...about women's foundations. It's a delicate topic, no doubt, but it's worth mentioning the unmentionables. I took another client today to be fitted at Nordstrom. Never underestimate the power of a well-made, perfectly fitted bra. It can make a five dollar tee shirt look like fifty, and a middle-aged bosom look twenty. Yes, the proper foundations can be that life changing. It's no surprise that every client I have taken to be fitted didn't know their actual size and had never spent more than fifteen dollars on a bra. I know this because I was one of those novices. I am here to testify that once you've had French you don't ever go back. Victoria who?
These sweet yellow kicks are the pride and joy of my shoe rack. Lacking in any real necessity, aside from garnering attention, they are the crème de la crème of dressing to one’s personality. It’s a little thing, a boost, a spring in the step. Every woman in the Western world has at least one pair of shoes like that.
Except they don’t.
When I met with my client Shaun, she was a young widow raising two small children with autism. Her five year old son was still not verbal or toilet trained and her vivacious three year old daughter was a comfortable rock star in the bedroom she shared with her mama, but a nervous wreck stepping outside the front door. When I asked her what we could help with, she told me about her one pair of tennis shoes. The sole had come off so she went to Wal-Mart. She found a pair and looked at the $14.99 price tag. Should she choose shoes or dinner? She put the shoes back, and went home and super glued the sole back on.
Out of the Gray was able to provide her with some new tennis shoes AND a sweet pair of Liz Claiborne sandals to go with some sundresses. That afternoon, I pulled out of the driveway teary eyed. Making ends meet in a modern world can be tough, but I’ve never had to choose between a single pair of shoes and feeding my kids. It is that realization that continues to make it an honor and priority to help. So tonight I’ll hug my babies, enjoy my food, blow a little kiss to my rocking kicks and be thankful for the big things that make the little things possible.
A wise woman once said "The best blush to use is laughter: It puts roses in your cheeks and in your soul."
I am not a make-over artist. Nor am I a fashionista. But I am a woman with a good eye, and in possession of talents which lead to confidently styled women. Out of the Gray was not founded in order to create flawless appearances. We are a group of women who understand, through observation and personal experiences, the black hole that a sense of powerlessness can create. Lord willing, most of us will never know what it is like to helplessly watch a loved one deteriorate. Under these circumstances, the blush of laughter can feel like a far off fairy tale. We are about meeting women right where they are, in their own space, and helping them to claim what they forgot they own: that rosy glow of a fine work of art.
So here's the plan: we will accept nominations for women in Western Washington who need some clothes, nice clothes. Cute clothes. Women who need some time. I will do a little paperwork, and I will hand pick outfits from a collection of new and gently used clothing based on each particular need, taste, and shape. Each woman will also receive a selection of donated personal care items. We'll have fundraisers and those of you who can, will make financial donations and if you have other talents or donations to offer, please see our contact page.
Each of these acts, these gestures, is a small thing. Except they are not. The seeds of kindness, falling on fertile ground, grow into strong, healthy plants which go on to bear fruit in perpetuity. After all, healthy women are helpful women; their successes, their strengths, grow exponentially as conveyed through their offspring and contributions to their communities.