The unassuming, khaki-colored building sits along Buckeye Road in South Phoenix. Drivers speed past, headed into downtown. Only a single small sign brands a pair of office suites, but the anonymity doesn’t matter. The building’s parking spaces are full. So are the dressing rooms inside.
Welcome to the Valley’s new affiliate of Dress for Success, an international non-profit organization focused on helping women find employment by providing professional attire, career development tools, and a network of support.
“We opened our doors to the boutique at the end of January,” says the affiliate’s founder, . Her slight frame is nearly concealed by a mountain of blazers, donations collected from a local business. “We set a goal of helping 400 women – clients, we call them – by the end of 2010.”
Dress for Success Phoenix is 26 clients away from meeting that goal. And it’s only August.
“We need help.” Doromal’s voice sounds from behind the blazers. More specifically, Dress for Success Phoenix needs financial help. Doromal’s elation at the thought of the non-profit exceeding its goals by year’s end is tempered by reality: She’s got rent to pay and a career center to stock with additional computers, so the women can type their resumes and brush up on job skills.
She also needs to find a place to buy shoes on the cheap. “Size 11! We need larger sizes!” She explains with a smile how she found several at a local outlet for $4. “I think I bought them out. But I can’t afford to go elsewhere and risk paying more.” She waves at a client leaving the boutique, proudly carrying a suit and a few blouses.
“The women come here, they can get the clothes free. They get career coaching – free. The most rewarding part is when they get hired.” Doromal’s passion for helping Valley women is evident. “These women want to work. They want to make a good life for their families.” Now, she’s hoping folks will lend Dress for Success Phoenix a hand.
“We have our fall event October 1st at FireSky Resort in Scottsdale. I can’t wait,” Doromal explains. “I would love to raise enough money to cover rent for 2011.” She tallies in her head. “Fourteen thousand, two hundred for rent…” There’s more. “$2500 for plus-size clothes…” And don’t forget about those size 11’s. After all, every woman deserves a great pair of shoes to walk in, as her new life takes flight.