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Turnabout + Dress for Success = Community and the Perfect Partnership 

Joy Mauro, owner of Turnabout Luxury Resale, believes the way a woman carries herself matters. She also believes that the confidence from a great interview outfit gives potential job candidates an edge. When Joy opened her first resale fashion boutique on Granville Street in Vancouver in 1978, she was likely unaware of the impact she would make on a local not-for-profit and the ripple that her creativity, generosity and passion for supporting women would have.

“I originally connected with Dress for Success Vancouver through a sales associate at our store who volunteered with the organisation. She was working on a fashion fundraising event called Impact 360 and asked me if Turnabout would be interested in dressing the models for a fashion show,” Joy explains. “I read up on Dress for Success Vancouver and immediately thought, this is a perfect collaboration. What they’re doing for people, we’re doing for clothes. We offer fresh starts, multiple lives, multiple careers, a new opportunity and a lot of care along the way.”

To initiate that event sponsorship, Dress for Success Vancouver clients were welcomed into the Turnabout Boutique on Granville Street to be styled. “It was so much fun to see them walk out of the changing room and have that one on one experience of being dressed up in a beautiful outfit. I could see how much the women enjoyed that experience and how good the clothes made them feel,” shares Joy. “As they walked the runway at the Impact fundraiser, the MC told their stories, where they came from, what they had achieved and what their dreams were. It was rewarding for the women to show off their fabulous outfits but also it made everyone who attended that event really understand the importance of Dress for Success Vancouver and want to be a part of it. It was such a win-win and we’ve been supporting the organisation ever since!”

That fashion show was the beginning of a now decade-long partnership. As Joy learned more about Dress for Success Vancouver she realised although they were focused on interview and business suiting, they received clothing donations across all styles. She suggested they divert some of their donations to consignment and start an account at her store. This arrangement allowed Dress for Success Vancouver to bring in and monetize any donations that weren’t appropriate for their dressing services. Turnabout would sell those pieces and give the consignment profit back to Dress for Success Vancouver to support their growing program and mentorship offering. 

“Sometimes Dress for Success Vancouver would get a high end designer purse donated and they’d bring it into the store. I would sell it and give 60% back. In turn, with the earnings they’d buy three or four other purses that would better serve their clients for the workplace. If I can sell a purse for $1000, that’s a $600 donation back which can go a long way,” says Joy.

In 2019 Turnabout’s partnership with Dress for Success Vancouver inspired a new store concept, the first of its kind in Canada. Turnabout Community donates all net profits to Dress for Success Vancouver. Located in East Vancouver on Fraser Street, the brands at the Community store are more accessible and more mainstream than the luxury brands Turnabout typically manages. The store accepts a wider variety of donations from both Dress for Success Vancouver and Turnabout’s client base. Items that are overstocked or aren’t the right fit for luxury Turnabout locations come to Turnabout Community to generate revenue for their not-for-profit partner. Every item received gets sorted into three piles: Luxury, Community or a Big Brother’s Donation – nothing is wasted and every piece gets a new life.

“I’m very aware that to run an organisation like Dress for Success Vancouver with all of its mentorship support, workshops and Professional Women’s Groups you need more than just clothes,” explains Joy. “Dress for Success Vancouver needs funds to operate which is why we donate all net profits from our Community location to the organisation. This money allows them to pay for staffing, overhead costs and the many other expenses a not-for-profit has. Some of our luxury clients donate their earnings on high end pieces straight onto the Dress for Success account. I don’t think people understand just how much consigning a few blouses or a designer handbag adds to the pot. There really are many ways to support beyond direct clothing donations.”

It’s evident through the growth of this collaboration that Turnabout Community and Dress for Success are values aligned, operating from a community-first approach. Donations to Dress for Success Vancouver either dress clients for interviews or provide the latest fashions to Turnabout Community members which generates revenue to support Dress for Success Vancouver clients. It’s full circle and both organisations are trailblazers. While Dress for Success Vancouver was the organisation’s first Canadian affiliate 25 years ago, Turnabout is Canada’s first luxury clothing reseller to add an entirely not-for-profit location to its business model.

“When you’re in a great outfit, you just can feel it, it’s such a lift,” smiles Joy. “When you put on a special piece of clothing or dress for an important interview you feel really good. You can say that’s materialistic, but it’s not really. Confidence can be about how you feel in what you’re wearing. Every woman deserves that feeling and the smile that goes with it.” 

Thank you Joy and Team for your fabulous support!

Visit Turnabout Community at 4180 Fraser St, Vancouver to shop in support of Dress for Success Vancouver.

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