Saying yes to being Dressed for Success
Not-for-profit suits up women facing life challenges for re-entry into workforce
Dress your best to be your best. That’s image maker Yana Brikker’s motto and she clearly wears success, and helps others put their best professional image forward.
She’s all about fashion and passion and philanthropy — even when her own life was unravelling and frayed.
“I’ve had a tough and challenging life but I pulled out of it like a champ and nothing gives me greater joy than championing others around me do the same,” says Brikker, a certified image and lifestyle consultant who volunteers her time to empower women to reenter the workforce through the Dress for Success boutique suiting program.
Brikker has herself has faced and overcome overwhelming challenges and brings compassion and understanding when building up other women’s confidence and wardrobes. Being an immigrant from Russia herself, she understands financial hardship and being new to a country.
Brikker also plays a vital role in transforming women, styling new looks and lives, and helping them break the cycle of poverty.
“It’s about more than simply a new outfit and accessories,” says Brikker. “Outfitting these women, showing kindness and caring, is a amazing transformational experience that builds confidence, selfesteem and helps them find meaningful employment.”
As well, she makes time to collect
I’ve had a tough and challenging life but I pulled out of it like a champ and nothing gives me greater joy than championing others around me do the same.” Image maker Yana Brikker
gently used clothing from her clients which she brings to the suiting program for the less fortunate.
An international not-for-profit organization, Dress for Success provides women with the tools they need to achieve economic independence and thrive in the workplace — including providing them with professional attire.
The organization relies on many experts who generously lend their support.
As owner of Ask Yana Inc. image consulting, (askyana.com), Brikker revises, revamps, revitalizes and loves “transforming men, women and teens into the beautiful and confident individuals they aspire to be without breaking the bank,” she says.
“Dressing well will not only increase your self-confidence but it also impresses and attracts other people. Proper grooming and a professional appearance are important to gain respect in the workplace. The way you look and carry yourself creates an impression on the people” you work with, she adds.
Each woman gets a unique oneon-one service and receives two formal outfits to prepare her for job interviews, according to volunteer Liz Arkwright, teacher turned stylist. Once a client successfully lands employment, the client returns to Dress for Success for additional business-appropriate clothing to help build a professional mix-and-match wardrobe.
For Arkwright, volunteering perfectly pairs her love of working with people and with fashion.
“It is very gratifying to assist women to become independent and confident citizens,” she says. I have also made many new friends through volunteering at Dress for Success.”