Uncommon Threads for Success
For over 20 years, Susan Kanoff, served as the North Andover Housing Authority's Family Self Sufficiency (FSS) Coordinator, helping many families to move out of poverty and make positive life changes. Through this work she saw an unmet need in the women she worked with and decided that it was time to make a change in her own life, creating an innovative program to help women boost self-esteem through clothes and style. This change led to the creation of an "empowerment boutique" called Uncommon Threads (http://www.uncommonthreads.org/), a nonprofit located in Lawrence, MA that provides low-income women, including domestic violence survivors, disabled women, female veterans and women in recovery, with clothing and styling services designed to boost their self-esteem.
"Clothes are a powerful tool to build self-esteem and self-confidence," said Kanoff, Founder and Executive Director of Uncommon Threads. "What we wear has a huge impact on how we feel about ourselves. When a woman looks good, she feels good."
The goal of the organization as stated on their website is "for every client to walk out of Uncommon Threads with a new look, holding her head a little higher, and feeling ready to take on the world!" From the client feedback, Kanoff seems to have achieved her goal.
"I had no clothes for work...I think I had one outfit, said Renee," Uncommon Threads client. "This held me back. I didn't feel confident that I could manage dressing the way I needed to for work. Uncommon Threads helped me to feel good about myself. I know I can go to work and look the way I should, and it makes me feel proud."
In just under a year, Uncommon Threads has received tremendous recognition for their work, including both local and national press coverage.
The boutique is being accessed by many FSS clients. Women enrolled in the FSS program feel valued walking through the bright loft-style boutique with hard wood floors, exposed brick and racks of generously donated clothing--both gently worn and brand new from clothing lines and local boutiques. Styling sessions are by appointment and clients must be referred by an agency that works with low-income women. In addition to styling, each client receives up to four complete outfits, two pairs of shoes, a handbag and accessories. What they can't fit in their purse is a massive amount of love and empowerment.
|Content Archived: December 4, 2018|