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Suited with Confidence, Hope and Style Dress for Success Phoenix empowers a diverse population

Monday, September 24, 2018   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Andrea Evans
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Article etc. *By Tyler Butler

The year was 2007 and the United States was facing the greatest financial crisis of our time. The country had lost more than 7.5 million jobs and the unemployment rate had doubled — peaking at more than 10 percent. It was during this difficult time that Lisa Doromal, a stay-at-home mother of two, was watching The Oprah Winfrey Show.

Doromal was tuned into a segment on Dress for Success, an international nonprofit that focuses on empowering women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and development tools. Having a background in clothing textiles, fashion merchandising and retail, Doromal was immediately drawn to the mission.

During the next year Doromal began to consider her own situation and how she herself was not unlike the women that Dress for Success was working to help. As a Latina wife and mother, Doromal recognized that she was only one catastrophic life event away from needing the type of assistance Dress for Success provides.

This epiphany coupled with her knowledge of the fashion industry was enough to motivate her to launch an affiliate of the charity. She researched resources and began to see the potential for Dress for Success to grow outside of its current markets. Nine months later, the worldwide Dress for Success headquarters approved her request for a Phoenix affiliate and Doromal’s dreams of helping women in need became a reality.

Much like Dress for Success’s existing affiliates, the Phoenix branch would focus on suiting, leadership, employment retention, job training and career center resources. A local community-based boutique would be the first step to outfitting women for employment. Connecting to leaders who could advise the women on life skills and job information would enhance their chance for success. The program would also provide strategies to nurture professional growth. And job training would build confidence, improve networking skills and teach work-related topics.

Through these foundational programs, the organization empowered women with tools to find and maintain a career. However, the Arizona affiliate expanded on these concepts to include something instrumental to its success in a sprawling urban area like Phoenix: the Mobile Career Center. This resource allowed the organization to serve women who were unable to make it to the organization’s boutique due to transportation barriers.

”It has been truly remarkable to see the growth and impact our organization has made to women in our community,” Doromal said. “As we get closer to celebrating our 10 years of service and our 10,000 clients, we look forward to expanding our services to all of the communities we serve.”

Doromal is continuing to grow the reach and scale of the organization’s efforts by taking Dress for Success’s mission and adding another layer of diversity. In collaboration with St. Joseph the Worker, Dress for Success is preparing to launch Tailor Made for Success, a suiting program for men entering the workforce. The group will leverage the same model that has proven successful for the women-focused Dress for Success concept with a goal of aiding every population needing help to become gainfully employed.

Dress for Success Phoenix’s director of operations, Mark Teetor, said that “traditionally Dress for Success has been run by females for females and it has been amazing to be a part of this organization’s diversification. Dress for Success Phoenix embraces different individuals coming from all different backgrounds and our team and our clients are a reflection of diversity and inclusion.”

Dress for Success Phoenix will also be leveraging a powerful partnership with the Lyft for Good program. Through this collaboration, Lyft will leverage its business model and technology to help recipients of Dress for Success resources enhance their employment opportunities by ensuring they have safe rides to interviews.

In all, Dress for Success Phoenix is providing hope by empowering people through professional attire, tools to secure jobs and support to remain employed. And with the expansion of their services in multiple markets, the organization will be making an even bigger impact in the years ahead.

Sidebar 1: Make into pie charts
Dress for Success Phoenix Serves a Diverse Population
● 29% Hispanic
● 27% Caucasian
● 19% African American
● 7% Native American
● 7% Mixed Race
● 1% Asian
● 10% other or unknown

Helping People of All Ages
● Under 18 6%
● 18-24 19%
● 25-30 12%
● 31-40 22%
● 41-50 18%
● 50+ 17%
● Unknown 6%

Sidebar 2: Shop for Success Designer Sale
Join Dress for Success for its annual Shop for Success Designer Sale where items such as an Adele Simpson dress, Rifat Özbek jacket, Tiffany handbag, and Kenzo linen blazer will be available for purchase as well as pieces by Escada, St. John, Loewe, Jil Sanders and Brunello Cucinelli.

Saturday, September 22
9-11 a.m.: VIP shopping
11 a.m.-3 p.m.: Open to the public
National Bank of Arizona Conference Center
6001 N. 24th St.
Phoenix, AZ 85016

VIP tickets are $50 and can be purchased at

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