I know it’s been a while since we posted, that’s because we had our fingers in too many pies! We had family visiting from abroad, we had our new collection designs to be confirmed and shipped (while writing this blog we are actually booking our next work trip already …) and mostly satisfying this month, we had run a “DRESS FOR GOOD” campaign to raise awareness for the Star Shelter and collected pre-loved dresses for Dress4U, which is thrift shop that is run by volunteers of the SCWO (Singapore Counsel of Women’s Organisation).
We’ve stretched and learned so much through this experience, and while I do post a little something everyday on Instagram (@butterfliesandmarigolds) and Facebook, I thought its only fitting that before the month ends, I should update our followers so that you know what’s been going down with us.
Where do I start… well, I’ll be honest and start by saying that while we were planning our April schedules, I didn’t intend to work so fervently for a “charity drive”, that wasn’t our primary objective. We just wanted to do something “good” for Good Friday – involve our staff, customers, suppliers, landlords … everybody basically, to publicise “doing good” instead of the usual “sale” or “promotion” every excuse we get to cash in on public holidays.
That said, when we started to brainstorm about what “good” to do, Star Shelter came up. We did some legwork and found their cause of giving women suffering from family violence and abuse a temporary refuge resonated with us, we knew we wanted to help further their cause. Here I am teaching about detoxing our wardrobes, how we should learn to dress ourselves happy, then discovering that there are women in Singapore who hide in their closets to avoid getting beaten by their spouses, or women who pack what’s left of their wardrobes into a tiny handcarry, ready to run if their husbands get drunk and violent again, but who have no place to go to ready broke my heart and propelled me to push our Good Friday “Dress for Good” campaign to be so much more than a “marketing’’ event.
Sometimes in urban Singapore, in our busy-ness to keep up with our jobs, our families, our friends or our lives plain & simple (not that any of these ever are!!), it’s so easy to overlook the needs of the silent and less fortunate in our midst. I’m not pointing fingers, God knows I was blissfully unaware of these women until we started planning for a Good Friday event about a month ago! But now that my eyes are opened and I’m aware, I can no longer pretend to be unaware! So April became the month of “now that you know, what are you going to do about it?”
Well… we roped in Audrey Hepburn! As in we took a screenshot of one of her most fabulous poses of all time from the classic movie Funny Face and used her to canvas for everybody to “Dress for Good” and “Make a Fashion Statement”. I’m sure that Ms. Hepburn would approve, as she herself was also an avid giver and championed supporting women issues. We decided that we’ll give a $10 B&M voucher to all who would walk into our shops and contribute 2 pre-loved dresses of their own. Then with everything that we collected, we delivered them all to New4U.
Promotion mechanics and logistics aside, after all the research we did about the Star Shelter, and after multiple visits to the New4U thrift shop, chatting with the enthusiastic volunteers and even the shoppers who patronise New4U, we really wanted to run a good campaign. I’m happy to report that everyone, from family, friends, staff, customers, suppliers, and even landlords pulled their weight and donated, contributed, carried bags of clothes (although technically we only asked for dresses) to our shops – some didn’t even want our vouchers as they just wanted to give, while others came more than once, because they wanted to give some more! Some wrote to us to extend our collection dateline because they couldn’t come in time! How could we say no to that?
So yes, it took more time, more effort, disrupted our shop sales a little, and for those couple of weeks, we were driving bags of clothes from our shops to SCWO whenever our shops got too cluttered to free up space for our girls to do business. It was well worth it, this little discomfort is nothing, compared to the difficulties the women at Star Shelter are facing.
Now that the donation drive is over, we truly want to say a huge thank you to everyone who has helped or contributed in anyway. We are truly humbled by your generosity. What will May bring? I don’t know. But what I do know is that, here at B&M, we’re happy that we had our hands and hearts filled, spending our April - Dressing for Good.