CTX boutique working to change lives of unemployed women

Posted at 5:50 PM, Oct 25, 2017
and last updated 2017-10-25 19:03:41-04

A service provided by the Cen-Tex African American Chamber of Commerce in Waco is giving unemployed women the confidence to land their dream jobs.

Esther's Closet provides interview and workplace outfits, as well as resume writing and job performance skills to help women thrive in the workplace. 

A quick visit to Esther's Closet left Wendy Ervin dressed for success.

"It was an awesome experience," said Ervin. "It gave me the power to land the job that I needed to and know that I deserved."

Esther's Closet has been assisting unemployed women since early 2016. It's given away 750 free business outfits to more than 200 people.

"There are people where money is a limitation on your ability to become employed," said Rachel Pate, Esther's Closet coordinator.

Pate is also a previous client, who's come a long way since her first job interview.

"I came in with what I felt was an appropriate outfit," said Pate. "I try to teach them from my experience and to share with them my journey of a year, of where I started, when I came in the door and where I am now." 

After experiencing the power of this service, Pate has found her passion and purpose in what she does.

"There are greater things that can be done with the citizens of the community if we invest in one another," said Pate. "So I do that every day, to invest in my community and hope that the community that I'm helping to build and restructure is a wonderful place to live."

It may be just a boutique to some, but for those who know its worth, it's the key to success.

"Even though it's clothes, it gives you a power," said Ervin. "You're looked at differently when you look the part."

"I like to inspire others beyond the 'right now,'" said Pate. "There's certainly greater in store for us all."

The service gives each woman in the program enough outfits for seven to 10 days on the job.

Esther's closet is also looking for donations. You can drop off your gently used clothing, shoes and handbags during operating hours.

Esther's Closet is located inside the Cen-Tex African American Chamber of Commerce at 1020 Elm Avenue, Waco, TX 76704. Hours of operation are from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

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