Women in crisis to benefit from spring purge campaign

Your spring cleaning could result in more than just a pared down closet — it could benefit women in crisis.

Emerald Studios owner Faith Hovde is holding a campaign called Purge For a Purpose to encourage women to donate clothes and accessories they no longer need, so that they can assist local women trying to rebuild their lives.

“My business primarily serves women and I’ve always tried to come alongside women no matter where they are in life. I had it on my heart that I wanted to do something,” Hovde said.

Hovde is working with the Tri-Cities Dream Center, a faith-based organization and a network partner of the L.A. Dream Center, which focuses on serving others.

The group’s latest outreach program is called Soul Sisters and its focus is on helping women who may have been sex trafficked, involved in prostitution or escaped domestic violence.

Often, these women are freed from their situation with only the clothes on their back.

“They don’t just want to give them clothes and send them on their way, but come alongside them and really help them, empower them and build their confidence,” Hovde said. “The end goal is to get them back in the job market.”

Hovde is assisting that effort through the Purge For a Purpose donation drive she’s holding at her Kennewick photography studio, where she works as both a photographer and wardrobe stylist. She’s created a series of videos posted online that help walk women through the process of purging strategically.

“It’s not just, ‘Clean out all your things from the 1980s.’ There’s a purpose behind it and a purpose for it. Sometimes I think we hold onto those pieces because we actually do love them, but I think being able to say, ‘I love this, but it doesn’t serve me anymore,’ so it can serve someone else, and it may serve her very well in a life-changing way.”

The videos provide guidance and suggestions on how women can free themselves of some of the clothing and accessories that might not just be hanging in a closet, but might actually be holding someone back from their full potential.

“I want to help them align their image with their strengths,” Hovde said. “I want to help women define their God-given beauty and to just embrace that. I think a lot of times we’re comparing ourselves to each other instead of letting women celebrate who they are, being unique and letting that shine through.”

She’s encouraging women to target three items a week, keeping it “small and manageable” as they slowly build confidence to get rid of more things they don’t need.

Hovde pointed to national statistics that say most women spend 16 minutes a day deciding what to wear and then only end up using a fifth of the clothes they own.

The Purge For a Purpose effort is looking for clothes described as “clean, nice and functional.” There is no restriction on the style; donations ranging from casual to formal will be accepted. In just the first few weeks of the drive, Hovde received donations that filled a half dozen garbage bags.

The clothes will go to Soul Sisters, Dream Center’s outreach program launched this spring that was designed for women, and run by women. Its goal is “to support women who are beautiful, but can’t see it yet.”

As part of Hovde’s ongoing effort to inspire women to lift each other up, she is also giving away a style makeover/closet audit to a single winner.

An audit includes a home visit to weed out clothes that no longer fit, or no longer fit a person’s style.

Hovde helps clients create complete outfits with the clothes remaining. She is looking for someone who might need a boost of confidence because their image doesn’t accurately reflect “how great they are inside.”

Nominations are being accepted at emeraldstudios.info. This is also where you can sign up for the newsletter to receive the weekly purge videos, or to view them directly.

Donations for the Purge For a Purpose are accepted at Emerald Studios through the end of May. It is at 3311 W. Clearwater Ave., Suite B170 in Kennewick. For more information, call 509-531-1653.

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