Confidence on a Budget

My problem is not having enough money to keep up on wearing a variety of clothes Priorities are growing a startup business, single Mum to 2 kids, paying bills and just keeping afloat while scaling a business is TOUGH. The actual wearing of the clothes is not a biggy, it’s the feeling of ‘not good enough’ and low self esteem when you don’t feel nice walking into a meeting or going to give a talk.... There’s always a bill or kids hobby that comes first. Sometimes it’s just the food shopping!



Confidence is the ultimate commodity of our age. We all want it, it is pure power, but it is also fragile and elusive. We can fake it, but that can hurt both us and those who can smell a lack of authenticity. It's like when you're online dating and the minute you stop caring, you become remarkably attractive. Women's confidence arc, compared to men's throughout their lives is fascinating. We basically grow into the right to not give a shit and enjoy who we are, eventually overtaking men's early bombast.

Research by Zenger Folkman

Confidence is a muscle. The more confident we are, the more confident we become. Even adversity can be dealt with in a different way. Confidence gives you the luxury of not taking things personally but approaching problems as puzzles that permit you to backflip your way to creative and lateral solutions.

This process is hard to find within yourself, quite often it requires an external catalyst. Someone who isn't blindly rooting for you like family and friends. Someone who can tell you you're brilliant and mean it without being emotionally bound.

In the workplace, actively seeking out mentors and sponsors and supportive peers is a great start. Speaking to yourself as you would speak to your best friend is another. Asking yourself, am I comfortable, or am I in the growth zone?

If you don't have a workplace infrastructure to support you, finding that network can be very hard indeed.

Eight years ago Sonya Lennon setup Dress for Success Dublin (DFSD) to empower women to economic independence by providing clients with interview clothing and the skills to present themselves for success at interview. It works. 60% of their clients get the job compared to 18% from other social support agencies.

The team work with 80 referral agencies who support women through training and education, into employment. DFSD also work with individuals, women who know they need that boost to get back to optimal. The service is completely free to the client. DFSD is supported by amazing corporate partners who fund the service. Last week it was honoured with the 'Mna na hEireann' award from Social Innovation Fund Ireland and Bank of America. This will help to roll the service wider and support women all over Ireland.

Dress for Success Dublin, dedicated to supporting women to economic independence.

Guess what else the corporate partners do? They donate their work clothes in a glorious act of niche recycling to provide clothing for DFSD clients, not only at interview but to provide a workwear wardrobe once successful.

What this means is that there is a fully stocked boutique of good quality work clothing. In fact, they recycle 8 boutiques worth of stock every year and growing! That boutique is there as a resource for women just like you. There are trained stylists who work one on one to help you look the part whether it’s for interview or, in your case, meetings and pitches.

And it’s not just about the clothes, it’s about helping you to feel confident and fit for purpose. DFSD are running a confidence workshop in conjunction with JP Morgan on October 15th and you are invited to attend. Believe us, once the click happens - the moment you feel that power - you will never look back.

Being an entrepreneur is hard.

Scaling a business is hard.

Being a single Mum is hard.

Having a limited budget is hard.

Damn, being a woman is hard.

DFSD was created to support you through their core service, mentorship and workshops.

Please contact the office at the details below, we know they'll be honoured to be part of your journey to success.

If you want to volunteer, support or donate to Dress for Success, please get in touch.

Dress for Success Dublin

Unit 1 Ellis Quay,

Dublin 1

(01) 640 0001

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