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Deal Divas

Stephanie Hayes, Katie Sanders, Kameel Stanley, & Keyonna Summers

$6 suits? Yep. Dress for Success Excess Inventory Sale is this weekend!



On my first day as a personal shopper at Dress for Success Tampa Bay, I was nervous. My first client was nervous, too, though, so it made me feel better, like we were going to make it work together.

She talked quietly, slumped, seeming much smaller than she was. We walked together around the shop, and she shared some of the horrible things that had happened to her in a relationship, the fallout. She had lost power in her life.

She had job interview prospects lined up and needed a little help. I remembered a crisp black pants combo hanging near the back, and could picture her in it. We decided she should try it, and when she yanked back the dressing room curtain with a hand on her hip, her shoulders were back. She was smiling, but with a kind of fire in her eyes. Her body language was completely different. No more nerves, but rather, the opposite.

"I feel powerful," she said.

That kind of transformative moment is a common thread in the boutique. The organization helps connect disadvantaged women with clothes they need to land and keep jobs. Volunteers also help with resume skills, interview skills, computer skills and networking. The goal is to get women in our community on the way to economic independence.

DFS thrives on donations, but also needs to clean out inventory a couple times a year. That's where you and your shopping jones come in. The Dress for Success Tampa Bay Excess Inventory Sale runs from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Friday and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday at Bayshore Baptist Church, 3111 W. Morrison Ave. in Tampa.

Proceeds go back to the organization. DFS gets lots of smaller to mid-sized suits, but desperately needs plus-sized clothing and large shoes (people tend to expand and then donate their smaller items, not the other way around), so the funds raised help in that area. The money also buys toiletries, makeup and personal items for the clients (one woman I helped shop was SO excited to see a box of hair color).

And, guys. The clothes in the sale are good. Check out the slideshow for a sampling of what's available this weekend. Whenever I'm in the shop, I'm always eying up little numbers, everything from Calvin Klein to Ann Taylor LOFT.

Suits are $6. Dresses, blazers, shoes, purses and totes are $5. Pants, skirts and shirts are $4. Belts are $2, jewelry is $1. The sale is cash only and all sales are final. Leave the kiddos at home.

I'll be working at the sale Saturday morning, so please stop by and say hey! And if you can't make it, you can always donate or find out how to help here. It's really sobering how the things we take for granted, the clothes we collect in droves, can actually help change someone's situation.

[Last modified: Monday, February 17, 2014 5:46pm]


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