Clothing Auction Raises Money for Dress for Success

There are probably quite a few women who would tell you that shopping is one of their favorite hobbies. Well, on May 29, Samantha Greenwood Consulting found a way to turn a pleasurable pastime into philanthropy.

The consulting firm hosted All Dressed Up!, an event to celebrate the launch of her website and to fundraise for Dress for Success Halifax.

Greenwood started her business in 2010, and focuses on many different areas including event planning, model marketing, small business consulting, photography and artistic directing and design. She works mostly in the arts and fashion industries with the goal of beginning “a new standard of what’s acceptable, what’s beautiful and who can be hired [to model].”

Dress for Success, an international non-profit, began in 1997 and strives to “promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women by providing professional attire, a network of support and the career development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.” The Halifax affiliate of the organization, which opened in 2001, has helped over 1,300 women transition into the working world.

Their clients are referred to them from over 40 agencies throughout the community, including domestic violence and homeless shelters, and job training programs. The center also offers the services of a career center, membership in their Professional Women’s Group for those who’ve found jobs and a complimentary haircut, style and facial for their newly employed clients.

Greenwood’s event featured models ranging in size from zero to 16 showing the assembled crowd more than 75 dresses, which were later available at a live auction.

Jewelry, shoes, coats and a few vintage frocks were also up for grabs at the auction, which raised over $500 for Dress for Success Halifax. The fundraiser even collected donations of work apparel from the audience, and was able to gift the organization with professional attire for its clients.

The event was promoted via Twitter, Facebook and Greenwood’s personal web page. Plus, the fundraiser was mentioned in the print and online event sections of  The Metro Halifax and The Coast Halifax, and they made postcard flyers and posters to post around Halifax and where tickets were sold.

Greenwood is proud of the turnout at her event and says that the highlight for her is “the bidding wars over certain dresses! It was amazing to see three or four women going toe to toe until a five dollar dress became a $40 dress in two dollar increments!”

Her experience putting the evening together “was very stressful” since she did all the planning on her own, but she extols the virtues of having professional marketing materials and an early start.

“I have to say that the beautiful tickets I received on time and so reasonably priced really helped, [they] gave such a professional and polished touch to my event! I would recommend doing everything you can as early as possible, and don’t count on anything until it’s written on paper!”