Ten weeks of planning, building and design, and our work is complete! I wrote about the Work Clothes Closet project back in October, since then we’ve spent dozens of hours on this project to benefit our local Committee on the Shelterless (COTS). I’m proud to say that with a team of volunteers, donors, and brands stepping forward, we’ve laid the foundation for a space that will serve the needs of our community’s Work Ready program, transitioning people previously homeless back into the workforce.
This picture will give you an idea of what we started with back in September, nothing but taped sheetrock and a cement floor. I was brought in to help with design and saw this space as one with so much potential. Over the course of 2 ½ months, through a lot of efforts and generous donations, this project took shape and I’m so proud of the result!
Here’s a peek at a few corners now complete. We added dressing rooms with framed partitions and built four pipe garment racks to hold clothing, two on the women’s side and two on the men’s side.
Many local community members stepped up to help finish the project, and it’s an amazing space with a boutique vibe but soon it will be filled with more garment racks in the center to hold much more clothing and we plan to build shoe racks in January for the official opening.
The way it works is this: once the COTS Work Ready clients are trained in a trade, skill, or service, the new COTS Work Clothes Closet will provide them with clothing to reenter the workforce. Training and attire are the biggest self confidence boosters for people reentering the workforce but purchasing clothing is beyond the income level of COTS clients. With this program, they don’t have to worry about it !
Many of you donated money to the project and with those extra funds we were able to purchase extra building and painting supplies, thank you! The floors were painted with Glidden’s Porch and Floor formula in ‘Regal Wave’ a vibrant blue that is a cross between teal and navy. Blue Bori curtains on dressing rooms from World Market.
On one focal point wall I created a jewelry station with an old buffet and accessories donated by World Market. This buffet was one of my first thrift store scores ten years ago, it sat in my friend’s dining room for a decade and when she upgraded her furniture asked if I wanted it back and I said “sure!” since it would serve as storage and display in the Work Ready Clothes Closet space.
It was damaged and the stain was discolored in many places, but a paint job reinvented it for our space.
I primed and painted this piece with the same method I always use for furniture and for cabinets. I chose Benjamin Moore’s Advance formula in semi gloss in ‘Waterbury Green’ which is a sea green hue, almost aqua, but such a gorgeous color!
The arch mirror I bought at World Market for my own home last year and donated to the project, I love the shape and it’s still available! All around the mirror and buffet I hung scarves and necklaces also purchased with gift cards donated by World Market. These accessories will help complete the outfits of Work Ready clients of COTS.
Last night the team involved hosted the Open House and invited the community and volunteers to see the transformation of our blank canvas into a functioning space. Thanks so much to Jen (below, far left) from Christmas Tree Market who decorated a beautiful tree as part of their Christmas in the Community campaign, her company also donated ten Trader Joe’s gift cards for families less fortunate to purchase food this season.
A big thanks to Kim of Kim Six Fix (left of tree) who donated signage for the front door and so much of her time on several work weekends to pull this space together. Jenna (right of tree) was my partner from COTS on this project and she organized all the volunteers to make this space happen for our community. Fabulous job ladies!
It was a great event and we’re so so grateful to the sponsors who helped us create this amazing space! Thank you Lowe’s for donating materials for the garment racks and partitions.
A big thanks to Glidden for donating the paint for the walls, ceilings and floors! I’ll share some tips on how to paint a cement floor on their blog later this month.
Finally, a huge thank you to World Market who’s generosity added the lighting, curtains, curtain rods, scarves, hooks and jewelry.
We’re so grateful to these brands for their philanthropic spirit and support !