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  #301  
Old 09-12-2019, 04:25 PM
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It's great to see Meghan again! I think this is a fantastic project and I'm glad it's launch was successful.
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  #302  
Old 09-12-2019, 05:31 PM
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Smart Works getting some love across the pond too. It’s being promoted outside the Hearst building.

https://twitter.com/scobie/status/11...410300933?s=21

That’s pretty awesome!
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  #303  
Old 09-12-2019, 06:36 PM
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I can’t express enough of how proud I am of Meghan. She just entered the royal family last year, and she’s accomplished a lot in such a short period of time and this is still the very beginning of many more great things to come from her.

While folks are busy cooking up some controversies that don’t make much sense — she’s behind the scenes focused on being a wife, mother, a working senior royal and craving out her royal role. That’s all she can do and it’s enough.

I look forward to hearing more about the success of this project with Smart Works and I wish all the women that’s benefiting from this project all the success in the world.
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  #304  
Old 09-12-2019, 07:04 PM
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For me, this whole involvement with Smart Works complete with the clothing line screams one thing to me. Its changing a whole lot of "I Can't" into a "I Can Do This" attitude. Its called empowerment and if there's one person that is good at empowering someone, its Meghan. She rocks a can do attitude.

I'm so happy to see that the launch was an overwhelming success.
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  #305  
Old 09-12-2019, 10:43 PM
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You all know that I love Meghan and think the concept of Smart Set for Smart Works is terrific, but I have to admit that questions asked about it elsewhere today stumped me a bit.

The person asked-
'Where does the money go'? Presumably she means the money paid by clients who buy items from this capsule collection. Does it go to the stores, brand in question?

Have the designers donated their work for free?

Where do the women go to collect these donated items? I presume there are Smart Works stores in large urban centres all over the UK, but I only know of the London one that Meghan visited.

Can anyone shed some light, please?
  #306  
Old 09-12-2019, 11:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Curryong View Post
You all know that I love Meghan and think the concept of Smart Set for Smart Works is terrific, but I have to admit that questions asked about it elsewhere today stumped me a bit.

The person asked-
'Where does the money go'? Presumably she means the money paid by clients who buy items from this capsule collection. Does it go to the stores, brand in question?

Have the designers donated their work for free?

Where do the women go to collect these donated items? I presume there are Smart Works stores in large urban centres all over the UK, but I only know of the London one that Meghan visited.

Can anyone shed some light, please?
Most of this information can be found on the Charity's website.

https://smartworks.org.uk/


Smart works doesnt have stores, it is a charity not a retail business.

That said it has opened 7 locations since it opened its doors in 2013. Two are in London. The others are in Manchester, Edinburgh, Reading, New Castle and Birmingham.

Women do not simply collect the donated items. Smart works is more then simply providing clothes. Women who have secured a job interview can go there and they will have a stylist work with them to outfit them with a full outfit (accessories included) for their interview. They also receive coaching sessions to help them with their interview. These are women who have been out of work for many reasons and need help getting back on their feet. When they get a job they can return and they receive five more pieces to help with the new job. They are also encouraged to join a networking group of other women who have gone through the program, to continue helping them on the road.


As for how the donations from this capsule work, its not money but clothes that will be donated. Quote from the charity:

Quote:
HRH The Duchess of Sussex and Smart Works have collaborated with leading fashion brands John Lewis & Partners, Marks & Spencer, Jigsaw and Misha Nonoo to create a perfect working wardrobe for Smart Works clients.

The Smart Set capsule collection consists of the work wear essentials often needed to attend interviews and enter into the workplace: a perfect white shirt, an elegant blazer, well cut trousers, a dress that flatters everyone and the perfect tote.

For every item bought during the sale of the collection, which will last for at least two weeks, one will be donated to Smart Works. This direct 1:1 model means that for every item bought by a customer, another will be given to help a woman get back into the work place.

Basically you buy a purse, another identical purse is donated to one of their locations for one of the women they help. The designers are donating not money but basically half their profits in that they are donating half their products to the charity instead of sale.



As Meghan said in her speech, a lot of donations are clothes that women just don't want any more, or store over stock which is nice in thought but a lot is not useful for women preparing for job interviews. This capsule means the locations will get brand new pieces designed specifically with interviews in mind.
  #307  
Old 09-12-2019, 11:18 PM
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The more I read about Smart Works, the more impressed I get. I know I really could have used a program like this for myself when I divorced in '93 after being a stay at home mom for all of my 20 year marriage. I had some office skills but had no clue about the job force and interviews and had very little money to work with and a "business' ensemble was way out of the question.

I hope this program grows by leaps and bounds as I can really see the need for it and the support given is priceless. Wish I could afford to buy some of those pieces but by the time I *do* have the funds, they'll most likely all be sold out. At least I hope so.
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  #308  
Old 09-12-2019, 11:42 PM
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Thanks very much, Countessmeout. That's made it crystal clear! And yes it's a much needed service for these women wanting to re-enter the workforce.
  #309  
Old 09-12-2019, 11:49 PM
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The John Lewis rooftop garden was a great place for this launch.

We stumbled across it when looking for a loo a few years ago, and ended up sitting there for many hours.

Oxford St below was crazy - think it was a Saturday - and this was an oasis of calm and quiet in the Englush sunshine.

There was a coffee kiosk, lots of space, plenty of seating and nicely done plants.

Here are some photos I took. (The tops of many London landmarks are visible from here.)
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  #310  
Old 09-12-2019, 11:51 PM
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Some of the views from the garden.
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  #311  
Old 09-12-2019, 11:57 PM
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Some more photos, including one from inside the store, and a link that is the program of various activities available at this place.

https://www.johnlewis.com/our-services/roof-garden
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  #312  
Old 09-13-2019, 12:31 AM
Majesty
 
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Thank you for the photos, Sun Lion. Very interesting, and indeed it does look like a calm and peaceful place to while away some time with overlooking views as well. Very much a terrific place for a launch like this one.
  #313  
Old 09-13-2019, 12:58 AM
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Fitting considering one of the brands involved in John Lewis, the garden being located on their flag ship store's roof.

The founder of the stores was a huge gardener and passionate botanist. He would have been proud likely of the garden. His home, the Leckford estate, belongs to Waitrose now and is used as their farm and known for its water gardens which John enjoyed in his later years.

But definitely a scenic spot for the launch to happen.
  #314  
Old 09-13-2019, 06:20 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Countessmeout View Post
Most of this information can be found on the Charity's website.

https://smartworks.org.uk/


Smart works doesnt have stores, it is a charity not a retail business.

That said it has opened 7 locations since it opened its doors in 2013. Two are in London. The others are in Manchester, Edinburgh, Reading, New Castle and Birmingham.

Women do not simply collect the donated items. Smart works is more then simply providing clothes. Women who have secured a job interview can go there and they will have a stylist work with them to outfit them with a full outfit (accessories included) for their interview. They also receive coaching sessions to help them with their interview. These are women who have been out of work for many reasons and need help getting back on their feet. When they get a job they can return and they receive five more pieces to help with the new job. They are also encouraged to join a networking group of other women who have gone through the program, to continue helping them on the road.


As for how the donations from this capsule work, its not money but clothes that will be donated. Quote from the charity:




Basically you buy a purse, another identical purse is donated to one of their locations for one of the women they help. The designers are donating not money but basically half their profits in that they are donating half their products to the charity instead of sale.



As Meghan said in her speech, a lot of donations are clothes that women just don't want any more, or store over stock which is nice in thought but a lot is not useful for women preparing for job interviews. This capsule means the locations will get brand new pieces designed specifically with interviews in mind.
I am not taking away from the concept and delivery, top marks all round but I have a couple of concerns and please do not shout me down as a hater, as I am not, it is an honest review.

Is this line available on an ongoing basis or for a limited time, I thought I read that it was only available for 2 weeks. What happens next.

I wish Meghan had worded the new plan as an extension to the original, rather than people don't want the clothes.

My concern is that individuals who had donated their clothes or companies who donated excess stock might now donate to another charity. If I had donated my personal items or as a company chosen smart works as the charity of choice I might feel offended.

What happens once the line is sold out, are they back to depending on donations.
  #315  
Old 09-13-2019, 07:18 AM
ACO ACO is offline
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It is available for two weeks. It is like a fundraiser in a sense.

SmartWorks have always depended on donations and I don’t see that ending but I would also guess with the connection now to many major players in the fashion world that keeping a steady flow of donations to their various offices might not be an issue for now.

In fact the CEO spoke not long ago that they have been more donations and volunteers than ever. This means more women are walking through their doors. They cited a massive bump in their newsletter. Amazing news.

So no they don’t turn away clothes donations but in recent months have expressed the desired “professional attire” scheme. They seem to be pleased with the results. And no doubt since Vogue their profile has rose even more. This initiative even more. Great for Smart Works and the women they help.
  #316  
Old 09-13-2019, 08:42 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hallo girl View Post
I am not taking away from the concept and delivery, top marks all round but I have a couple of concerns and please do not shout me down as a hater, as I am not, it is an honest review.

Is this line available on an ongoing basis or for a limited time, I thought I read that it was only available for 2 weeks. What happens next.

I wish Meghan had worded the new plan as an extension to the original, rather than people don't want the clothes.

My concern is that individuals who had donated their clothes or companies who donated excess stock might now donate to another charity. If I had donated my personal items or as a company chosen smart works as the charity of choice I might feel offended.

What happens once the line is sold out, are they back to depending on donations.
The clothing line is available for two weeks. With the donations through this clothing line Meghan said, that they'd be set for a year with the donated items. Through their social media accounts smart works have made it clear, that they've received far more donations than ever before, and they've been able to help much more women to get ready for their interviews and to get work. For them this has been only a success, they're clearly very pleased how it is all turning out.

I don't see why anyone would feel offended about any of this happening. And if people decide to donate to another charity now, that smart works has been given this amazing opportunity to get more attention and more outfits to give away, well they'll just do that. Seems silly to me, but that's everyone's own prerogative.
  #317  
Old 09-13-2019, 09:44 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hallo girl View Post
I am not taking away from the concept and delivery, top marks all round but I have a couple of concerns and please do not shout me down as a hater, as I am not, it is an honest review.

Is this line available on an ongoing basis or for a limited time, I thought I read that it was only available for 2 weeks. What happens next.

I wish Meghan had worded the new plan as an extension to the original, rather than people don't want the clothes.

My concern is that individuals who had donated their clothes or companies who donated excess stock might now donate to another charity. If I had donated my personal items or as a company chosen smart works as the charity of choice I might feel offended.

What happens once the line is sold out, are they back to depending on donations.
Don't be Meghan has even acknowledged she has donated some items and it wasn't always the style/match the individual was looking for. I would still recommend donating because what works for one person may not work for another. Plus those that go through the program and get hired can come back for up to 5 additional outfits and use some of the other attire that has been donated.

This project is focused more on the interview portion and to be honest I think that have some new pieces and not always handme downs can do wonderings for someone's confidence especially during very nervous times.
  #318  
Old 09-13-2019, 10:43 AM
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When Meghan did her 1st official visit she even told a story of how one women turned down one of the purses that she had personally donated. Meghan laughed about it. Nothing to be offended about. It seemed the audience found the humor in the image of a rack full of lilac blazers. They just want more simpler tones because that works for everyone. Start with the basics and build from there. That is all they are saying.

One major thing I took from this event was the realization that people like Misha are not just donating clothing but also investing time to also coach these women in the offices. I heard more than once how "honored it was to spend time one on one with [the women]" and that is the real purpose of the organization. Helping these woman feel empowered.
  #319  
Old 09-13-2019, 07:48 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hallo girl View Post
I am not taking away from the concept and delivery, top marks all round but I have a couple of concerns and please do not shout me down as a hater, as I am not, it is an honest review.

Is this line available on an ongoing basis or for a limited time, I thought I read that it was only available for 2 weeks. What happens next.

I wish Meghan had worded the new plan as an extension to the original, rather than people don't want the clothes.

My concern is that individuals who had donated their clothes or companies who donated excess stock might now donate to another charity. If I had donated my personal items or as a company chosen smart works as the charity of choice I might feel offended.



As for what happens next- the same thing that happened for the past six years. This isnt a new charity Meghan started. The charity has been running and opened six new locations. This campaign was simply a way to

1. Draw attention to the needs of the charity
2. supply some much needed items

If they sell out of everything in the campaign, they will have enough items to supply their charity for the next 12 months Meghan said. This would be a great leg up for the charity. IT will hopefully bring more attention and get more people and businesses to donate the kind of items they need.

What happens once the line is sold out, are they back to depending on donations.
Your first question was answered directly in my post

Quote:
For every item bought during the sale of the collection, which will last for at least two weeks, one will be donated to Smart Works. This direct 1:1 model means that for every item bought by a customer, another will be given to help a woman get back into the work place.

As for your concern.......Smart works is probably happy simple.

The fact is that many of the items they receive are of no use to them. They spend time sorting through the items, and sending them to places where they can be used. As Meghan said some women may like a purple blazer, but for a professional job interview, its not going to be appropriate. And that is what they are doing there, they are dressing women for their interviews. They arent dressing them for groceries or church, or going to the park. They arent dressing them for any other purpose. They are dressing them for interviews and hopefully jobs. And these are the kinds of donations they need.

So I am sure Smart works is Thrilled if the people who donated lilac jackets and gumboots would donate to another charity instead. They would be happy that the items were going to some where they could be useful and needed. For the purpose of Smart works, they aren't useful.

All charities make requests for certain things, nothing new here. Caviar might be delicious to some, but food banks dont want shiploads of it. A crockpot might be a great kitchen gadget, but a kids toy drive is not right place to ditch it either. The charity is asking people to make Conscious decisions about what they donate.
  #320  
Old 09-13-2019, 09:03 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Cocoasneeze View Post
What a great successful launch for this clothing capsule. Meghan is such a captivating, great public speaker, and imho this project again showed how passionate she's about trying to do her part in helping others. I'm 100% sure this clothing capsule will sell out fast.
here is an interview in the NY Times that will help your wish come true!
https://www.nytimes.com/2019/09/12/s...gtype=Homepage
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