Teaching life-skills through The Closet and dresses with a purpose

Andrew M. Santos

From the outside, The Closet looks like a dress store with over 1,000 dresses on the floor — from girls size 6 through adult size 28. Actually, it’s #MoreThanADressStore and offers #DressesWithAPurpose!

Since 2008, A Beautiful Me (a 501c3 nonprofit) has been providing self-esteem programs with outcome-based growth for girls from grades 3-12. The sole purpose for A Beautiful Me to open a retail, brick-and-mortar store in 2019 was to provide teen girls free business training through an original, hands-on curriculum.

For the past three years, teens have logged over 1,500 hours in training through a 3-step weekly business series to build confidence, education, philanthropy and life skills.

As founder and executive director of A Beautiful Me, I noticed a gap in education to empower young females to be independent with their basic knowledge in business — ideas like setting a budget, cash flow, strategic management, operation management and communication. At The Closet, our organization just happens to use beautiful new and like-new dresses as the vehicle to educational success — along with additional benefits to women of all ages shopping in our retail store.

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