Today was packed with a lot of stuff that I can’t wait to share – I’ll just get into it!

After some barre and blogging about Canada’s greatness (find my post below!) this morning, I came into the office and picked up from yesterday on the Instagram posting prep. We really want to get the word out about our upcoming one-day Shop for a Cause clothing and accessories sale. I cannot believe the 25th next week Wednesday! Even when you try to capture time by blogging, time slips away just as fast.

I started today with a few boutique things and making a welcome sign for our Donor Celebration Party greeting table – Indesign time is happy time.

Made a sign for the door @ Donor Celebration

Made a sign for the door @ Donor Celebration

For lunch today, Jennifer took me to this Indian food place located in an inconspicuous mall on Hornby. Inside, it was bustling with people and filled with the smell of spices – pungent, in a mouthwatering way. I’ve only been pescatarian since a year ago, so I’ve had school-lunch-program butter chicken before, but that’s about my entire previous experience with Indian cuisine.

After Jennifer treated me to a delicious veggie plate and nan bread, we chatted about family, school, uni plans, and DFS.

Jennifer was a Dress for Success volunteer before she became involved with DFS Vancouver full time. As executive director, she came at a time when more organization was needed within the organization – staff’s jobs overlapped; things were not kept tabs on – and began restructuring. She stressed her goal of leaving a unique, lasting impact on this organization with her team during her term here – before passing your role on to the next leader, what aspects have you improved, have you left your irreplaceable print on? In order to achieve this vision, goal-setting is vital. Jennifer outlines general goals for the staff so that everyone is on the same page and working in the same direction. Each staff then creates SMART goals: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant and Time-bound goals that allow everyone to contribute to the general goal. When goals are reached, and when an organization is growing so fast, it is time for expansion of the team. Early this year, Jen, previously a DFS volunteer, joined the team full time as Boutique Manager. This July, Hannah became our part-time Dressing Coordinator. Next, Jennifer is looking to streamline fundraising efforts – fundraising is essential to running the organization, and it is important to be tracking fundraising outcomes as well.

Jennifer used to be in the hotel management industry, and volunteered at Dress for Success at the same time – when asked about the difference she felt between working in the corporate world vs. directing a non-profit, she said that many aspects of running the two are the same, but she loves her job at DFS for the meaningful, long-term impact she is able to make on women. This passion reminds me of an interview on Astrid Levelt, founder of Dress for Success Vancouver, that I was reading on our DFS Vancouver blog. The woman started with the concept and opened DFS Vancouver’s doors in 7 weeks. Her dad built the change rooms; her mom painted the walls with her. She “begged, borrowed, and stole clothing racks”. The organization started in “the bedrooms of four nuns” (see the blog for details – “A Blast from the Past”: ). It’s unimaginable the incredible amount of passion she must have had to drive the organization through – and now, it is of the most developed Dress for Success affiliates in the world.

The whole meal and chat was such a treat!! Next up: Donor Celebration Party!

Shirley L

Miss Teen Vancouver 2015

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