. Every day, witnessing volunteers pitch in with everything from styling women to unloading pallets from delivery trucks-these angels on earth are the lifeblood of our mission.
8. Seeing clients literally blossom! Witnessing these courageous ladies becoming the women they were born to be, realizing their beauty, purpose and power to achieve their goals and dreams!
9. Dress clients styled by Lori Goldstein in 2013- amazing to see an international fashion icon styling with the most important women in the world, our clients!
10. Seeing three clients, who were formerly incarcerated and beginning their lives anew, share a stage and a conversation in 2014 at our Beyond the Suit luncheon about the challenges of rehabilitation, re-entry and securing employment with the supportive warden of their previous prison and a Wall Street Journal editor.