On May 25th we will host the Grand Re-Opening of “Studio Shine,” a program dedicated to providing guests with professional and work-appropriate clothing for interviews and on-the-job. The re-opening will unveil a handful of improvements to Studio Shine including further integration with our Moving Ahead Program (MAP), a more diverse selection of clothing with a shop-like experience, and easier, on-demand access for anyone who needs work-appropriate clothing.
Wellness & Life Skills Coach Stephanie Barboza led the project of reinvigorating Studio Shine. She explains that the three pillars defining the purpose of Studio Shine are: Value, Self-Esteem, and Image. This message resonates especially with MAP students who are in the process of familiarizing or refamiliarizing themselves with the expectations of a professional environment. MAP Students will use Studio Shine as an opportunity to learn the dress codes and common expectations of various workplaces and how to prepare and “dress the part” for potential professional experiences on the horizon. “[Having the right clothes] really helps with self-worth. All that hope that we’re giving them, ‘you can get in the office, you can get a job!’ now we’re giving them more tools, more resources so they can dress and feel the part,” Stephanie said.
For MAP students, Studio Shine will be about more than putting on clothing that fits into a dress code. It’s also about finding a professionally appropriate style that works for them. As Stephanie explains it, “They have to own it. It has to be their choice, so they take ownership, adapt, adopt, and become that which they see.”
The increased selection available in Studio Shine makes it possible for more MAP students and guests to find something practical and comfortable. Rather than prioritizing suits and other formal attire, Studio Shine offers a variety of business casual options in addition to more formal clothing. This reflects both the wide variety of jobs that our guests are pursuing, and the changing work landscape that often favors business casual clothing. As our Associate Director of Workforce Development Beth Grand explains it, “The whole idea of Studio shine is supposed to be ‘how do I want to present myself and how does presenting myself in a positive way help my self-esteem and help people see me in a light that makes me marketable?’ It’s both internal and external. And for many of our clients, wearing a suit is not part of that.”
As the program continues to develop, Beth says they hope to continue to build a selection of clothes that specifically cater to jobs various clients are pursuing. Beth believes that having these jobs represented in Studio Shine is important for the “Self-Esteem” pillar of the project. “They’ll see what they need in there and they’ll feel like ‘oh this is an important profession and a career that is valued,’” she said.
The program delivers on offering increased access by creating the option to visit Studio Shine during operating hours without an appointment. While the best way to use Studio Shine would still be to make an appointment with an Image Consultant, in the case of an emergency, it will now be possible for guests to walk into Studio Shine with the referral of a staff person.
The easy access, neat presentation, and wide variety, of Studio Shine all contribute to Studio Shine’s vision “To define the image for the workforce by providing the apparel and the essentials needed to inspire personal development for all our clients.” With the new improvements to the program, Studio Shine continues to be more than just a place to pick up clothes. Studio Shine is a supportive, affirming, and safe environment where guests and MAP students can find apparel that gives them confidence and prepares them for success.