I've always loved new clothes. I'm not sure when that started for me but for as long as I can remember I have loved the way a new outfit made me feel. Growing up, my mom made many of my clothes until I finally hit junior sizes and could shop the rack. I can remember the anticipation of helping select the fabrics and patterns and then seeing them come together (through my mom's great labor of love) to a new outfit. Some of those outfits are still a clear visual in my mind and I can remember the pride with which I wore it. Some where along the way I thought I was too cool to wear home made clothes and gave into the lure of mass fashion retailers. I have apologized to my mom for my change of heart but I think she was grateful for the reprieve from imitating fashions from the JCPenny catalog.
Today I had the opportunity to see what a new outfit could do for someone else. I have been acquainted with a home show clothing line called Carol Anderson by Invitation (CAbi) for about 3 years. I was hooked right away with the quality and attention to detail of the clothing line and the personal shopping experience the shows provided. Today because of the vision and hard work of a couple of local CAbi consultants, over 400 women in our community were treated to a shopping extravaganza organized specifically for those women who were affected by the floods this past June. It was my pleasure to assist women who may have lost everything to "shop" new clothes (with tags!) to put together an outfit or start to build back their wardrobe. All at no charge...free. In many cases the impact was obvious-- a smile, a tear, a second glance in the mirror, walking away a bit taller than when they came in.
For this day, the new outfit was theirs and the thrill was still mine.