TODAY’S GOOD SPONSORED BY
Sam Russell , founder of the Giving Closet, believes that style starts on the inside, but a good wardrobe can be the catapult to success.
With over 12 years in the Los Angeles market as a celebrity wardrobe stylist, he has started a traveling mission: surprising women in need with work and personal attire. Russell knows style. He has made a living making sure that celebrities such as Stevie Wonder, Jon Hamm, Donna Mills, Sophia Bush, Colin Farrell, Emmanuelle Vaugier, Jeannie Mai and Rainn Wilson walk out looking put together and on trend.
Trend is easy to track, and so is self-esteem and success, so this is where his eye for fashion is focused. Russell grew up in Austin, Texas with his loving mother and an abusive father. His father died of a heart attack at age 33. For Russell and two brothers, it was a blessing. “We felt safe,” said Russell. “We knew if he lived any longer we might not be alive. I have memories of love growing up because of my mother.”
Russell went on to follow his dream of dressing the stars. In the process he found his passion–helping women feel confident and looking the part they are aiming for.
Since Russell is in the biz, gifting to influential people is part of the job. Russell decided to turn that “Swag” into life changing material. Instead of stars looking great with gifted fashion, a women can make a great turn around in her real life, not on the run-way. Once a media placement is secured, the fun begins.
“So far I have surprised three women with new wardrobes,” said Russell. “My last give-away was a single mother of five. She was going back to school and was living on 40 bucks a month. She didn’t own a car, but she was in school and had a plan, and didn’t have her hand out,” said Russell. “She started out with two pairs of shoes; we gifted her 11 pairs of shoes, and clothes that would work for her as she started law school.”
The gift just isn’t a bag of nice clothes. “It’s personal. I take into consideration skin tone, body type and lifestyle. People going back to school and working part-time jobs don’t need fancy evening gowns. I am about practical and looking good. I put together 20 to 24 pieces of clothing, jewelry, tops, pants dresses, shoes and handbags. It all interchanges and fits into everyday life,”said Russell.
Maryanne Parker of San Diego was randomly selected by Russell for a Giving Closet give-away through the Dress for Success organization in San Diego. Parker is an accountant during the day, and in the process of opening up her own business, Manor of Manners International. “I am working to teach school-aged children and pre-teens about manners so we can have a good society and a civilized world.” (http://www.manorofmannersintl.com)
Parker was surprised on television with what she thought was a make-over but turned out to be a gift of a new wardrobe from the Giving Closet. “I am a single-mom of two and I work as an accountant during the day, and starting the business in the evenings,” said Parker. Parker moved to San Diego from Romania and has worked hard to change her life. “I just feel like a new person. I feel accomplished and I don’t have to worry about meeting new people or going to meetings just because I don’t have anything to wear. I feel like I am shining and everything is just for me, and I feel like I will be like this for a long time”
Parker, of course appreciates the gift. As a manor coach, she has a way to give back. “I am involved in a community project to help fight domestic violence, and am planning on having free classes for children who cannot afford the classes. Everyone needs to know table manners. We all need to know not where we are coming from but where we are going. I don’t have connections like Sam has and I can’t make a difference like Sam does, but I can make a difference on my own level,” said Parker.
The Giving Closet did GOOD today. Find out more at http://wardrobedept.com.
Sienna Rose, Paul Frank, Single Dress by Galina, Guy & Eva, Elaine Turner, BearPaw, Gwyneth Shoes, Ami Club Wear, Dermasthetics USA and Whitening Lightening all participated. “It is a delicate dance,” said Russell. “I would love to do many more of these, but I have to work to get that product credited somewhere. It’s a slow go, but I feel confident about the project with all the positive feedback I am getting.”