Regina Haddock, founder and director of Dress for Success Quad Cities, says the boutique-style organization serves women in all kinds of situations with a suit, shoes and accessories — as well as confidence.
“It’s not just playing dress-up here,” Haddock says. “She sees herself in the mirror after she maybe has never owned a suit before and I’m telling you, it’s powerful. She dreams bigger. She says, ‘Oh, yes, I can,’ and we’re saying, ‘Oh, yes, you can.'”
Every week, the agency helps up to ten clients prepare for job interviews. Haddock says some are single moms, some have just been fired from a job, and some clients have diplomas and degrees but just can’t find work.
Clients who are given interview outfits are invited to join a Professional Women’s Group, which focuses on leadership skills and economic independence.
“They come in, they meet people and one of them said, ‘This is my productive girls’ night out,'” Haddock says. “Where else are they going to do this? There’s really no where else without resources. We’re going to provide a ride and a meal and free child care.”
Clients also have access to a Career Success Center where they can get help writing a resume and searching for jobs, ultimately, providing hope for a better future.
“That’s the kind of stuff we want the Career Center to do — how do you dream bigger about what’s really out there for you, a job that’s going to be really fulfilling economically, enough to support you and your family and helps empower women in the workplace to be seen as capable and worthy of promotion.”
Haddock says she wants to create a community of empowered women, ready to fight the social and political barriers facing women and people in poverty.
Thanks to Sarah Ritter, WVIK, Rock Island