Week after week, we see women enter out StyleHER Studio with a drive to achieve their dreams. Each client inspires us with her ambition and desire to take control of her future and gain or regain her self-confidence.
These stories are awe-inspiring and truly fuel the work that we do here at Dress for Success Cincinnati. Without the success of our clients, we couldn’t begin to feel successful ourselves.
The most inspiring moment for us is always when a client returns to our StyleHER Studio after gaining employment. We are then given the opportunity to pamper these women while styling them with 10 new pieces of clothing to start their new career in. With the help of our wonderful volunteers, these women can leave our studio clothed head to toe in confidence - ready to achieve their goals.
Stella Pfirrman is one of these inspirational women who have truly made the work that we do worth it. Stella was first styled for her interview outfit on October 12 of 2021. Since then, she has gained employment as a case manager for Talbert House, working to help women like herself get affordable and dependable housing.
“I know I’ve experienced my own hardships with housing,” Stella said. “There have been case managers that I have had a hard time with my life being in their hands. So I think that’s part of it too, trying to bring compassion to the community where there might be a need for it.”
She ultimately landed the position at Talbert House thanks to the support of a longtime friend who referred her. “We went through a lot of hardship together and we have both come out on the other side in a much better place,” Stella said. “I’m very excited to go down this path together with her.”
This friend and Stella had learned about Dress for Success’ services together while at First Step Home in 2014. “I struggled with substance abuse and addiction, and First Step Home is where I finally changed and got it together - that was seven years ago,” Stella said.
Stella feels that her journey can truly amplify the work she will be doing for Talbert House. “I can confidently speak about the fact that I have a lot of lived experience. I can offer a lot of hope and support and lead by example,” she said. “Being incarcerated and the time period before I got sober, experiencing that was extremely difficult. I know how people can feel and how easily they can go back to the wrong thing.”
Stella tributes part of her success to her new-found confidence found through our StyleHER program. “I came here for my interview outfit and I believe it played a huge role in getting me the job,” Stella said. She completed a Public Allies apprenticeship just before the onset of Covid-19, but had some hesitation jumping into her career at such a tumultuous time. “I wasn’t really ready to enter the world and I didn’t trust myself,” she said. “But now, I’m done hiding myself and I’m ready to use my confidence.”
Stella has learned to apply this confidence to her style as well, putting her best foot forward in any unique style from combat boots to a pair of professional heels. “I like to wear things that are more edgy,” she said. “I want people to say ‘Did you see what she was wearing?’”
She also applies this tactic toward having a confident body image in any style. “No matter what size I am, I try to always be confident in my own skin,” she said.
After landing her new position, Stella was ecstatic to get back into the studio for her 10 pieces. “I completely forgot that I would be able to come back and pick out more outfits once I got the job,” she said. “Realizing that was like Christmas for me!”
Stella left our studio for the second time with the clothing and confidence to begin the incredible career ahead of her. “It’s just so awesome - and it’s only the beginning,” Stella said. “I’ll be able to get my foot in the door and build my way up, which I’m so excited for.”
Stella looks forward to joining our EmpowerHER program to network with fellow professionals and give back to our organization. “This was amazing. I’m definitely very grateful,” Stella said.
If you know someone who could benefit from our StyleHER Program, you can refer them at this link.
For more information on First Step Home, visit their website here.
If you would like to learn more about Talbert House and the housing assistance they offer or their other services, you can do so here.