Silvia is one of Dress for Success Vancouver’s ten client ambassadors that will be walking the runway on May 9th at IMPACT 360 | Flourish. Her story of finding community, connection and confidence, is an inspiring example of what Dress for Success strives to accomplish with all the women that come through our doors. Silvia is now flourishing in her work and her life and she is now committed to empowering other women to achieve their goals. This is her story:
I was born in Brazil, in a big city called Sao Paulo, I have always dreamed of living in a place where I could be part of a safe and collaborative community. For me, that was Vancouver.
I moved to Vancouver with my husband in 2011 and that was when I got to know the amazing organization that is Dress for Success Vancouver. It was the first time I heard about a non-profit organization that provides dressing services, career services, and support to women to succeed in their professional and personal life. That amazed me and inspired me.
The Dress for Success mission resonates a lot with me. I think one has to feel good about themselves and confident to make an impact and to collaborate. So, I decided to go to the Dress for Success Vancouver office seeking their support to start my new life in the country. I became a client in my first year in Canada, went for dressing services and got my first job in my field in my first 2 months in Canada.
More than the attire, Dress for Success brought me joy, enhanced self-esteem, and a confidence boost. For me, Dress for Success Vancouver was one of the most amazing things that happened in my new life in Canada. They made me feel very welcomed in my new home country.
Inspired by my experience as a Dress for Success Vancouver client, in 2015, I decided to start a suit drive campaign in both my husband’s workplace and mine. It was a way to reconnect with Dress for Success Vancouver again and at the same time, give back to the community and in my tiny little way to strive to make a contribution. The campaign became a success and every year we get more and more donations.
In the beginning of 2017 I started to feel I needed some inspiration and encouragement to continue advancing in my professional career. I felt I had reached a ceiling and was looking for something more but couldn’t find it by myself.
Inspiration and a confidence boost came to me after reconnecting with Dress for Success Vancouver early last year and being invited to be part of the Impact 360 event. That was a turning point for me. It revamped my confidence and I felt I could again take on the world. Once again, Dress for Success Vancouver inspired me and empowered me with encouragement to move forward. The Impact 360 event last year allowed me to make new connections and enabled me to move forward.
Today, I am a Dress for Success Vancouver client ambassador, and a proud member of the Professional Women’s Group (PWG) program. I don’t feel there’s a ceiling anymore in my career and exciting things are happening once again.
Dress for Success Vancouver gives women much more than professional attire – it connects us to our community, and it makes a positive impact on all their clients and PWG members – we feel heard, empowered and with enhanced self-esteem. I am and will always be grateful and proud to be part of the Dress for Success Vancouver community.
Photo: Broda Photography