One thing the Nilis and their team of experienced designers have come to understand all too well is how frustrating it can be when things are not organized in a space. Not being able to find a specific item or pulling out a wrinkled blouse adds stress to a person’s day. “Life is overwhelming enough as it is for all of us,” says Shiva. “You don’t need a cluttered closet or office to add to that stress.”
Once a custom closet is in- stalled, clients find that their days begin on a more positive note, and the Nilis have decided to translate this feeling of organization and happiness to a local nonprofit, Dress for Success Mercer County.
The mission of Dress for Success Mercer County is to assist women with a network of support, professional attire and developmental tools to achieve economic independence. The organization relies on donations of business at- tire and accessories for these women to wear on a job interview, and they shop in Dress for Success’ boutique. Melissa Tenzer, executive director of Dress for Success Mercer County, says, in their 10 years of operating, they have served over 5,000 women.
California Closets is involved with Dress for Success on a national level, but the Nilis became involved with the Mercer County chapter a few years ago after hold- ing a shoe drive. “We held a pro- motion in 2015 where every customer who donated a pair of dress shoes received a discount on products from California Closets,” says Dan. “We collected nearly 150 pairs of shoes and when I went to drop them off, we saw there was not much room for them, so I knew we could help them out with organizing the space.”
Tenzer says the boutique space was previously just “average.” California Closets recreated it, adding shelving, cabinets, rods for hanging blouses and suit jackets and even a large island with divided drawers for jewelry and lingerie. Every item in a woman’s wardrobe had a space, and it was all built using the same high-end, quality materials California Closets uses for their regular customers, at no cost to the organization.
The finished product is a space that makes every woman shopping there feel confident and comfortable.
“The women we’re helping walk into this boutique and feel welcome and pampered,” says Tenzer. “Everything was kind of scattered all over and now it’s all in the right place, which helps our wardrobe consultants effectively find these women the right outfit and accessories. It’s all about the suit and that first impression, so getting off to an organized start helps them become more confident and assured. When women look put together and professional on the outside, they feel that way on the inside.”
This project went so well that the Nilis and Dress for Success are collaborating on another space in their Lawrenceville office. “We’re starting to look at ways they can help us in our career center,” says Tenzer. “This space is where women move beyond the suit and are offered educational and career development opportunities and guidance.”
The Nilis plan to outfit the space with desks, storage and filing involved with the Mercer County chapter a few years ago after hold- ing a shoe drive. “We held a promotion in 2015 where every customer who donated a pair of dress shoes received a discount on products from California Closets,” says Dan. “We collected nearly 150 pairs of shoes and when I went to drop them off, we saw there was not much room for them, so I knew we could help them out with organizing the space.”
It all connects back to California Closets Southern Jersey’s dedication to the community, be it sponsoring charity golf outings for the local fire or police departments, their work extends well beyond your bedroom closet.
California Closets Southern Jersey
2666 Route 130 | Cranbury
1205 Tilton Road | Northfield
1211 Route 73 | Mount Laurel
Published (and copyrighted) in Suburban Family Magazine, Volume 8, Issue 1 (March, 2017).
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