There’s no place like home.
That’s one of the reasons the organizers of the National Council of Jewish Women, Pittsburgh Section, Designer Days decided to host the annual shopping event in-house this year.
The theme “Welcome Home” acknowledges it is being held at the council’s Designer Annex at the Home Consignment Store in Swissvale. A patron party is set for Nov. 5 with public sales days Nov. 6 to 9.
“We are driven by our mission of raising money to support programs for women, men and children,” says Carolyn Jensen, who is chairing the event. “Our goal is to serve the community. The message we are trying to get across is to come home to our location.”
Without venue rental fees, more of the money raised will go to support the community.
The 8,000-square-foot space has been dressed up by Martin Potoczny, creative director, producer and consultant of Luxe Lighting + Atmospheres (luxepgh.com) in Lawrenceville. He’s coordinated everything from the decor and lighting to the music, starting with the patron event.
“I love to support events such as this,” Potoczny says. “I wanted to help them continue to make Designer Days the amazing event it has been year after year. It’s an historic sale. This is certainly an important year for them in that they are changing locations.”
The 44th annual event raises money to support the council’s Center for Women and other projects, including clothing vouchers, Children’s Rooms in the Courts, Pick-A-Bag (where children in foster care receive bags filled with comfort items), and a new back-to-school program in July 2015 giving children backpacks filled with school supplies.
“Designer Days helps us grow all of these programs,” says council executive director Andrea Glickman. “I am so excited to be having this event in our designer annex at the consignment store. We are embracing this change. One thing that definitely will be the same is shoppers will find great deals on some amazing clothing, shoes and accessories. It’s a time for fashion and fun … and a time to help those in need.”
Zylphia Ford is one of the people who’s been helped by the council’s programs. She was going through a separation and looking for a new job when she turned to the Center for Women, whose goal is to ensure women in the community are able to achieve and maintain economic independence and self-sufficiency.
“There are times when you are struggling that you don’t feel good and that shows in an interview because you have a major loss in confidence,” says Ford of Point Breeze. “They have helped me feel good about myself. They helped me uncover leads and network. It’s a wonderful support group.”
Being able to lend a hand to individuals such as Ford is the mission of the National Council of Jewish Women and funding comes from Designer Days. It’s the biggest fundraiser of the year for the organization.
The shopping adventure features gently worn and new designer and better brand clothing, shoes and accessories for women, men and children.
Designer names include Tory Burch, Christian Louboutin, Escada, Dolce & Gabbana, Max Mara, W by Worth, Eileen Fisher, Doncaster, Calvin Klein and St. John. The event also will feature new and gently worn furs by Carl Herrmann Furs.
Personal stylists will be on hand to help find the perfect outfit.
This is the first year attorney Candice L. Komar is taking part. She’s a partner at Pollock Begg Komar Glasser & Vertz LLC, Downtown, which is a sponsor.
“We were happy to partner with Designer Days because it benefits women, men and children in need, and, being a divorce lawyer, it was an appropriate sponsorship,” Komar says. “Plus, I love clothes and shopping, so it’s a natural fit.”
One of the exciting things about this event is that you never know what you are going to find, says Bear Brandegee, a member of the council’s board and chair of the social enterprise committee, which helps guide retail operations.
“It’s a chance to get a good deal on an item and also help someone at the same time,” Brandegee says. “It’s also a way to see our locations and be welcomed into our home consignment store and designer annex. We will have ‘our home’ ready to welcome shoppers.”
For year-round shopping, the council runs the Designer Days Boutique in Squirrel Hill and the home store and Thriftique in the same plaza as the Designer Annex. Thriftique’s hours will mirror those during Designers Days public sale. A spring shopping event is planned for April.
JoAnne Klimovich Harrop is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 412-320-7889.