One of the beautiful moments about our relocation story was when the universe gave me the wonderful opportunity to work with the USO on Project Cinderella. For those of you who don’t know, the USO is an organization dedicated to facilitating events and programs for the courageous men and women who serve in the military and their families who serve alongside with them. As a former military wife, this organization is near and dear to my heart. A little back story on how the USO and I came together, this was two years in the making.
It’s June 2014 and we had only been in Houston for two weeks when I get an email from the USO. They wanted me to host a fashion workshop for a women’s empowerment event called Project Cinderella. The event was created to help empower women serving in the military and military wives. My mother-in-law proudly served in the Air Force for many years and to have an opportunity to encourage and empower women through personal styling is what I do and live for. So, you can only imagine how heartbroken I was that I had to turn down the opportunity in 2014.
However, I held onto the idea that one day I would be back in DC and one of the first things I would do is contact the USO and be part of Project Cinderella. Ok, flash forward to Feb 2016 when I email the USO and say: “Hey, I know this is random, you may not remember me but just letting you know I’m back in DC as of March 2nd and would love to be part of this year’s Project Cinderella.” I’m not even kidding when I say I get an email back that goes: “Thank you for reaching out to us, this is fate because we are looking for someone to fill our third workshop spot for this year’s Project Cinderella, BTW it’s on March 5th, can you be here for that?” Yes universe, I heard you loud and clear and while driving across the country for three days I was prepping my “Fashionista on a budget” workshop for Project Cinderella.
Military life for a service woman and military wives is hard. You are pulled in many directions with many obligations and personal style is something that is easily pushed to the side. I wanted my workshop to be an empowering personal styling session that would show these courageous women that they are all beautiful and worthy of looking chic and amazing every day AND it is all possible on a budget.
I spend a lot of time in other people’s closets, so for the workshop I decided to bring my closet to the ladies. My intention was to showcase some of my budget friendly, staple items that I use all the time and demonstrate how they can be incorporated into their wardrobe.
Among all the pretty things I brought, I had these stunning Alyse earrings to giveaway at my workshop. Donated by the lovely Rachel Orr at Dreamy Dwellings Boutique, Ms. Kristin B. was the lucky winner of the earrings!
I must admit, it was my first time speaking in front of a room full of people so you can only imagine how nervous I was. However, talking about fashion and style quickly made the nerves go away. My favorite moments were when the ladies engaged in the workshop by asking questions, sharing concerns on all these “fashion rules”, trading tailoring secrets and sharing tips on finding the best thrift stores in the new places they get relocated to. I’d like to think I helped facilitated the feeling of empowerment but the ladies helped empower and educate each other and that made it all worth it for me.
It was a dream come true, an absolute honor and privilege to speak to these beautiful women. A HUGE THANK YOU to the service women and military wives that attended Project Cinderella for their service, courage, patience and dedication to serving this country. I also have to thank USO-Metro for allowing me the amazing opportunity to be part of Project Cinderella. I would love to come back next year if you will have me. The work that you do for our service members and their families is greatly appreciated!
Thank you so much!
Keeping it Confident – Patty