Like many of our volunteers, Marysol came to Dress for Success Vancouver with a passion for helping women through style and a desire to give back. Marysol was able to do this with Dress for Success Vancouver, but instead of just giving back she was inspired by the women she worked with. Recently, Marysol found herself in an employment transition and used Dress for Success Vancouver’s Career Center to help define her own career path. As a volunteer and as a client Marysol is grateful for the ways that Dress for Success Vancouver has enriched her life. Here is her story:
I was born in Sweden and Chile, but never lived in one place for long since I was constantly travelling the globe. My father’s career took him and my family from Europe, to South America, Asia, and North America. The international upbringing cultivated an appreciation for the aesthetics in my surroundings, especially in fashion.
Fast-forward years later, and I have worked in fashion design and marketing both in Europe and North America, and in the costume design world of film. There was always one question at the back of my mind that wouldn’t go away: how can I use fashion in a way that will inspire an individual who is going through a difficult or important time in their life, and that by using my knowledge in style, I can be part of their personal journey? Somehow, growing up in culturally different environments, it felt natural to connect with people from all walks of life.
I first heard about Dress for Success Vancouver while working in film costumes, from a co-worker. That same day, I signed up for a volunteer orientation. During my orientation I felt like I was going to be a hero — like I was the strong woman who was going to be helping other ‘weaker’ women. But, I was so wrong! The ladies I have styled have been individuals just like me, living through highly relatable experiences.
Clients demonstrate dignity, strength, and humour despite their circumstances — I always see an aspect of myself in every one of them. I have never seen a single ‘weak’ woman walking through the doors of Dress for Success Vancouver. Strong and smart women have goals and act on them to take advantage of the opportunities that Dress for Success Vancouver offers.
Recently, I found myself going through a period of unemployment due to the unstable nature of the film industry, and with some free time on my hands, I experienced Dress for Success Vancouver as a client. I have taken advantage of their free career services and professional development workshops. The quality of events and speakers as well as the networking opportunity available at these workshops is fantastic.
As a stylist, and now as client, I have seen how Dress for Success Vancouver promotes an environment of empowerment and encourages an inclusive community among women: it’s like a united family. It’s not just about the task of dressing women, but it’s about relationship as well!