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We’re a growing network of career development nonprofits that provide business attire for women and men seeking work, empowering them to economic independence.

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Filtering by Tag: Women's Empowerment

2018 National Smart & Sexy© Day Highlights

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The Alliance of Career Development Nonprofits

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The Alliance of  Career Development Nonprofits (ACDN), through its partnership with Smart & Sexy© Lingerie empowers and supports its member organizations with tools to deliver an annual full- or half-day professional and personal development program to celebrate National Smart & Sexy Day. During March, Women’s History Month, eleven of our member nonprofits hosted National Smart & Sexy Day events for nearly 400 women and helped prepare them for employment.  Smart & Sexy© Day is an official holiday noted in the Chase Book of Holidays and recognized annually on March 13th. 

Smart & Sexy© Lingerie allows ACDN Members’ job seekers to be empowered from inside out. To that end, ACDN and Smart & Sexy© Lingerie sponsored a #SupportMeans hashtag contest to invite job seekers to define what “support means” to them.  Winning quotes were selected at each location and are highlighted throughout this piece. 2018 marks the 7th year of the National Smart & Sexy© Day event and to date over 1800 self-identifying women have attended. Many of the event hosts also received proclamations of “Smart & Sexy Day” by their city or state entities. 

We invited the Smart & Sexy Day hosts to share a short summary and highlights of their celebrations:

Click on the links below to read all blog contributions:

Bottomless Closet - New York, NY

Contributed by Alison Zaccone, Bottomless Director of Communications

I am very grateful for the informative sessions, lunch and gifts, all in an effort to make women feel more informed, confident and positive about themselves.
— National Smart & Sexy© Day participant

Bottomless Closet held its annual Smart & Sexy Day on March 13, 2018 at the Viacom Headquarters in New York City. The event was attended by nearly 50 women who enjoyed a full day of women empowerment and learning.

The first presentation of the morning was by Alyssa Gelbard, an Executive Career Consultant, Personal Branding Expert and Speaker, as well as Founder & President of Point Road Group. Alyssa talked about “The Power of Your Personal Brand” and the importance of being aware of the image you project to the world in all sorts of different professional and social situations, both in and out of the office.

The next presenter was long-time Bottomless Closet Volunteer Roberta Dougherty, who spoke to the attendees about “What to Wear: Office Culture and your Wardrobe.” Many times it’s challenging for our clients to decode the subtle differences between everything from ‘Business Formal’ to ‘Business Casual.’ Roberta did a great job of breaking down all of the different types of workplace dress codes and how to ace them.

The final presenter of the day was Anisha Bhasin Mukherjee from the blog Dress For The Day, who spoke about “How to Dress for an Interview On a Budget.” Anisha gave the women all of the best tips and tricks for where to shop in the city, where to find the best deals, and how to find great, affordable work staples.

Throughout the day, the women enjoyed participating in the interactive sessions, raffles and giveaway prizes, sharing their favorite #SupportMeans quotes onthe wall, and networking with each other.  A couple of our favorite quotes included: 

#SupportMeans being there through thick and thin, especially when you are at your lowest.”

”#SupportMeans unconditional love.
— National Smart & Sexy© Day participants

Career Wardrobe – Philadelphia, PA

Contributed by Jacyln Schrauger, Career Wardrobe Program Director

Career Wardrobe’s Smart & Sexy© Day for 2018 was a lovely, intimate day! It was held on the University of Pennsylvania’s beautiful campus. After breakfast, catered by Bon Appetit Catering, we started with a welcome from our Executive Director Sheri Cole, and then moved into a workshop with the Philly Bra Lady, Karima Renee. She talked about how a bra should properly fit, common fit issues, different types of bras for different body types, and body confidence. All attendees, including Career Wardrobe staff, learned a lot! Then we transitioned into individual bra fittings of Smart & Sexy bras while Megan O’Neill, a wellness consultant, talked with our guests about how to maintain their body confidence and wellness on a budget, sharing tips about sleep hygiene, meal planning, free ways to exercise, and much more. A delicious lunch from Bon Appetit was enjoyed during this time as well. 

In the afternoon, we focused on the “smart” part of Smart & Sexy©, with workshops provided by the Wharton Women in Business organization. The first workshop focused on career mapping, where clients look at their skill sets, interests, and experiences and developed a pathway for themselves with one-on-one support from Wharton volunteers. Following that, Wharton Women in Business lead a segment on negotiation skills, and our clients got to practice one-on-one with them and flex their new skillset in a variety of role-play scenarios. 

#SupportMeans encouragement, hope, education, and networking! Being Smart and Sexy empowers me to be more confident and knowledgeable on my journey to success.
— National Smart & Sexy© Day participant

Our keynote speaker was the extremely motivating Nikki Johnson-Huston, who has experienced homelessness, dropping out from college, and poverty in her lifetime before she pivoted and re-entered college, earning not only her Bachelor’s but a law degree and launching her own tax law firm. She is now the Philly Tax Diva as well as a beauty queen as Mrs. Montgomery County. Her very inspiring and personal story encouraged our clients to share their struggles and triumphs with her as well, and the day ended on a note of strong support from each other. All clients and speakers received a gift bag from Career Wardrobe at the end of the day, which included gift cards, jewelry, and other tokens of our appreciation for their time and talents. 

Desert Best Friend’s Closet – Palm Desert, CA

Contributed by Connie Golds, DBFC Executive Director and ACDN Board President

Desert Best Friend’s Closet (DBFC) hosted it’s fourth Smart & Sexy© Day on Friday, March 9, 2018. This year, we opened the event to the public. Twenty-three (23) women applied and were accepted for the program; of this group, 17 women attended.

Our event kicked off with a keynote speech by Dr. Susan Murphy on “Smart and Sexy” self-esteem. Dr. Murphy has presented at past Smart & Sexy© Day events and is always very popular with the ladies. Veronica Vergne of Altura Credit Union presented on “Women and Money,” which was also well-received. Veronica shared that she never had a checking account until her late 20’s because her mother just used money orders and she thought that was how it was done. DBFC’s Matthew Campos presented on “Jump Starting Your Job Search” giving tips on how to effectively and efficiently search for work. Katherine Melbern of the Summit School of Protocol returned to present on how to give proper introductions. Each woman was able to practice and receive feedback from Katherine. Robyn Howard of Keys to Your Closet presented on how to “Build Your Wardrobe on a Budget” which included tips for dressing for your body shape and where to shop.

Two highlights this year were when the County Supervisor, V. Manuel Perez, came and presented a proclamation from the County Board of Supervisors honoring March 9, 2018 as Palm Springs’ “Smart & Sexy© Day.” The other highlight was two high school students from Cathedral City High School’s Digital Arts program volunteered to attend as our photographer and videographer. 

#SupportMeans building someone up; holding them in high regard and assisting where you can.
— National Smart & Sexy© Day participant

Jackets for Jobs, Inc. – Detroit, MI

Contributed by Alison Vaughn, Jackets for Jobs Founder/Executive Director

Jackets for Jobs’ 2018 Smart & Sexy© Day was a Success! 

Wednesday March 21, 2018 Jackets for Jobs celebrated Smart & Sexy© Day! We invited 31 ladies anticipating a few no-shows to have a goal of 25 women. 30 women attended our event on a beautiful sunny day. 

We opened the event with an ice-breaker, “What’s in your purse” game and served a continental breakfast. Our first speaker, Darlene Bulger motivated the audience with a powerful poem and speech about self-esteem and brought tears to many. Our second speaker Latrice Macon-Delgado was a familiar face to many because she is a regular guest on FOX 2 News regarding fashion. She gave good pointers about how to dress and fashion trends. The third speaker was very inspirational and a history maker of the sorts, Monica Morgan is an international photographer and speaker. She was also the personal photographer to the famous Rosa Parks. She has photographed everyone from the President of the United States to celebrities. She gave every guest a photo of Michelle Obama that she took at the first Presidential Inauguration. Everyone was so  excited to receive the photo. After Monica spoke, Alison Vaughn, Founder of Jackets for Jobs spoke over lunch about being “Smart & Sexy”. 

The City of Detroit’s Proclamation, proclaiming Smart & Sexy© Day in Detroit was on display for all to see and each participant received a bra/panty set and a gift bag. Jackets for Jobs staff and volunteers assisted each person with love and hugs. 

#SupportMeans...if you support me like a good bra I can conquer the world.
— National Smart & Sexy© Day participant

JLEP Career Closet – Cranford, NJ

Contributed by Florence Baker, Career Closet Co-Chair

On March 20, 2018, the Junior League of Elizabeth Plainfield’sCareer Closet hosted a celebratory event from 8:30 am to 1:00 pm at the Jumble Store located at 110 Walnut Avenue in Cranford honoring Women’s History Month.  Career Closet volunteers assisted women from three community partner organizations with selecting business attire. They also received a professional bra fitting and new Smart & Sexy bra, and training on building a resume, interviewing skills, and building a professional wardrobe on a budget.  The program included a presentation on social media and online tools to assist with job searches and networking.  A panel of professional women discussed how they were able to maximize the use of social media along with traditional networking tools in their careers.  The ladies also received a new computer tote, and a copy of Millennials in Wonderland: Coaching Grads at the Crossroads of Life and Careeralong with the clothing.  

#SupportMeans having the support of friends and family to take a leap of faith in a job change!
— National Smart & Sexy© Day participant

Ladies of Valor Empowerment (L.O.V.E.) – North Miami, FL

Contributed by Alourdes Pierre, L.O.V.E. Executive Director

The 2018 Women's History Month celebration was a quite a moving event for more than 100 members of the community who came out to support and celebrate with Ladies of Valor Empowerment (L.O.V.E.) as they saluted prominent local businesswomen in an annual program entitled "Women Lead with L.O.V.E. – Smart & Sexy© Day" All the action happened again this year at the City of North Miami Public Library. In keeping with its mission to inspire women and girls of all ages to achieve personal and professional success, the North Miami-based nonprofit presented its 2018 Woman Pioneer Award to Enette N. Henderson, State Farm Agent and Financial Services Specialist, and L.O.V.E. Board Member. This career-focused day of enrichment and empowerment also featured well-known community figures sharing stories of how they achieved success, faced challenges, and overcame obstacles as women leaders: including Evrose Philias-Noel, MSN/MPH, Certified Registered Nurse Anesthetist-University of Miami, and Haitian American Humanitarian; Diana Gonzalez-Whyte, County Court Judge the 11th Judicial Circuit for Miami-Dade County; and Michelle Garcia, ED. Dean, Dean of Academic Affairs, Johnson & Wales University, North Miami campus. 

"L.O.V.E.'s annual Women's History Month event allows us to shine a light of awareness to the important work of our dedicated members and the lasting impact they have on the lives of thousands of people in our community," said Alourdes Pierre, Founder and CEO of L.O.V.E. "It is our hope and desire that everyone left this celebration with greater confidence and readiness to start a new chapter in their professional lives." Participants received complimentary gifts from Smart & Sexy©. "We focus on helping women feel good about who they are, because feeling good is looking good," Pierre continued. "Such an event surely helps us to instill in the L.O.V.E. ladies the knowledge and confidence to achieve self-sufficiency through employment." 

#Supportmeans Ladies of Valor Empowerment, number one organization situated in one Of the largest Haitian American community who developing high risk teenage girls to become women leaders for tomorrow with donation of new beautiful bras, interview clothing and summer jobs for the YOVES and employment readiness for the LOVE ladies.
— National Smart & Sexy© Day participant

MadeIt! Foundation – Baltimore, MD

Contributed by Lisa Wingfield, MadeIt! Foundation Executive Director

Madeit! Foundation hosted their first Smart & Sexy© day on March 10, 2018. This event provided great information on issues which affect women daily. The day included women's empowerment sessions in networking, activities, seminars, and great conversation. We had several sessions that focused on health, civil rights, wellness, beauty, and careers. MadeIt! Foundation had great, local guest speakers such as Rebecca Schaffner LGPC, and Roche with Roshe Cosmetics, Keith Merkey MCCR, Chere Goode and our Keynote Dr. Roz of TV One.

Madeit! Foundation was able to serve and help twenty-two (22) women in Baltimore from varying backgrounds and ages. Our National Smart & Sexy Day was a successful event because of all the hard work of our Staff, Board, Alliance of Career Development Nonprofits, and Smart & Sexy© Lingerie brand. 

#SupportMeans success and achievement to reach empowerment.
— National Smart & Sexy© Day participant

Suited for Success – Oklahoma City, OK

Contributed by Susan Walton, Suited for Success Executive Director

Suited For Success celebrated Smart & Sexy© Day, March 20that our referral partner, OSU-OKC Project Reach and Project Reach for Work, from 9:00 am to 2:30 pm. The event was attended by 35 students/future clients, 4 instructors, volunteers, and amazing speakers. Smart & Sexy© Day is one of our most anticipated days of the year!

We held four principal sessions: (1) “Self Image,” with speaker Rita Maxwell, Executive Director, Wholistic Life Systems; (2) “Clothing Workshop” presented by Charlet Sauls and Maha Moorad, Personal Shoppers to Oklahoma City’s elite; (3) Keynote speaker Bansari Mehta, Medical Practice Administrator, spoke about the challenges she faced coming to America as a young single woman; (4) “Workforce Workshop” was presented by Rachel Rudisill, Director of Marketing, Express Employment Professionals; and the Smart & Sexy Bra-Fitting was lead by Susan Walton.

Attendees enjoyed the swag bags and prizes, but the beautiful Smart & Sexy bras were the best gift of all.  I would like to thank the Alliance of Career Development Nonprofits (ACDN) and Smart & Sexy© Lingerie for making this day possible. 

#SupportMeans encouragement; backbone; unconditional love; encouraging others to succeed; family; networking; always willing to help.
— National Smart & Sexy© Day participants

Tailored for Success – Malden, MA

Contributed by Elizabeth Hart, Tailored for Success Executive Director

Tailored for Success held its annual Smart, Tailored & Ready! /  Smart & Sexy© Day on March 27, 2018. There were 20 participants in attendance and they were treated to a light breakfast, lunch and goodie bags. The topics covered in this empowering workshop were: “Interview with Confidence,” where participants were given information on the various stages of the interview process; “Social Media & the Job Search,” to encourage those who were not incorporating social media in their job search to do so and how to develop a social media strategy and lastly, the participants were given information on the Massachusetts Pay Equity Law that will go into effect on July 1, 2018 and given information on how to negotiate for the best salary under the new law. 

#SupportMeans a “crutch” meaning that women have to support each other (e.g. give them a crutch to lean on).
— National Smart & Sexy© Day participant

Transforming Lives & Restoring Hope – Roanoke Rapids, NC

Contributed by Stephanie Credle, Transforming Lives & Restoring Hope Executive Director

Transforming Lives & Restoring Hope, Inc. was one of eleven ACDN agencies to host Smart & Sexy© Day 2018.  Our event was designed to empower women in the Roanoke Valley Area. The event was held on March 17, 2018 and was a day-long event.  The venue was the 2ndFloor of the Renaissance Spa, a full-service spa that is adjacent to Lily’s Boutique.  This year’s event included the following themes:

1.     The Importance of Having a Vision

2.     Insights from a Human Resource Manager (Resumes, Interview Techniques & More)

3.     A Professional Image on a Budget (Lessons from a Thrifting Socialite)

4.     How to Get Unstuck (Moving Forward)

Over 20 women attended the event. State and local officials lent their support.  The Mayor of Roanoke Rapids issued a Proclamation, proclaiming March 17th and Smart & Sexy© Day. 

#SupportMeans not just the foundation; yet I see or view it as my pillars between the levels keeping me up.
— National Smart & Sexy© Day participant

WHW – Irvine, CA

Contributed by Ileana Leos, WHW – Program Executive Assistant

WHW recently celebrated Women’s History Month by hosting Smart & Sophisticated/Smart & Sexy© Day, a full day of employment readiness training, professional styling and individual support for 26 job seekers in transition. The morning was kicked off with breakfast and an impactful and inspirational presentation on Personal Branding. With the assistance of volunteers from Women’s Inclusion Network (WIN) of PepsiCo, each job seeker was provided with professional clothing, accessories and foundation garments provided by Smart & Sexy© Lingerie. After a delicious lunch, job seekers participated in Interview Training and learned how to answer some of the tough interview questions. Everyone agreed that it was the perfect way to celebrate the month! One job seeker wrote, “Thank you for helping to empower us as women and for giving us valuable tools to launch us forward on our new positive path of life, success and happiness. WHW provides an amazing wealth of knowledge, support and strength!” 

#SupportMeans uplifting others no matter what. Being that person who encourages others to succeed & gives them the tools to do it!
— National Smart & Sexy© Day participant

Smart & Sexy Day 2018

Ariela Balk, CEO & Founder, Smart & Sexy

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Guest Blogger

Ariela Balk, CEO and Founder, Smart & Sexy 

Support means so many things to me. As a company, we make beautiful bras that support women and help them achieve their idealized physical shape. As a woman, one of my most rewarding responsibilities is supporting other women as they grow their careers and businesses, both financially and through mentoring. Helping shape the future, with more successful women, and women owned businesses is one of the most fulfilling ways to spend my time.

We take pride in supporting women all year round, but in March we get special the opportunity to witness our direct impact first hand. March 13th is officially Smart & Sexy Day and every March (Women’s Month), we team up with The Alliance of Career Development Nonprofits to host Smart & Sexy Day events in cities throughout the country. Smart & Sexy Day Events help give women the tools they need to enter, or re-enter, the work force. There’s more to being successful then just building an impressive resume, it’s about building confidence. Bras aren’t going to change the world, but the confident women who wear them will. Smart & Sexy Day events will inspire women - boosting their self-confidence so that they feel assured, confident, and most of all, employable.

Women who attend Smart & Sexy Day at a participating ACDN location will receive Smart & Sexy foundation garments from Smart & Sexy as well as job seeking skills training from leading local industry professionals and dedicated volunteers. Attendees will also be taught how to shop and build a professional wardrobe on a budget. This year’s events will be taking place at the following locations:

  • Desert Best Friend’s Closet (Palm Desert, CA) – March 9
  • Madelt Foundation (Baltimore, MD) – March 10
  • Bottomless Closet (New York, NY) - March 13
  • Ladies of Valor Empowerment (Miami, FL) - March 17
  • Transforming Lives & Restoring Hope, Inc. (Roanoke Rapids, NC) – March 17
  • Suited for Success (Oklahoma City, OK) - March 20
  • Jackets for Jobs, Inc. (Detroit, MI) – March 21
  • Junior League of Elizabeth Plainfield Career Closet (Cranford, NJ) – March 20
  • WHW (Santa Ana, CA) – March 23
  • Shining Success (Claremont, NH) – March 24
  • Career Wardrobe (Philadelphia, PA) - March 26
  • Tailored for Success (Malden, MA) – March 27

As Smart & Sexy day Marches on, we ask that you take the time to help empower women around you, starting with yourself.

CEO & Founder of Smart & Sexy

Ariela

What does support mean to you? Tell us in the comments below!

2017 ACDN National Smart & Sexy Day Highlights

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During Women’s History Month, twelve ACDN member nonprofits hosted National Smart & Sexy Day events for over 400 women and helped prepare them for employment. Learn more about 2017 ACDN National Smart & Sexy Day. We invited our hosts to share a short summary and highlights of their celebrations.

Bloom formerly Image for Success - San Rafael, CA

Contributed by Sherene Chen, Bloom Executive Director

Bloom’s 2017 Smart & Sexy Day was a success with 15 eager participants who had a wonderful experience. We started the day off by viewing the inspirational video by Smart & Sexy CEO, Ariela Balk, and proceeded into our bra-fittings session. All of the women were delighted to have a proper fitting done as well as receive a beautiful new bra. We were fortunate to have Carrie Veurink, ACDN Managing Partner, join us. 

Bloom hosted two wonderful speakers, Lisa Safran of Improv Consultants and Jenny Bailey of Your Vivid Style. Lisa gave an interactive and exciting improve style workshop on interview skills. Lisa also shared with the attendees her story of when she was a client of Bloom and what it means to be able to give back today. Lisa was inspiring for the women as she explained how she went from needing the clothing and assistance from Bloom to running her own successful business today. Jenny Bailey helped with wardrobe styling and interview appropriate clothing. She was able to answer many important questions the audience had about preparing their clothing and appearance for interviews. Sara Ladd of The Beauty Counter followed up Jenny’s presentation with a brief demonstration on work appropriate makeup. 

The women broke for lunch between the speakers and were able to get to know one another, shop in Bloom’s boutique and share stories with staff. It was a fun group of participants who were eager to excel in their pursuits to find meaningful employment. Lisa Safra of Improv Consultants had provided a gift certificate for her executive coaching services and we had a fun drawing for the gift. The day ended with a brief survey. One of the participants was so moved by Lisa’s story she showed me that her goal on the survey was to be as successful as Lisa Safran. It was overall a meaningful experience for all participants.

Bottomless Closet - New York, NY

Contributed by Gineyda Diaz, Bottomless Closet Operations Director and ACDN Board Member

Bottomless Closet is proud to have hosted our sixth Annual Smart & Sexy Day on March 23, 2017. Thanks to the generous donation of space from our partners at Wells Fargo, we were able to host 100 clients this year! This is the second year that Wells Fargo donated their event space for Smart & Sexy Day and once again, their staff, led by Kia Manlove and Carla Davis, were on hand to present “The Business of Etiquette”. This entertaining yet informative workshop walked clients through interview and on the-job tips. Anisha Mukherjee from Dress for the Day presented a workshop on how to dress for interviews on a budget. In addition, Roberta Dougherty, a longtime volunteer and Smart & Sexy Day regular, presented her “Strictly Business or Business Casual” workshop, guiding clients on the real definition of ‘business casual’. 

Since the Smart & Sexy headquarters are in New York, Bottomless Closet has the pleasure of sharing the day’s events with Smart & Sexy staff. Brady Halbert and others Smart & Sexy staff were on hand to help with the bra fittings. Brady and team also helped us choose our 2017 #SupportMeans contest winner, Norma, who wrote, “Support to me is when I am experiencing tough times, I look for people or company who [are] willing to listen to me and give me support [like] Bottomless Closet and Henry Street Settlement.” Henry Street Settlement is one of 125 referral organizations that refer clients to Bottomless Closet.

Thank you, as always, to the Alliance of Career Development Nonprofits and Smart & Sexy for their generous grant. This grant ensures that so many women across the country receive the adequate support they need to enter the workforce.

Career Wardrobe (Philadelphia, PA)

Contributed by Caitlin Garozzo, Career Wardrobe Program Director

Career Wardrobe hosted Smart & Sexy Day on March 27, 2017 for 17 eager and excited women. Our event included a presentation by Karima Renee, the Philly Bra Lady, who shared with our attendees her own story of coming to realize the importance of a great fitting bra. Karima explained the different types of bras available and when (and for whom!) these bras are appropriate. The Philly Bra Lady then served as our expert bra fitter and provided each attendee with one on one attention and a whole lot of love. You could overhear “WOW!” and “I look amazing!” coming from the fitting rooms but my all-time favorite quote of the day was from one of our bustier attendees. Upon seeing herself in her true size bra, she shouted “Oh sweetness! Where did they go?! I can wear my cute shirt without scaring the children!” The power of a great bra is undeniable.  

After lunch, Career Wardrobe welcomed John Wind and Robbin Cook of John Wind Maximal Art. This dynamic duo have been in business together since the 80s and have created custom and costume jewelry featured on high fashion run ways, in magazine spreads such as Vogue and Vanity Fair, as well as a series of accessories deemed one of Oprah’s Favorite Things. John and Robbin shared how to accessorize your work outfits with simple and easy to find pieces and gifted all of our participants with earrings and bracelets.  

Smart & Sexy Day was another wild success and Career Wardrobe is so grateful to ACDN and Smart & Sexy for the opportunity to host this great event!

Desert Best Friend’s Closet – Palm Desert, CA

Contributed by Connie Golds, DBFC Executive Director and ACDN Board Vice President 

Desert Best Friend’s Closet (DBFC) hosted it’s third Smart & Sexy Day on Friday, March 24, 2017. Women from six different agencies were invited to attend: ABC Recovery Center, Riverside County Department of Probation, California Department of Rehabilitation, College of the Desert’s Veteran Center and The Center for LGBTQ.

Dr. Darlene Ponder founder of Kingdom Generation International, which has the goal to change the world, socially, economically and spiritually, was our kickoff speaker. Debra Tryon, a financial advisor at Morgan Stanley, encouraged the women to stay on the path they develop together, to create the life they want for themselves and their family. Next Katherine Melbourne founder of the Summit School of Protocol, taught the proper way to make an introduction, emphasizing business introductions. Matthew Campos of Desert Best Friend’s Closet focused on developing a successful job search strategy and what one would look like.

Over a third of the woman admitted that they had never been fitted for a bra before. They LOVED the way the bras fit and looked. Comments included that they “look expensive,” “sexy,” and felt “comfortable” were common.

Jackets for Jobs, Inc. – Detroit, MI

Contributed by Alison Vaughn, Founder/Executive Director

Jackets for Jobs Smart & Sexy day was action-packed and filled of laughter and love. 25 women entered a room full pink and white decor with Smart & Sexy lingerie featured throughout the room. Jackets for Jobs staff of 7 people, six women and one male greeted the ladies with pastries and juice and opened the program with an ice-breaker game.

Fox2 News covered our story. I did two radio interviews 105.9FM and 910AM promoting Smart & Sexy Day. We hosted several wonderful speakers; Terri King, make-up artist spoke about the 5 minute face, Sharon Seaward spoke about A clean closet= A clean Life, Jennine Spencer, owner of Elegant Images beauty Salon talked about hair care and Alison Vaughn, founder of Jackets for Jobs spoke about goal setting from her book, Ms. Goal Digger, Success is Sexy!

Lunch was provided by Paneras Bakery and everyone received a free bra and gift bag. Everyone walked away feeling empowered and more self-confident. The icing on the cake was a proclamation from Mayor Mike Duggan, proclaiming March 15, 2017 Smart & Sexy Day in Detroit, MI.

Career Closet (JLEP) – Cranford, NJ

Contributed by Valerie Camera, Career Closet Co-Chair

On March 22, 2017, the Junior League of Elizabeth Plainfield’s Career Closet and the Alliance of Career Development Nonprofits (ACDN) hosted a celebratory event from 8:30 am to 2:00 pm at the Jumble Store located at 110 Walnut Avenue in Cranford honoring Women’s History Month. Career Closet volunteers assisted twenty-two women from nPower, Easterseals and the Urban League of Union County with selecting business attire. They also received a professional bra fitting and new Smart & Sexy bra, and training on building a resume, interviewing skills and building a professional wardrobe on a budget by Heidi Martindill and Nydia Diefenbach. Over lunch they heard from a panel of professional women (Panelists: Vanessa Parisi, Kalshelia Lloyd, Kristen Barletta and Valerie Camara and Moderator: Heidi Martindill) as they discussed their careers and provided the audience with helpful tips for navigating their career paths. The ladies also received a new tote, scarf and necklace along with the clothing. The event was made possible by a grant from ACDN and Smart & Sexy and volunteers from the Junior League of Elizabeth Plainfield. The Junior League of Elizabeth Plainfield also received a resolution from the New Jersey State Senator Kean, Assemblyman Bramnickand Assemblywoman Munoz for the 21st District of New Jersey proclaiming March 22, 2017 Women’s Empowerment Day. The resolution also recognized the great work the Junior League has done serving the community, as well as acknowledging the fifteen years that Career Closet has been serving low income women in the community with free career dressing services.

Ladies of Valor Empowerment (L.O.V.E.) – North Miami, FL

Contributed by Alourdes Pierre, LOVE Executive Director

The Ladies of Valor Empowerment was a huge success:  There was a guest panel of 3 women trailblazers, Dr. Malou C, Harrison, President Miami Dade College, North Campus; Attorney Patricia S. Joseph from PSJ Law Group, First Lady, City of North Miami; Former Director Miami Dade Corrections Department, Marydell Guevarra, First Hispanic Female Director of a Major Public Safety in Miami Dade County. There 45 attendees to include 45 women and teenage girls the YOVES. In attendance also was the Dr. Joseph Smith, Mayor of the City of North Miami, Miami-Dade County Commissioner, Jean Monestime.

“Thank you for brining Smart & Sexy Day to the community. For women by women, today is a new day in my life, a day of hope, encouragement and support, I am blessed.”

Suited for Success – Oklahoma City, OK

Contributed by Susan Walton, Suited for Success Executive Director

March 23rd was Smart & Sexy Day in Oklahoma City.  As part of the celebration, Suited for Success provided a day of workforce training, professional image classes and individual support for women with the goal of enabling them to take action, secure employment and enhance the quality of their lives. The event’s keynote speaker was Joleen Chaney from NewsChannel Four. Our training modules included: Do’s and Don’ts of Interviewing, Positive Body Language Tips for Personal and Professional Success, and Building a Wardrobe on a Budget.  The highlight of the day for the participants was receiving their beautiful Smart & Sexy bra.  We are grateful to ACDN and Smart & Sexy for allowing us the opportunity to participate in our fifth annual Smart & Sexy Day. It’s one of the best days of the year.

Tailored for Success – Malden, MA

Contributed by Elizabeth Hart, Tailored for Success Executive Director

The 2nd Annual Smart, Tailored & Ready/Smart & Sexy Day was held at the Malden YMCA and attended by 25 women.  A lively discussion on the dos and don’ts of interviewing was led by a representative of People’s United Bank.  Also, as always the highest score in evaluations came from the segment on Credit from Bank of America.  The women who participated were thrilled to hear from the founder of Smart & Sexy bras through the recorded video she made.  Participants were treated to breakfast, lunch and given swag bags and Smart & Sexy Bras. 

WHW – Santa Ana, CA

WHW’s ‘Smart & Sophisticated’ program sponsored by Smart & Sexy brought together twenty women from various local nonprofit organizations that were struggling to regain their confidence and self-esteem and conjoined them with female professionals from all parts of Southern California who are part of Pepsi Co’s Women In Leadership Network to ignite an empowering, life-transforming program. Premiere Image Consultant, Lauren Solomon, kicked-off the program with an introspective and interactive workshop on how to move toward a place of self-acceptance and provided a roadmap on how to present a professional image for their future. This set the stage for the women to be matched with a Pepsi Co. executive to serve as a guide to help them pick-out suits and business attire to be interview-ready.

The Pepsi Co. volunteers served as mentors to encourage, educate and equip the women in attendance with the insight and understanding of how to make a dynamic first impression. Looking in the mirror to see an industrious, independent and innovative woman in the reflection, each client saw themselves through a completely different lens then when they first walked through WHW’s doors. The program culminated with a mock interview roundtable where the ladies in leadership from Pepsi Co. served as prospective employers and interviewed the women in a speed-dating style scenario. This provided the women with constructive feedback on how to improve their responses and overall presentation to successfully seek and secure employment. WHW is proud to say that each woman who attended left feeling smart and sophisticated and the Pepsi Co. professionals were inspired by the difference they could make for each of the ladies they worked with in just one day.

YWCA Allentown/The Perfect Fit: Smart & Sexy Day

Contributed by Sarah Barrett, YWCA Executive Director

18 women joined the YWCA Allentown’s Perfect Fit for Working Women program at Transcend Salon in Allentown to celebrate Smart & Sexy Day on May 27, 2017.

Participants were greeted by a representative from Mayor Pawlowski’s office proclaiming March 27, 2017 as Smart & Sexy Day in Allentown before attending workshops exploring networking as a critical skill for career success, and discussing how to build a fabulous professional wardrobe on a budget.

Hair and makeup were perfected by the talented staff of Transcend Salon as our participants posed for professional head shots to be used on their LinkedIn profiles and resumes!

During their keynote presentation, the Wisdom Coalition’s Nancy Werteen and Kim Howie inspired women to find and choose joy in their lives and reflected on the power of positivity and its connection to self confidence, motivation, and reclaiming control of our lives.

We wrapped up the day by publicly declaring what #SupportMeans to each of us, then writing our declarations and posting them to the wall as a visual reminder that our community of collaboration and encouragement exists to help empower us to become our best selves.

Transforming Lives and Restoring Hope – Roanoke Rapids, NC

Contributed by Stephanie Credle, TLRH Executive Director

On March 18, 2017, Transforming Lives & Restoring Hope, Inc. hosted Smart & Sexy Day 2017: Women’s Empowerment Day. 25 women attended this event. This was our second opportunity to host this event in Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina, a small town that has been significantly impacted by unemployment and poverty. Formerly a textile town, featured in the movie Norma Rae, Roanoke Rapids is challenged by the lack of industry sufficient raise the median household income. Mayor Emery G. Doughtie proclaimed March 18, 2017 as Smart & Sexy Day. Senator Smith-Ingram praised TLRH on this year’s event, stating, “congratulations to you in advancing your service to underserved women in the Roanoke Valley communities. TLRH serves as a shining example for other non-profits in promoting community building through investing in human capacity. Your calling is noble; your service is needed; your work is making a difference in the lives of so many.”

The women thoroughly enjoyed the event. One attendee remarked, I am blown away! What a “Superb” event! BRAVO!!! Words cannot express the awesome experiences I had. It was truly a phenomenal day at the Spa ... hosted by Transforming Lives & Restoring Home / Lilly’s Boutique. (exceptional program at -no- charge!) The information presented today was phenomenal... truly high quality Speakers! Special thanks to Kelly Barber, Tammy Crowley Deloatch, Joyce Strong-Hurt, Ella House, Christine Carmichael, and Sue Wage for professional music, food, gifts, spa treatments and powerful presentations all day. Today was EPIC!”

EPIC was our goal! We designed Smart & Sexy 2017 to be unique and motivational for all, especially Millennials! Joyce Strong Hurt delivered her training in a unique way, using the voice that won Amateur Night at the Apollo when she was 18 to encourage women to never give up on their dreams. Her husband, Grammy award winning producer, Norman Hurt, highlighted the current challenges to empowerment in the media to highlight the barriers women face with gender bias. Ms. Christine Carmichael conducted a powerful Etiquette workshop that so resonated with the ladies that they were sharing the principles of the handshake and power presence days after the event ended. Speaker Tammy Crowley Deloatch provided insight about her success as a women-owned business, while candidly shared her challenges. Tears flowed as she inspired women to stay the course and trust in God to guide. Dr. Stephanie Credle, founder of TLRH, asked the question, “If Your Wardrobe Could Speak, What Would It Say? Even the local newspaper reporter nodded when she asked, “Is there anything in your closet that doesn’t reflect the YOU you want to be? Ms. Ella House hit a home run with a “comfort zone breaking” presentation that challenged women to put their dreams to the test.

Finally, TLRH set the environment for the women. The Renaissance Spa was the perfect backdrop for a day of education and edification. From the Mary Kay, Satin Hands exfoliating station to the chair massages provided by Sue Wage, Renaissance Spa, Massage Therapist – women were treated to a day of resilience- building activities. The icing on the day was the bra fittings and Smart & Sexy lingerie. We laughed each time a woman underestimated their bra size! We applauded each time she walked out beaming at the difference the right bra makes! They didn’t want the day to end!

They marveled that an event of this caliber was hosted in Roanoke Rapids. And they left feeling valued – smart and sexy!