Last night, I had the privilege of attending “A Conversation with Elaine Turner” hosted by the lovely organization Women of Wardrobe at Elaine’s store in Rice Village. While at the event, Elaine introduced her new series, which can be viewed on You Tube. I have enjoyed meeting and interacting with many designers over the past few years, and my brief moments spent with Elaine were such a treat.
While I absolutely loved meeting with her kind staff and perusing through the countless wrap bracelets, booties, and of course, the new clothing line, my favorite moment of the evening was hearing from the designer herself in a special Q&A session following the viewing of Elaine’s Big Life. Be sure and check it out! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCqhf0KwpHfwvQ7UR1pdTzOQ
While at first attendees were hesitant to ask the successful young designer any questions, as soon as she answered her first question, the crowd wanted more. Why? Elaine is a firecracker who does not take herself too seriously and is dedicated to focusing on the consumers who adore her work rather than conform to the masses.
As a young woman in the business world, I had to ask her what the biggest challenge was over the past fifteen years, particularly in an overly saturated market. Elaine shared with her fashion fans the challenges of developing a strong support system and team in addition to staying true to her brand. She was incredibly open about the strength and humility it took to stick to her roots. It could have been easy to do whatever it took to storm the mass shopping mall scene. Elaine ultimately avoided these temptations in order to fulfil her original vision, which was not to make products that people had to have “just because” but instead because they made women feel good about themselves.
When I first received the invitation to this event, the last thing I expected to do upon my arrival was self-reflect, but that is exactly what her insight made me do. Both women and men alike constantly face the temptation of conforming to the norms and ideas perpetuated by society as opposed to staying true to one’s brand. This is a challenge I face on a daily basis, and I was delighted to hear about some of the challenges and words of wisdom from someone who has risen above it all and succeeded.
Elaine also emphasized the need to give back to the community and encouraged her consumers to contact her team regarding potential opportunities to host events at her stores in support of important causes in the community. That night, Elaine was giving a percentage of her proceeds back to Women of Wardrobe, and many friends and colleagues have asked me about this great group of people.
The volunteers of Women of Wardrobe work tirelessly to raise funds for Dress for Success Houston, a non-profit organization dedicated to empowering women to succeed in making a life for themselves. Many people know Dress for Success as being the charity that provides women with suits. Dress for Success goes far beyond that. Women who are referred to Dress for Success have the opportunity to receive interview coaching, job search counselling, along with countless other opportunities. Looking and feeling about yourself can truly change everything, and Dress for Success takes this concept to the next level by coaching women both on the inside and out. If you are interested in learning more about Women of Wardrobe and Dress for Success Houston, please click on the links below or send me a message. I would be happy to connect you with additional information.