Who We Are
It all started when...
1996, an altruistic law student received a $5,000 inheritance from her great grandfather. With a desire to honor his memory and a heart for helping others, Dress for Success® founder Nancy Lublin transformed his hard-earned money into a gift, one that would enable women who once faced personal hardships to earn their own money and build new lives.
Since then, the grassroots start-up which began with the help of three nuns from Spanish Harlem, has grown into an international not-for-profit organization promoting the economic independence of disadvantaged women worldwide. Today, under the leadership of Barbara Dell, Executive Director of Dress for Success SW Florida, the organization serves women in Lee and Collier counties, and is uniquely positioned as a regional leader in women’s employment issues.
"Our concern is not where our clients have been, but where they are going."
Who We Are
The mission of Dress for Success® is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.
Our vision is a world where women do not live in poverty; are treated with dignity and respect; and are strengthening their families and shaping their communities.
How We Help
Dress for Success provides professional clothing and counseling for each of our women. When a client secures a job interview, we provide her with one free business suit, as well as the appropriate accessories, footwear, and cosmetic/toiletry items. When she successfully lands the job, she returns to Dress for Success for up to one week’s worth of business attire.
In addition to suiting, Dress for Success SW Florida offers women a number of programs to help them find and retain employment such as our Going Places Network, Professional Women’s Group and Entrepreneurial Spirit Program. Dress for Success SW Florida serves job-ready women by referral only, in Lee and Collier counties.
The Women We Serve
- Clients are referred to Dress for Success by more than 3,000 non-profit organizations, including domestic violence agencies, homeless shelters and job-training programs
- Lived under the poverty level prior to coming to Dress for Success
- Represent all ethnicities and races
- Range in age from 18-60; the majority are ages 18-38
- Are single mothers (70%), raising, on average, 2-3 children