I’m excited to share the official launch of Fashion Forward – a luxury + contemporary re/commerce marketplace uniting consigners and shoppers to support nonprofits empowering women. Fabulous fashion. Sustainable style. Hope renewed.
I believe in the power of people coming together for the greater good. And even during this unprecedented time of sheltering in place, I love fashion - it's actually been a great diversion to peruse designer looks in Vogue, Vanity Fair and Elle as I work at my desk in my daily uniform - another pair of leggings and an oversized sweatshirt (is that salsa on my sleeve?).
I'm so grateful for the heroes - those on the front lines caring for others to those working hard to keep us safe and our pantries stocked. The pandemic has us all contemplating what we can do now and how we'll move forward. And it's more important than ever to advocate and support nonprofits that serve our most vulnerable sisters.
Although the virus tops the headlines today, scroll through any news or social feed and there's more 'breaking news' about women advocating for equality - equal pay, equal treatment, equal respect. This isn't breaking news, it's a broken system. And we won't stop on our quest to right the course because we know we are worthy; we are greater than the obstacles.
I'm passionate about women's empowerment because I was told countless times that I wasn't good enough, smart enough, pretty enough - and I started to believe it. My self-esteem was low, I diminished my value and quieted my voice. Once I realized my value, my purpose became rooted in helping women stand strong in their radiant power and I founded Dress for Success Columbus; the highlight of my life was witnessing over 15,000 women blossom and achieve during my tenure.
Fashion is a tool used to share our point of view, our mood, our uniqueness. And it levels the playing field - a woman in a great outfit with her shoulders high defies economic or social status judgment. From an early age I started using fashion as an armor of sorts. And to afford the designer merch I desired on a budget, I've been looking for the best treasures in city markets, estate sales, souks and resale shops since I was 12 in 1978.
My career has spanned 20+ years in corporate business, 10+ years as a nonprofit founder, and I started my first ecommerce luxury resale site in 2001. I'm a daughter, sister, mom, wife - I'm a woman who works hard, faces barriers, and doesn't give up. What I wear is how I suit up to look good and feel good while getting it done (right now that means pairing my lulu leggings with designer heels as I shuffle from my desk to the living room and kitchen with my family looking at me like I’m crazy – whatever it takes, right?).
Following a successful pilot in 2019, we're bootstrapping Fashion Forward's launch in Spring 2020. As we scale, we're enthusiastic to hire women who've received support from our nonprofit Power Partners. Furthering the ripple effect, being allies for one another at work and in life, is of critical importance.
As women, our journeys have countless threads of style and strength woven together in the complicated patchwork of life. When stylish allies consign and buy fashion as an investment in looking great, feeling great, being sustainable and supporting our sisters, we make a statement that 'we are worth it'. It's a formidable win-win-win. Galvanizing our collective power, our voices are amplified, and the impact is multiplied. We are greater than the obstacles.
#greaterthan #forwardtogether #luxforlove