A sell-out fashion show on 12 February was the perfect event to celebrate a runaway first 12 months for Cire’s First Impressions Clothing Exchange (FICE).
An enthusiastic crowd of more than 50 women gathered for the fun at FICE’s Mooroolbark Terrace shop where they were treated to a taste of the quality fashion on offer as volunteer models gave it their all on the catwalk.
Everyone was on a high to have the opportunity to come together face-to-face to enjoy each other’s company as well as acknowledge the success of the social enterprise in helping provide women in need with positive pathways.
Local traders were also ecstatic because the event created such an exciting and most welcome vibe at The Terrace.
The event featured six volunteers modelling casual, business and formal outfits and stories of how FICE had given them a sense of purpose and confidence and helped them upskill and/or find employment.
Special guests included the multi-talented Kerrie Stanley, makeup artist for ABC Breakfast Television and award-winning milliner and who is also working on the production of Harry Potter, the Musical in Melbourne. Kerrie shared some of her make up tips with those present. Other special guests included Cr Sophie Todorov from Yarra Ranges Council, Alexandra Hale, owner and director of Johnstone and Reimer Lawyers, one of FICE’s gold-level sponsors, and Cire CEO Gus Seremetis.
FICE emerged from Women’s Warehouse, a Cire Training initiative. It is the brainchild of long-term unemployed women in the Yarra Ranges for women experiencing financial disadvantage. FICE offers access to affordable clothing suitable for job interviews and other important occasions and equally important, the opportunity to upskill by volunteering in the shop and through mentoring and additional training and support networks and referrals.
Those at the recent first birthday fashion show learned about the growing community support and acknowledgement for FICE and its mission. Women throughout the Yarra Ranges have supported the shop from day one with donations of quality clothing. This gives other women, not normally able to access such quality items, the opportunity to purchase them at a much lower price and help boost their self-esteem.
The fashion show was made possible by a grant from Yarra Ranges Council which has also awarded funding for a mobile FICE service in more isolated communities this year. Last year FICE received a $10,000 grant from the Commonwealth Bank to assist with operating costs.
Bunnings Lilydale donated lucky door prizes for the fashion show and all those who attended received a handbag donated by Big W Lilydale filled with other donated goodies.
A huge thank you to all our volunteers and models (Mary, Sarah, Karon, Maryanne, Donna and Tammi).
Like to know more, visit the FICE webpage