Dress For Success Tampa Bay, the non-profit organization that helps empower women to break the cycle of poverty, recently held one of their inventory blow-out sales in South Tampa. Dress For Success is widely known for providing women with suiting for job interviews, to increase their odds of finding employment, but that’s just the tip of the iceberg, the gigantic, mostly unseen underwater, Texas-sized iceberg that carries women on their journey to sustainability and success. Most folks have no idea about the many programs this wonderful organization has developed for women over the years (19 years here in Tampa to be specific). From the career center to the job training, to the retention and networking programs, Dress For Success has become about so much more than providing women with free suits.
The inventory sales are huge, both in terms of the sheer volume of ladies clothing, accessories, and shoes, and because they generate a great deal of funds which help keep their programs running. You see, they receive loads of clothing donations throughout the year. The pieces are sorted and those which are appropriate for job interviews remain in the appointment-only boutique where clients can apply for complimentary suiting services. All of the rest of those donated items are sorted, stored, and then set-up for sale 2-3 times per year. If a piece is not in excellent condition, it doesn’t make the cut.
This year, as a volunteer, I was in charge of pricing the Designer Boutique Room at the inventory sale, which was held in a banquet hall at the Bayshore Baptist Church in Palma Ceia. I could not believe how many brand new designer pieces there were. I was told not to exceed $50 for designer suits. So St. John, Escada, Elie Tahari… beautiful suits in mint condition were priced for less than $50! Every item in the Designer Room was priced between $10-$50. Ninety percent of the inventory was priced at a flat rate, which was $5 for all clothing, shoes and handbags, $10 for suits, $2 or less for belts and jewelry.
If you’ve never been to one of these sales, I cannot express to you the depth of what you are missing out on. Not only are shoppers helping a wonderful organization fund their projects, but we get fabulous pieces for like $5 each!!! That, to me, is the definition of utopia.
I found 23 pieces for myself and my clients. I spent $115! If shopping (or hunting) for treasures is not your thing, I’m happy to be your guide. Shopping is my second language and I speak Thrift fluently.
Take a look at a few of my favorite finds…
I was pretty excited about scoring this Elie Tahari suit!
*Photos by Theresa NeSmith Photography
Please be sure to visit the Dress For Success website to learn more about the organization and about how you can help.