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Group helps disadvantaged women dress for success

HN Dress for Success

Dylan Scott

Paige Candee, founder of the Southern Nevada affiliate of Dress for Success, sorts through some of the group’s recent donations on Friday, March 4, 2011, at its warehouse on Desert Inn Road.

Dress for Success

Shoes, purses and jewelry are among the accessories pictured here on Friday, March 3, 2011, at Dress for Success's warehouse on Desert Inn Road. The organization's Southern Nevada affiliate opened in December. Launch slideshow »

Map of Dress for Success

Dress for Success

3400 W. Desert Inn Road, Suite 25, Las Vegas area (unincorp. Clark County), NV

Paige Candee works in public relations, so she knows appearance can be everything. That made Dress for Success, the international organization that provides professional attire for disadvantaged women, a natural fit.

Candee founded the Southern Nevada affiliate at the end of last year, and the group took its first clients in December.

Donations are now being accepted at a warehouse on Desert Inn Road, and Candee plans to open a permanent office and boutique at the same location soon.

The program is simple, Candee said: the group will coordinate with other area nonprofits, which refer their clients to Dress for Success once they have a job interview scheduled. Almost all women served will be homeless, abused or unemployed, Candee said.

Clients meet with volunteer image consultants, who offer suggestions on business outfits, as well as giving more practical advice on interview techniques or even conducting a mock interview.

“It’s a huge advantage to be able to go in to an interview prepared and feel confident in what you’re wearing and in yourself,” Candee said.

Once employed, patrons will be invited to return and pick out more clothes if there is a need. The idea is for clients to leave with a week’s worth of clothes, so they can save their first paychecks on food and other necessities, Candee said.

Dress for Success was established in 1996 and has more than 100 affiliates around the world, the organization’s website says. But until last year, there wasn’t an affiliate in Las Vegas.

Candee, 32, who moved to the valley 10 years ago and works at the Purdue-Marion public relations firm, said she had heard about the program and wanted to get involved. When she visited Dress for Success’s website, she found the group was looking for someone to open a Las Vegas center and she eagerly applied.

Now, she’s asking for volunteers who can man the office, take donations on Thursdays and Saturdays and serve as image consultants for the organization’s clients. Potential volunteers should visit the affiliate’s website to find out how they can help.

Those interested can also drop off donations — women’s suits, pants or shirts and accessories clean and on a hanger — at the warehouse, 3400 Desert Inn, Suite 29. Staff will be there from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Thursday and 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.

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