Northshore Magazine

Northshore April 2020

Northshore magazine showcases the best that the North Shore of Boston, MA has to offer.

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NORTHSHOREMAG.COM 38 APRIL 2020 L I V E + P L AY Whether it's for a special occasion, a job interview, or just everyday living, there's a lot to be said for feeling confident about the way you look. Looking good and feeling good can go hand in hand, and feeling worthy on both the inside and the outside. But the truth is that this just isn't a daily reality for some women—which is exactly what Susan Kanoff, executive director and founder of local empowerment boutique Uncommon Threads in Lawrence, is working to change. With an "outside-in/inside-out approach," Uncommon Threads is a nonprofit organiza- tion that exists to give women in need the confidence to look and feel their best. "We are using clothes and image to help boost self- esteem and self-worth," explains Kanoff. Uncommon Threads frequently partners with social service organizations such as shelters, domestic violence programs, job training programs, churches, and mental health agencies to connect with women who might benefit from their services. Clients of Uncommon Threads are referred by these partner agencies and include women of all ages who have found themselves in life circumstances where they need not only new clothes but also a renewed self-image and a community of caring and encouraging women, which is exactly what Uncommon Threads aims to provide. With Family Services of the Merrimack Valley as their fiscal sponsor, Uncommon Threads welcomes clients by appointment for private styling sessions with one of the boutique's volunteer stylists. Each woman re- ceives up to four complete outfits that best fit her lifestyle. Uncommon Threads also offers PHOTOGRAPH BY SARAH JORDAN MCCAFFERY A look inside local nonprofit Uncommon Threads. BY LAUREN TORLONE MAHONEY FOR THE COMMON GOOD CONTACT 60 Island St., Lawrence, 978-219-9559, self-esteem-focused workshops that address everything from beauty tips to self-love and beyond. The program has served over 2,000 women since its inception and expects to help over 1,200 women in 2020. Uncommon Threads recently underwent an expansion and their new client boutique was renovated by Timberland, which included adding private dressing rooms to rival any boutique's. "Our program is about dignity and respect, " says Kanoff. "We elevate the process and make sure every woman who walks through our doors leaves with outfits that make her feel worthy," she explains. The brand recently unveiled Uncommon Closet, a social enterprise that is open to the public and features an array of designer piec- es and accessories at low prices. Kanoff calls it "guilt-free shopping at its finest," because proceeds from Uncommon Closet benefit Uncommon Threads. Uncommon Closet store manager Kelly Tortolano is a decade-plus veteran of mega retailer Nordstrom, and it shows. Uncommon Closet very much oper- ates like a high-end consignment boutique. Local women are having a lot of fun reserv- ing Uncommon Closet for private parties— much to the delight of Kanoff and Tortolano. In addition to sales from Uncommon Closet, Uncommon Threads relies on a largely volunteer staff as well as corporate sponsor- ships and individual financial contributions. The boutique is quick to highlight the gener- ous support of retail shops, including local retailers Sole Amour, French Lessons, ecru, Scout & Molly, and CoCo Collection, that regularly supply the organization with high- end surplus inventory. Susan Kanoff and manager Kelly Tortolano. September 16, Uncommon Threads will celebrate their mission at the third annual Dress to Impress Gala, which will feature a cocktail party, silent auction, music, and inspiring client speakers. Tickets may be purchased online. This year the premier gala sponsor is Timberland. IN THE KNOW

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