As I walked by a kids’ clothing boutique, I declared, “I wish I could wear that!” Out loud. To no one. Kids’ clothes are so dang cute these days. While women’s clothing trends are still trying to get me into utilitarian chic, girls’ outfits are creative and loud and fun. As a 1980s kid, I really shouldn’t complain. Leggings and comb headbands were my jam, after all. Thank goodness I didn’t come of age in the 1800s, when little girls were made to wear several undershirts, floor-length gowns, stiff petticoats and ankle-length pantaloons, even under their dresses!
WOMEN IN NUMBERS: 10,000
It’s a long-held belief that the clothes make the woman. And if you’re a teenage girl, that axiom rings even more true. Many teen girls face nearly unattainable social standards when it comes to fashion, pressures that can quickly degrade their self-esteem and confidence. But one generous nonprofit is changing the game, promoting positive body image and empowering young women in a unique and glamorous way. An organization that gifts brand-new designer dresses to girls who may not be able to afford them for school dances and special occasions, Believe in Yourself is committed to donating 10,000 dresses to underprivileged teen girls by the end of 2017. With the belief that every young woman should feel confident, regardless of her physical appearance or financial circumstances, Believe in Yourself is reversing some of the negative messages girls are bombarded with into positivity and encouragement.
WOMAN TO WATCH: Sharon Blumberg, Founder of Chooze
Of course, when it comes to dressing kids, they often have their own ideas of what’s cool. One attentive Dallas, Texas, mom was so inspired by her daughter’s desire to express herself through unique wardrobe choices that she turned the idea into a fun and funky kids’ apparel and footwear business. Sharon Blumberg is the founder of Chooze, which aims to provide kids with clothing that boosts their creativity and confidence so they can feel empowered to accomplish anything their little hearts desire.
Sharon herself is nothing if not creative, and has long loved designing for kids, even starting her career as a children’s-room muralist. So, it’s no wonder she was able to instill a wonderful sense of self-expression in her three children. In fact, from the time she could walk, Sharon’s daughter would confidently sport two different shoes and happily go about her day without fear of judgment from others. Talk about a role model! It made Sharon realize the freedom to express ourselves is key to unleashing our potential. So, with her daughter’s fondness for individuality and this thought in mind, Sharon launched Chooze in 2011 with a collection of mismatched shoes, later adding cool apparel, hats and bags for kids to her offerings.
Inspired by her daughter’s initial fashion choice, some shoes available from Chooze are similar to one another but with slight variances. For instance, the right shoe might have rainbow hearts while the left has smaller hearts with other rainbow-colored shapes. This super-cute and imaginative approach to dressing extends to Chooze’s clothing too. It’s truly a brilliant way to let your child be herself, all for an affordable price.
In addition to creating cute, mismatched pieces for kids, Sharon, a big-hearted lady, wanted to help others as her business grew. So, she started Chooze Your Cause, through which the company donates a percentage of its profits from each purchase to one of five kid-focused causes.
Thanks, Sharon, for giving kids a fantastic way to express themselves while also working to make the world a better—and more colorful—place!
QUITE THE QUOTE
Let’s wrap up today’s On The Dot with a quote from the one and only Albert Einstein:
“Creativity is intelligence having fun.”
This is Melinda Garvey signing off until next time. Remember, ladies, empowered women empower other women. Share On the Dot so more women can have a voice. Thanks for getting ready with us.