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Thursday, April 9, 2015

Prom Season at Threads for Teens

Prom season is in full swing for high schoolers and at Threads for Teens! On March 21st, Threads for Teens hosted our annual prom event, this year called the 'Grab a Gown' event. We packed the storefront in Santa Rosa, California with tons of beautiful prom dress, short and long. With the help from Claire's and Lytle's Beauty College (also located in Santa Rosa), we planned an amazing day for our shoppers!

Our prom dresses, donated by many people, ranged in size and color 

Previous and future shoppers were invited to make an appointment throughout the day to visit the storefront to pick out a dress, accessories, makeup, and a gift certificate. The gift certificates, which were donated from the local beauty college, Lytle's Beauty College, allowed the girls to choose which service they wanted on their individual prom day. Some options were hair styling, makeup application, or a manicure. While looking through the dresses, the girls and their families snacked on delicious cupcakes, donated by Sift Dessert Bar.

Ashton (left) and Kelsey (right) sharing their prom experiences with a
shopper who was excited to be attending her prom.
Volunteers and I helped the girls go through the dresses, finding the right style, color, and fit. Many girls found their dream dress! We set up an accessory bar, filled with various items donated from Claires', such as necklaces, earrings, bracelets, jeweled hair pins, clutches, and makeup. Kelsey Cox, from Claire's, volunteered throughout the day, helping each girl find the perfect prom accessories. We are so grateful for all of these donations and volunteers!

The accessories bar featured bracelets, necklaces, earrings, and other beautiful jewelry from Claire's. 

While some of the shoppers were too shy to model their dresses, their happy giggles and excited faces when searching for accessories to match their dress, showed us that they had found a dress that made them feel beautiful and confident.
Shoppers crowded around the accessory bar, helping each other match jewelry to their dresses. 
Overall, the Grab a Gown event was extremely successful, dressing approximately twenty girls. Since the store is still over flowing with beautiful gowns, we are still inviting girls to pick out a dress and accessories if they missed out on March 21st. 

Happy Prom Season! 

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Threads for Teens + CollegeFashionista

Girls Shopping

The Jeans Table!

This past December, on the 14th, Threads for Teens and CollegeFashionista teamed up to put together a pop-up boutique for Threads for Teens in Philadelphia at the Inn at Penn! The event went really well, with over forty local girls receiving a new outfit.

CollegeFashionista is a blogging-platform for girls in colleges across the country to share trends. CollegeFashionista has girls apply to be 'style gurus' for their school and be able to post for their schools. I would highly recommend checking out the site, as so many of the girls are incredibly stylish. Furthermore, they accept applications for new style gurus periodically, so if you are in college, fashionable, and interested, make sure to check out the site!

My Auntie Kitty & Me
Amy Levin, the founder of CollegeFashionista, reached out to me back in September about the possibility of partnering. I was so excited to hear from Amy, because I love CollegeFashionista. Several of my friends are even Style Gurus for the site. Immediately, this sounded like such an incredible opportunity since our audiences are so aligned with each other. After talking for a bit, we decided that a pop-up boutique sounded like the perfect event. I go to school at University of Pennsylvania, so we chose Philadelphia as the location for convenience.

CollegeFashionista reached out to their Style Gurus around the country to request that they donate items they love for the pop-up boutique. The gurus sent so many beautiful items. We were all so excited to hang everything the day of the event. The day of, Amy and several team members from CollegeFashionista came to help set-up and style the girls. Some local Style Gurus as well came and styled girls. My Auntie Kitty also came from Brooklyn to help for the day. Thank you so much Auntie Kitty for your help! I really and truly couldn't have done the event without you.

All of the girls had a blast. I especially loved hearing all of them tell me their dreams for the future. One girl even had the dream to attend the University of Pennsylvania someday! I hope she will be a Quaker in the future. <3

Can't wait to share what's in store for the upcoming year.

Allyson Ahlstrom & Amy Levin

Monday, December 29, 2014

Happy Holidays from Threads for Teens

This December, at the Threads for Teens storefront, we treated our previous shoppers to a Holiday themed goodie bag. Invitations sent via email were delivered to every girl that had visited Threads for Teens in the past year, welcoming them back on December 20th for a day of Holiday celebration with apple cider, cookies, and of course a Holiday goodie bag (pictured below)!

While picking up the goodie bags, sourdough breads, donated by Boudin (Santa Rosa), and cheeses were enjoyed.

Volunteers assisted in the creations of these bags the few days before December 20th. In total, we made and handed out over 100 Holiday goodie bags! Each bag consisted of the following: a winter hat, a sparkly red headband, a nail polish, a lip gloss, a candy cane, a lotion, and one of our various accessories. While picking up their bag, the girls and their families enjoyed apple cider, cookies, and yummy sourdough bread, donated by Boudin Bakery in Santa Rosa. 
Overall, December 20th was a fun-filled and heartwarming day at the Threads for Teens storefront. That day we handed out 60 goodie bags! I am still in the process of delivering some extra bags, that could not be picked up on the day of our event.
Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays! 
Ashton Smith 

Monday, September 22, 2014

Tour Donor: rue21

A happy girl with an adorable new top from rue21
rue21 contacted me after seeing a segment about Threads for Teens on the TODAY show. They were really excited about Threads for Teens, and actively looking for a way to get involved. Well, I am so glad that they reached out because everything they send is always taken so quickly. At the store even before the tour, the girls loved all of the items.

For the tour, everything we had of theirs was taken! I reached out to Deanna, one of my contacts there to ask her some questions about rue21 and how they see their mission fitting with Threads for Teens' mission.

1) Why did rue21 decide to become involved with Threads for Teens on Tour? 
We love the mission of Threads for Teens and want all teens to have access to fashion that’s modern, trendy and affordable. It’s all about boosting confidence and a positive feeling in themselves and others, and that’s what we’re about, too!

2) What is rue21's mission, and how do you see that aligning with Threads for Teens?
We offer the latest trends while staying affordable, so our customers don’t have to sacrifice style for savings. Our brand is set to give teens the best trends out there for less, and that includes those who are less fortunate. We want everyone to feel good about themselves, and style says a lot when you’re a teen. We want everyone to have the opportunity to express themselves!

3) How do you see clothing affecting confidence?
It doesn’t have to take a whole outfit to look good – simply adding a statement necklace or new pair of shoes can make you feel good and improve your mood, boosting your confidence. To us, “21” embodies an age that’s fun and everyone wants to be. It’s a feeling and spirit of one of the best times in our lives. We want teens to put on our clothes and have that good feeling.

4) Is there anything else you would like to mention?
To us, confidence is your best accessory!


Saturday, September 20, 2014

Tour Donor: Claire's

Claire's Volunteers in Chicago, IL
This summer, we had the extreme privilege of working with Claire's Accessories. They not only donated tons of amazing product, but at over half of our stops, they sent out managers and district managers to volunteer. The volunteers were always so amazing and helpful. They have an eye for how to arrange the clothes and most especially the accessories. Furthermore, they also know how to style the girls. At our stop in Chicago we also had the pleasure of being able to hold our event in the Claire's HQ parking lot.

Taylor Foster, Allyson Ahlstrom, Maryann Porter

I would like to thank Maryann Porter who contacted me last year to set this up! She has been a true rockstar in getting volunteers to our events, along with product donations. Read below for our interview with Maryann on why she was so passionate about working with Threads for Teens.

1) Why did Claire's decide to become involved with Threads for Teens on Tour?
I was deeply affected by the tragedy of Sandy Hook Elementary.  I live near it but it also affected so many of the beautiful kids that we serve.  I wanted to do something and came up with the idea of doing a day dedicated to them.  I asked my Connecticut team to volunteer.  After hearing about what we were doing,
I had employees from all over my territory volunteering.  Team members from up to five hours away drove in on a Sunday morning to volunteer for the event.  We had more volunteers than we had girls at the event!  I knew then what I always believed that in order to engage your customer, you must engage your employee.  And more importantly, Claire's employees rock!  So, I googled "volunteering teen charities" and your organization came up.  I did research and loved it.  I felt it encompassed everything I was looking for in terms of who we serve as well as our people could really enjoy making a difference.

2) What is Claire's mission, and how do you see that aligning with Threads for Teens?
Claire's mission is to make all girls and women smile, helping them express their individuality by offering innovative and fashionable, fun and affordable jewelry, beauty and accessories.  The word smile is important in our mission.  For a small price, we put a smile on a girl or woman's face. We can change their day.  We can change how they feel about themselves.  I always tell the people that work for me don't take that lightly.

3) How do you see fashion affecting confidence?
I think this is huge.  I know from my own experience, it changes your attitude when you walk out the door in a great outfit.  I do believe we become what we wear.  At Claire's, we talk a lot about "Dress to Impress".  I think this is so important.

4) Is there anything else you would like to mention?
I really appreciate being able to be a part of Threads for Teens.  It has been a great experience for my teams.

Friday, September 12, 2014

Tour 2014 Wrap-Up

The tour this past summer was truly such an amazing success. Without the help of many however, it would not have been possible! I would like to take this moment to share some final tour statistics.

9,300 Miles Driven
27 States Visited
13 Clothing Events
1000 Girls Given Free, Brand-New Clothing
42 Service Agencies Worked With

37 Claire’s Volunteers

Thank you so much to everyone who participated and followed our journey this year!


Monday, August 25, 2014

Back to School Event

Ashton Smith organizing all the backpacks donated from Marmot.
In the beginning of August, Threads for Teens began the month long journey of collecting and donating backpacks and school supplies to our previous shoppers at our storefront location in Santa Rosa, California.

On August 7th, Disney star, Coco Jones, joined at us at the Threads for Teens boutique for a day event of meet and greets to collect school supplies for our girls! About 35 families came out to the boutique to meet Coco with arms full of supplies and backpacks. All the donors who supported us this day had an amazing experience, meeting Coco Jones and receiving a free Chipotle lunch! All genders and ages came to the event, which was a change for Threads for Teens, since our work is usually focused specifically in teen girls. By the end of the day we had collected a few backpacks and TONS of supplies. Luckily, Marmot donated 50 brand new backpacks, along with supplies, to Threads for Teens in addition the items collected on August 7th. After both collections, I filled the store with all of the backpacks, and our front desk with various school supplies from paper, to highlighters, to water bottles.
Each backpack (above) represents the options the shoppers could choose from. Each backpack was filled with supplies, a lunchbox, and additional supplies from the table (above) were chosen personally by the girls. 
After receiving all of the supply donations, I contacted all of the programs around and in Sonoma County in order to set up the day where our previous shoppers got to pick out their backpack and supplies. That day around 40 girls came into the boutique and chose one backpacks filled with supplies, and a few extra supplies additionally. Each one of the girls were so appreciative and excited to start the school year on the right foot with their new supplies. My favorite part of this day was connecting the girls again. The bonds made while shopping with them are never lost, so seeing each one of them again was heartwarming and fun. 

xoxo Ashton Smith