Happy International Women’s Day! This March, we teamed up with Smart Works Scotland for an exclusive, sold-out collaboration for International Women’s Day. Each scarf included an embroidered equals sign, celebrating the theme of Embrace Equity.
As part of our campaign with Smart Works Scotland to celebrate this important day, we had the amazing opportunity to visit the Smart Works Scotland base in Glasgow to speak to Abbie, the Events & Communications Manager. Here, we were able to see the impressive work that Smart Works Scotland does first hand and learn more about this incredible charity.
Who are Smartworks Scotland?
“At the heart of Smart Works sits a dressing and coaching service designed to help our clients be the best version of themselves at a crucial moment in their lives.”Smart Works Scotland is a charity which exists to support women into employment, changing the trajectory of their lives. They provide support at each stage of what can be a very daunting process by providing job search support, interview styling and coaching session and supplying a capsule wardrobe when that woman secures employment. The charity utilises clothing from retailers, corporate organisations and donations from the public to help women feel more confident and prepared to make the next step in their employment journey.
Smart Works Scotland first support women through their ‘Career Coaching’ appointment. This is a 1-hour appointment where a volunteer coach, who has professional HR and recruitment experience, will support that client in the creation of three tangible goals to help her on her job search. At the heart of Smart Works is their ‘First Dressing and Interview Preparation Service’ this consists of a interview outfit, a ‘Coaching Session’, to prepare her for interview questions and talk about her previous experience and lastly, a ‘Second Dressing’ which provides them with a capsule wardrobe when that woman secure employment.
What Did We Learn?
A small TBCo team, including our CEO & Co-Founder Emma Macdonald and our Brand Stylist Chloe Waller, headed down from Edinburgh to Glasgow to see the Smart Works Scotland office in person and witness their operation for ourselves. We brought with us a handful of the exclusive TBCo X Smart Works Scotland scarves as a small donation to Smart Work’s ever growing wardrobe.
On entering the office, Abbie was kind enough to show us around the Smart Works space, where every stage of the interview preparation process is held. The main feature of the office is a large space full of clothes in different sizes, colours and styles. Abbie shared that it is important to Smart Works that they cater to every body shape, every style and every occasion in order to help the women feel as confident as they possibly can. Their goal is to create a safe, warm and welcoming environment that will encourage the women to feel both comfortable and empowered.
We met other members of their staff team as well as individuals from their amazing volunteer-led team who conduct their services.
We learned that during the lockdown of 2020, Smart Works continued its coaching and even styling, learning to adapt to video and phone calls. This included styling sessions which took place over hour-long phone calls, with clothes then being sent to the client all the way from the Smart Works base in London. Since then, the organisation has only grown with the Smart Works Scotland Glasgow office opening in 2022. Now, a client’s first dressing, coaching & second dressing all happen in one space so the area feels familiar and safe.
Visiting the Glasgow offices for Smart Works Scotland was a fun and eye-opening experience for our TBCo team. We are so grateful to have the opportunity to support such an important organisation.
What Can You Do to Help?
Smart Works Scotland hosts their own amazing fundraising opportunities year round. Every year, they host a Cycle for Smart Works event which allows members of their community to raise money by challenging teams of five to cycle a collective 500 miles between 1st and 8th March.
Cycling not your thing? Don’t worry, there are other ways to make a difference. Smart Works Scotland accepts donations of women’s workwear to either of their Scottish centres in Glasgow or Edinburgh to add to their client wardrobe - so go on, we know you’ve got a smart pencil skirt that hasn’t been touched since 2019 lying around somewhere.
Excitingly, you can help to support Smart Works Scotland by shopping! No, we aren’t kidding. Smart Works Scotland holds sales, consisting of stock from retailers which isn’t quite the right fit for their client wardrobe. This can include anything from crop tops to ballgowns. Find out more about their next shopping event being held on the 22nd April right here in Edinburgh!