by: Melaina Chromy, EMERGE Marketing Committee
We have all heard of the phrase “guilt free shopping”. This phrase is meant to convince shoppers that they are getting a great deal and that they don’t need to be concerned with how much they may spend. Imagine if retailers tried attracting customers with the phrase “empowering shopping”. There’s a business in Lakeland that is doing just that—and it’s those they impact who promote the phrase.
Created four and a half years ago in Lakeland Florida, Top Buttons Boutique combines the best of our community’s creativity and heart for service. Top Buttons is a non-profit organization that sells high end thrift clothing and accessories. This unique boutique is also a nonprofit organization that’s proceeds go to helping at risk women. Through fashion, Top Buttons hopes to empower women and give them tools necessary for success.
Top Buttons CEO, Sarah Powers, was initially inspired to open a boutique when she saw the clothing options available for her young daughters.
“As a mother of four, three of whom are girls… I was tired of the sexually explicit and inappropriate content that is often associated with the fashion and media industry…Top Buttons came about from my desire to provide an alternate fashion resource… One that considered the strengths and virtues of young women.”
Powers’ vision for Top Buttons quickly evolved to meet the needs of all women in our community. According to Powers, “Many young women do not have the same resources and opportunities as others. We can tell people what to do… But we also need to equip.”
Through the Wearing Confidence Program, Top Buttons provides professional clothing and training for at risk women. Organizations such as PACE Center for Girls, Boys and Girls Club, Echo Ministries, and Youth for Christ nominate women to enroll in the program. Each month more than 30 women are served and Top Buttons spends an average of $5,000 equipping these women with clothes and other services. The following services are provided for women enrolled in the Wearing Confidence Program:
- Personal styling services.
- At least one wardrobe makeover with up to $75 of quality proper fitting attire.
- $20 Bonus voucher to receive more clothing.
- Free makeup which has been carefully selected for their skin tone.
- Educational sessions on resume writing, budgeting/personal finance, and workplace appearance and professionalism.
There is currently a waitlist of organizations seeking to enroll in the Wearing Confidence Program. The popularity of this program serves as an example of the impact Top Buttons is making in the lives of young women throughout Central Florida.
You can be a part of Top Buttons success and impact. An easy way to support Top Buttons is to stop by and shop—Tuesday through Friday 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturdays from 9 a.m. till 5 p.m. All proceeds go right back into running the boutique and sustaining the Wearing Confidence Program. You can donate your own clothing, give online at www.topbuttons.org/donate, and even text the word “buttons” to “50155” to donate and help the boutique continue to thrive.
Check Top Buttons out at 236 N Kentucky Ave. in Lakeland to see what all the hype is about and be a part of this transformational organization.