A Boutique Using Fashion To Help Survivors Of Sex Trafficking
A Boutique Using Fashion To Help Survivors Of Sex Trafficking. “I’m going to wear this outfit when I get my daughter back”, Were the words spoken to Atlanta-based entrepreneur Dana Spinola at a free fab’rik event, that is a free shopping spree & boutique experience for women recovering from hardships such as addiction, human trafficking or homelessness.
Back in 2002, Spinola founded “fab’rik”, a clothing boutique-turned-franchise, with more than forty two locations across the US. And being passionate for fashion since her childhood, she founded fab’rik to do something different by “making women feel beautiful inside and out, 1 piece of fabric at a time.”
But when the fab’rik franchise was growing across the country, Spinola started thinking about her personal responsibility in the “vain fashion industry,” later asking herself s question, “How do we make sure we are serving our communities & not just ourselves with heels & skinny jeans?”
And Spinola’s free fab’rik was the answer to her question.
The connection between clothing & making a difference was not always obvious.
She says that clothing makes my heart beat and I always wished it was something different and nobler. But she thinks it was what she love, so she decided to use that passion to make a difference, even if she did not know how to right away.
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She, with the fab’rik franchise being both women-led & women-focused, started thinking about the hardships faced by women, specially, sex trafficking.
She states that the idea a woman could not dream or live the life she wanted to because of something as devastating as sex trafficking kept me up at nights. And she kept thinking about how she could contribute to help others through clothing. And when she and her friend were getting ready to give away clothes out of their personal closets, she reached an idea.
“What if we gave these beautiful clothes to women who needed them – and got to meet them, style them, and spend time with them?”
Spinola knew she was onto something. So like any other passionate entrepreneur with a bold idea, she immediately put her inspiration to action and sent out an email blast to customers who were asking for clothing donations, sharing the inspiration for a boutique event for survivors of sex trafficking & women in need. At these ‘free sprees,’ there will be no price tags – an opportunity for women to feel beautiful & empowered.
The response was so great that Spinola wasn’t prepared for.
Within only a day of her email blast, more than 5,00 bags of clothing were donated to Atlanta store and a few days later, fab’rik had hundreds of women signed up to volunteer at event.
In 2009, fab’rik held their 1st free spree, which became the formal nonprofit arm of the fab’rik franchise namely Free fab’rik.
Fab’rik has helped over 3,000 women through free shopping sprees & pop-up boutique events.