Learning Curves

One of Classy Little Fashions Foundation’s goals is to promote body positivity. Designing fashionable clothing, tailored to the specific requirements of our Classy Clients, is one important step we take in reaching this goal – in fact, it’s what we are best known for!

Biz Jane

Having stylish, comfortable clothing that fits properly is guaranteed to facilitate confidence, especially within the professional who has difficulty finding affordable custom clothing appropriate for the workplace. The path to obtaining a positive body image doesn’t end with simply having a chic new wardrobe though. There are other elements to consider and we are always eager to learn new ways of making a Classy Client feel empowered and comfortable in his/her own skin.

Recently, Classy Little Fashions Foundation hosted a #FashionWish Twitter Party. Our co-hosts for this classy event were Reveca Torres, Andrew Morrison-Gurza, Sarah Della, and Mitchell Dunnam. We have found that Twitter Parties, with an awesome line-up of co-hosts, are really a fun way to learn more about the needs and wants of those our organization serves.

The most significant lesson we learned from our recent Twitter Party is the importance of diversifying our language. In the context of fashion, there is no established terminology for describing the unique bodies that we clothe; there is only medical terminology, which is not appropriate or empowering for most. In a sense, we are pioneering new terminology.

mgm

Thus far, we have described the population we cater to as having a “non-standard body type due to physical disability.” However, at our #FashionWish Twitter Party, some participants voiced that “non-standard” may be considered negative instead of empowering. It was further suggested that we employ the use of the word “asymmetrical” instead.

We understand the old adage, “You can please some of the people all of the time. You can please all of the people some of the time. But, you can’t please all of the people all of the time.” In our mission to promote body positivity, we do our very best to be sensitive and respectful to the population we cater to. Therefore, expect to see more use of the term “asymmetrical” and less use of “non-standard.”

Inspired by Amy Schumer

Dear Friends,

We understand that being able to express one’s self through fashion can have a huge impact on a person’s life on many levels. For example, being comfortable and confident in the right outfit can:

  • make or break career opportunities
  • increase your self-esteem
  • positively influence the way others respond to you
  • give you the courage to talk to a potential love interest

Although Classy Little Fashions Foundation caters to adults with non-standard body-types due to physical disability, we recognize that people without disabilities have fashion challenges and body image issues too. We really are more alike than we are different.

In Maria Shriver’s interview with Amy Schumer on the Today show, Amy expresses sentiments about fashion and body image that most people can relate to but are too self-conscious to say. We are so moved and inspired by her openness that we want to keep these conversations going, without excluding anyone.

Hmmm, what is the best and most fun way to facilitate a global conversation about fashion and body image? We’re going to host a Twitter Party and everyone is invited! We’re going to talk about the clothes we love and why we love them! We’ll even talk about the clothes we’d love to love but just can’t and why.

Please join us on Tuesday, December 1st at 8:00pm EST. Remember to use the hashtag #FashionWish when Tweeting. Check our Facebook and Twitter often to learn more about the impressive line-up of fabulous co-hosts who are going to help keep things interesting!

Tweet you soon!

Jane Hash, Co-Founding Director

Classy Little Fashions Foundation

Fulfilling fashion wishes

Classy Client Mitchell loves his custom hoodie, designed by our intern from Texas Tech - Alicia McDonald.

Classy Client Mitchell loves his custom hoodie, designed by our intern from Texas Tech – Alicia McDonald.

Dear Friends,

You are all awesome! When we launched our new website a few months ago, several of you found the “Donate Now” tab at the top of the screen and made generous donations via PayPal.

Other supporters expressed that they wanted other giving options, instead of just PayPal. Great idea! More options! That great idea inspired us to start a CauseVox crowdfunding campaign! Thus far, $1,376 has been raised.

Our CauseVox crowdfunding campaign officially ended on September 29th. That didn’t sit well with our supporters who want the opportunity to give over the holiday season. Who are we to argue with amazing people who want to help us fulfill fashion wishes?

 

Therefore, Classy Little Fashions Foundation’s CauseVox campaign has been reignited and will remain a giving option, at least until after #GivingTuesday on December 1st.

Thank you for helping fulfill Mitchell's fashion wish! More fashions are coming his way soon!

Thank you for helping fulfill Mitchell’s fashion wish! More fashions are coming his way soon!

The words “thank you” seem too simple to fully express our gratitude. Your support and generosity are deeply appreciated.

Sincerely,

Jane Hash, Co-Founding Director

Classy Little Fashions Foundation

Real People – Classy Fashions

Our Classy Client fundraiser has generated some generous donations to put toward fulfilling fashion wishes. We are very grateful for the kind outpouring of support we have received.

Several potential contributors have expressed that they would feel more comfortable about making a donation if Classy Little Fashions Foundation used a crowdfunding platform to reach our $12,000 goal instead of just PayPal.

fabric

Our Classy Clients and supporters are all very important to us. To better accommodate everyone, we are expanding our giving options!

In addition to accepting PayPal donations, we are re-launching our Classy Client fundraiser via CauseVox.com. The fundraiser will run from July 20th until September 20th.

This crowdfunding platform provides fun and interesting options for donors. You may choose to contribute to the overall fund that will be used to fulfill fashion wishes or you may support the Classy Client of your choice by clicking on his/her personal page. Please take the time to read each of their stories, get to know them, and watch for updates!

The giving options don’t stop there!

You may also select the “Create a Fundraising Page” on any of the above pages and raise money for your favorite Classy Client! CauseVox guides you through each easy step, one at a time. Our supporters will appreciate that CauseVox will not reroute you to another website when it’s time to give your credit card information!

Still not sold on the idea of doing online transactions but you want to support our amazing Classy Clients? Don’t feel left out. Checks and Money Orders are still in style and may be mailed to the address below!

Classy Little Fashions Foundation

1331 17th ST NW

Canton, Ohio 44703

 

Empowerment and Upcycling

Jess sewing at Cosmic Bobbins

Jess sewing at Cosmic Bobbins

Welcome to our beautiful new website and blog! Please take your time and look around. There are two informative pages in particular that should not be missed as you browse.

First, under the slideshow on the main page, there is a red button that reads “Learn How You Can Help.” Clicking on this will take you to the page where you can meet our Classy Clients. We are very excited to be fulfilling their fashion wishes because they are all outstanding members of their community and serve as excellent roll models for young people with similar challenges.

Also, on “About” page, you will find detailed information about Classy Little Fashions Foundation and all of our amazing our partners. Each partnership offers exciting opportunities and empowering experiences!

When Classy Client Jess expressed that she had an interest in learning how to make simple alterations and create her own custom fashions, Sharie Renee of Cosmic Bobbins was quick to gift her with free sewing lessons! For her first project, Jess learned how to make a ruffle skirt out of an upcycled t-shirt. We can’t wait to see what she’s going to make next!

Jess made a ruffle skirt out of an upcycled t-shirt!

Jess made a ruffle skirt out of an upcycled t-shirt!

Photo of Alicia McDonald

Intern inspires partnership between Texas Tech and Classy Little Fashions Foundation

In addition to The Fashion School at Kent State University and the College of the Ouachitas, Classy Little Fashions Foundation can now add the The Apparel Design and Manufacturing Program through the Department Of Design at Texas Tech University to their list of academic partnerships.

To gain experience before graduation, Apparel Design & Manufacturing students at Texas Tech are required to do an internship. When Alicia McDonald (a junior) learned of Classy Little Fashions Foundation, she immediately wanted to get involved and inquired about obtaining an internship with the nonprofit.

Co-Director of CLFF, Carol E. Briney, traveled from Canton, Ohio to Lubbock, Texas over the holidays and met with the Director of the ADM Program at Texas Tech, Dr. Robin Robinson. In hearing Briney’s presentation of Classy Little Fashions Foundation’s mission to fulfill fashion wishes for adults with non-standard body types due to physical disability, Dr. Robinson was eager to offer support and approved McDonald’s internship.

All parties involved are very excited about the learning, teaching, and fashion outcomes of this academic partnership! McDonald’s first goal of her internship is designing a bohemian inspired collection called “Freedom To Dream” that will be exclusive to CLFF. The collection will be unveiled this spring.

Below is a brief Q&A with Classy Little Fashions Foundation’s intern, Alicia McDonald.

CLFF: What inspired you to seek an Internship with Classy Little Fashions Foundation?

I am excited to be able to collaborate with my mother (Carol E. Briney). I think it is great to help the people around you to be successful, and for the opportunity to be able to build my new career as well as an organization that my mother has helped to launch, would be a great joy.

I am equally excited to go through the ropes, as an intern, of what it takes to create a collection, and to be a part of the research of creating a collection for a population that fashion has neglected.

CLFF: Tell us how you started designing clothing.

I started drafting my own patterns when I moved away from home at 22/23. My mom said I could take her beloved Bernina sewing machine with me if I promised to take classes. I promised but I decided to wing it. I’d draw pictures of what I wanted and then take my measurements and draft a pattern onto Newspapers I’d taped together. I got pretty good results, and as I’d learn more, I’d take previous projects apart and make the corrections… Eventually, on a trip home, my mom taught me how to use a commercial pattern. By using commercial patterns, I gained the knowledge of how certain garments might look as a flat pattern and it just rounded out my understanding. I’ve always been expressive through style. I believe that beauty, in all senses, evokes a positive response from the world around us. I love texture, kitschy patterns, colors of all shades and I love to toss it all together in an interesting and beautiful composition. It is important to me that everyone has that opportunity to be expressive and confident through fashion/style, and that is where my involvement with CLFF begins.

We are fashionistas on a mission!

Dear Supporters and Classy Clients,

Since the very inception of Classy Little Fashions Foundation we have been flooded with support in the form of monetary donations, gifts of fabric, flattering mentions on social media, and excellent publicity from our local media outlets.

Although our organization’s headquarters are based in Ohio, we are quickly forging partnerships across the country and abroad to facilitate the fulfillment of fashion wishes for Classy Clients everywhere.

Most recently, Classy Little Fashions Foundation has been successfully making connections in Lubbock, Texas. To publically share details of this exciting news, we reached out to a newspaper in Lubbock for support.

Sadly, Classy Little Fashions Foundation is now in a position where we feel the need to apologize to our clientele and the general community of people with disabilities because of the language and tone of the article that was written.

We did not suggest nor condone the use of the word “patients”. In this context, “patients” is used inappropriately. We are not doctors; therefore we do not see patients. We are fashionistas on a mission to fulfill fashion wishes for people with non-standard body types due to physical disability.

We understand that many mainstream news outlets are not accustomed to reporting on non-medical disability related issues. This is why Classy Little Fashions Foundation provides educational resources for the Reporters we choose to work with. It is very unfortunate that the Reporter from the Lubbock, Texas newspaper disregarded the resources we provided. She also disregarded most of the information about Classy Little Fashions Foundation and replaced it with a very clinical interview she did with a doctor.

In closing, Classy Little Fashions Foundation is sorry that the disrespectful article was published in print and online. Our efforts to have it removed from their website were futile. However, our exciting news will be announced next week!

 

Respectfully,

Jane Hash, Carol E. Briney & Jess Wallace