We sat down with Mary Alice Stephenson, founder and CEO of GLAM4GOOD, to talk with her about activism and how, together, we can make a difference. Mary Alice, with her true humanitarian heart and her do-good spirit, raises awareness for key issues and makes serious, positive changes in our world. She walks the walk, with grace, beauty and a fierce sense of purpose.
We are beyond proud to support GLAM4GOOD as they use style and beauty to raise awareness and empower women in need. Tell us more about GLAM4GOOD’s breast cancer initiatives and the impact you make.
We love hosting GLAM4GOOD #shoppingsprees4free. Just as the name suggests, these are shopping sprees, provided for the women who are bravely fighting this horrific disease. It is so important to remember, women battling breast cancer have to continue to work, go to school, take care of their families. That doesn’t stop because they now have cancer. Life goes on, even though they are fighting for their lives every day.
And often, these women have to deal with many unwanted physical changes, on top of everything else. They don’t have clothes they feel comfortable in anymore. They might want to cover up or wear looser clothing, especially post-surgery or during or after reconstruction, but they can’t afford to buy new things.
Our clothing initiatives provide needed personal care products, workwear, undergarments, sportswear, as well as beauty services to empower these women and bring them joy. Ultimately, we believe in using fashion and beauty to honor women’s courage and to give them an experience to take their minds off – even if it’s just for a moment – of the stresses involved in battling breast cancer.
People, now more than ever, seem to be craving opportunities to do good and be good. We admire how GLAM4GOOD has taken such a genuine and impassioned position on matters of social impact. How do you choose or select the issues on which you focus?
We are honored to have become a go-to in the fashion and beauty industry for communities wanting to use style to make a positive social impact, raise awareness and help people in need.
GLAM4GOOD is honored to be the philanthropic partner for Helen Jon for this exclusive capsule collection. We are grateful for Gwyn Prentice's commitment to empower our #GLAM4GOOD initiatives for breast cancer thrivers and can't wait to celebrate this campaign. Helen Jon, like GLAM4GOOD, understands that improving the lives of others is the ultimate form of style.
GLAM4GOOD is a zeitgeist in and of itself, motivating and empowering us to do more and be more. What was the inspiration behind the creation of GLAM4GOOD?
After 15 years of working in the fashion and beauty industries, I started GLAM4GOOD as a way to use my love for style to honor courage, raise awareness, bolster self-esteem, dress people in need and empower women and girls.
In just a few years, through our self-esteem enhancing initiatives, #shoppingspree4free pop-up shops, and confidence building makeovers, GLAM4GOOD has helped over 20,000 disadvantaged women and girls and raised awareness for a large group of diverse causes.
My team and I use fashion and beauty to empower women who have lost children from gun violence, lost limbs at war, lost breasts from cancer, lost their homes from a natural disaster or lost their way because of substance or domestic abuse. We have witnessed first-hand, the tremendous healing power fashion and beauty has to shine the human spirit, promote wellness and effect positive change.
Will you please share with us one story that crystallizes your vision in action?
GLAM4GOOD just held a disaster relief initiative in Houston to restore the wardrobes and personal care essentials for hundreds of women and their families who suffered great loss due to Hurricane Harvey. Teachers do so much, so we chose to focus this GLAM4GOOD initiative on supporting teachers, educators, and their families.
This GLAM4GOOD emergency relief event provided a dignified, compassionate and uplifting atmosphere that empowered educators from the Houston community as they prepared themselves and their families to go back to work and school.
We often receive messages of thanks from the women we support, and they mean the world to us. Here are two examples:
“I lost everything in the storm. We had six feet of water in our house, and everything is gone. I am so happy today; I got to shop for so many great things for my family and me. You are our angels.”
“After losing everything, this is a new beginning and a new chapter in my life. You have made my day and made my year!”
There are countless ways to make a difference, but we are struck by just how personal GLAM4GOOD’s touch really is. How do you do that, make your impact so individual and special, yet universal at the same time?
There are many unfortunate reasons women often connect self-worth with how they look, but when people are given the tools to permit themselves to feel and look their best, it propels their confidence, bolsters their self-esteem and that often helps them deal with far more serious things.
At our GLAM4GOOD events, we have witnessed women battling life-threatening illness get up from their wheelchairs and hospital beds with recharged resilience. We have worked with women to reclaim their femininity and re-enter civilian life after serving our country, and heard them say, “Today was the first day I feel truly feel beautiful and it’s liberating.”
We witness impact at every event, but it’s most evident when GLAM4GOOD holds initiatives in hospitals and homeless and domestic violence shelters. In these initiatives, we style, pamper and create wardrobes for women and girls for a variety of reasons. Whether we are inspiring hope, health, second-chances, or a confidence or morale reboot, we see the meaningful impact of our mission in many ways every day.
There have been times when I was in a shelter, a hospital room, a domestic violence safe house, and a woman or a girl came up to me with such a look of happiness, relief, and love. The look on their faces when they feel pampered, validated and most importantly, good about themselves, is worth it all. Clothing, toiletries, and beauty products are essential in life. GLAM4GOOD provides the tools to help people feel confident to go get that job, to fight that illness, to start a new path, to empower courage to go after their dreams, to help their kids.
The fashion and beauty industry has the ability to change lives with the excess it produces and the platform it has to raise awareness.
What is next for you, for GLAM4GOOD?
Of course, we are very excited about our partnership with Helen Jon throughout the month of October. Also, we are headed to Miami for the Fashion Fights Cancer event. We are then headed to Brooklyn for a special day of pampering women living with their babies in the NICU (neonatal intensive care unit) of a hospital in New York, and then back to Houston to help families who lost their homes in Hurricane Harvey. It is a difficult time for many people in this country and world. We hope that through dark times GLAM4GOOD is a beacon of light.
Fashion and beauty can do more than exist on the surface, as Mary Alice and GLAM4GOOD exemplify. We are honored to engage in this partnership – and with you – to make change, ignite passion, and instill hope.
To that end, we designed this limited collection, and we will donate 20% of all sales during the month of October to support GLAM4GOOD’s breast cancer initiatives.