Meet Marnie.


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“With each woman that has been part of Dress for Success, a garden of 1,500 has appeared, blossoming and blooming. Most exciting, each of these women will go out into the world and share dignity, respect and knowledge to someone else. In essence, it’s a gift that keeps on giving”



From a young age, Marnie had a life plan of what her future would be. That plan brought her from her native Vancouver to Ottawa with a fiancé and a dream for a business. While that plan was to launch the business and then return to the West Coast, as she quickly found out, life has a funny way of changing your plans. She worked hard on the business plan but priorities changed and her fiancé’s dreams became more of the focus for them. Slowly the business dream faded to the background and plans to stay in Ottawa became more rooted.


To build a life in Ottawa, Marnie studied Montessori and opened up a school. Her small family grew with the arrival of her two children. Around this same time, abuse crept into her life. A series of events in her personal relationship, led to Marnie selling her Montessori school in preparation for a move back to Vancouver. When that fell through, she had to find a new job. It was at this new job that her life changed again. One day, her new boss asked if she was okay and she had the courage to say no. This one word was the catalyst of change for her. She escaped the violence with her children and began the process of building her life from scratch.


It was around this time that Marnie was first introduced to Dress for Success. For her, “it was a priceless gift at a time of rebuilding”. At her first suiting experience, she remembers that she was treated with dignity and respect. Her wardrobe consultant was attentive and caring when choosing her attire. In her words: “for the first time in what felt like forever, I felt strong, acknowledged and empowered.” With this same wardrobe consultant, Marnie opened up about her past work experiences and she was reminded of her qualities and attributes. These reminders helped Marnie in rebuilding her life and setting a foundation for her future goals. From those first times to today, Marnie has received new attire, attended workshops, expanded her knowledge, and has a renewed self-esteem to take on the opportunities ahead.


Thank you for your support and for helping women like Marnie!

Stepping Out 2019