Just because we're still two weeks out from Black Friday — and the full rush of the holiday shopping season — doesn't mean you can't start checking names off your gift list ... even if that includes yourself.
On Thursday, Dress for Success Bakersfield is hosting its first Shop for Success pop-up shop at the Haberfelde Building downtown. Although the Bakersfield chapter of the national organization has held other seasonal sales in the past, this is the first higher-end sale for the local nonprofit, according to founder and Executive Director Elaine McNearney.
The event, as well as smaller sales in the spring and fall, help raise funds to cover rent for its 17th Street location as well as operational costs for the mostly volunteer-run group.
Dress for Success operates with the mission of empowering women to achieve economic independence by providing the professional attire, tools and support needed to thrive. Clients, who are referred by other aid organizations such as CalWORKs, come from all walks of life — students, veterans, sober living house residents, welfare recipients.
Along with professional clothing, Dress for Success volunteers help clients craft a resume and master job application, work on interview skills and aid with online job searches. If their circumstances change, they are welcome to come back for further assistance, which includes online courses.
"They're a client for life," McNearney said.
Many of the items up for sale Thursday are brand-new or good-condition vintage, McNearney said. Items include suits, slacks, dresses, shoes and purses donated by stores, including Sugardaddy's, and members of the community. Along with items from Talbots and Chico's ("Chico's is very popular in this town," McNearney said), the event will include pieces from high-end designers such as Gucci, Kate Spade, Joseph Ribkoff, Calvin Klein, Norma Kamali, Michael Kors, Christian Dior and Tory Burch.
The sale will also include items that have been donated for the clients but may not fit most workplace dress codes: cruise wear and holiday and glam styles.
"We are really grateful for donations but some items are sheer, blingy, holiday, too low-cut or too whatever," McNearney said.
Shoppers who want the best pick of the offerings are advised to arrive as close to the 5:30 p.m. start time as possible. Those who miss out on any particular deals can soothe themselves with a glass of champagne and hors d'oeuvres while looking over the other clothing and accessories.
As parking can be a challenge around the Haberfelde Building, attendees can park in the structure on 18th Street, which is adjacent to the building's back entrance.