The theme of Career Wardrobe’s 2015 A Perfect Fit fashion show was transformation, how making a change in your outlook and your perspective opens you up to transforming your life. Joining us was Cathy Garrett-Davis, a former client who shared with us how coming to Career Wardrobe helped to shift her perspective and give her the courage to make positive transformation in her life.
Cathy was one of the first women to take advantage of Career Wardrobe’s program expansion by coming to the organization through our new Open Access program which allows women who are NOT part of the social welfare system to be able to participate in our programs.
Good Evening. May name is Cathy Garrett-Davis and I am here tonight, speaking to you, because Career Wardrobe helped me to see myself in a new way, to stand back up and transform my life.
For most of my life, I was just like you. I was an attorney with a successful practice, I was a mother and I lived a comfortable suburban life. I brought my gently used suits to the Career Wardrobe in hopes that I was helping a woman in a tough situation.
Then my life changed; and I became that woman who needed help. I lost my law practice, my income, and my life as I knew it. Moreover, I lost my confidence and I lost the ability to see myself in any other way than someone who had failed. Someone who had it all, and then lost it all.
Then, 3 years ago, I walked into Career Wardrobe. I had no referral, just a desire to make a change. I appreciated that their door was open to me.
What I found there has allowed me to build my confidence again and re-build my life. Ironically, I did not visit to get a suit or other work apparel, I have plenty of suits. Instead, I went for training. I attended a series of excellent workshops; I created an effective resume, developed time management strategies and worked on my public speaking to name a few. These workshops gave me relevant advice and authentic practical knowledge that I have been able to apply to building my career again. This in turn, has started building my confidence.
I have attended other workshops held by other organizations, but these were different. There was no “fluff. At Career Wardrobe, I received true feedback, using simple, doable steps presented in a supportive way that challenged, but did not intimidate me. I have been able to apply my skills in a new way, I have learned how to use my past experience to build on my future dreams. I can now see all the good from my past, instead of seeing my past with my head held down.
My story is part of me, I am using it, instead of running from it. And my story continues. Not long ago at the Work It event which provided me with networking experience, I connected with someone from the School District of Philadelphia, where I am now working. After seeing my skill set in a new way, I have also started a new business, Metro Public Adjustment.
I stand here today because Career Wardrobe empowered me to change my perspective. And that allowed me to the courage to transform my life. I can see myself moving forward and I see myself achieving my dreams. Thank you, Career Wardrobe.