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140 Smiles, 140 Accomplishments, 140 Lives Changed for the Better

posted by The Princess Shop    |   October 2, 2018 15:36

by April Donauer

The trees are already looking bare, we have a couple of snowy days under our belts, and grad season seems like a lifetime ago. All the same, we would like to take some time and reflect on our 2018 Princess Graduates. They are strong, they are intelligent, they are brave, and they are GRADUATED. Here at The Princess Shop, we feel a sense of pride when we send out the dresses on grad days. Each dress belongs to a girl who has reached a truly special milestone and each girl has had her own journey. We celebrate each journey and congratulate each achievement. 

This past grad season was a truly remarkable one. What made it particularly special was that it could not have been possible without the support of our community. We had volunteers help mend dresses, volunteers assist in appointments, businesses that donated funds, hair services given, make-up services given, photography services given, and dresses donated. All this to say, The Princess Shop had been able to give back because so much has been given through the support of our community. Thank-You.  

One of the most breathtaking moments of grad season is when a graduate chooses her dress. Whether it’s sleek and low profile or jeweled and dramatic, each dress represents celebration. It represents a unique story, a unique style, and an exciting beginning. The celebration begins when the Princess Graduate comes to pick out a dress. Sometimes there is excitement in her eyes, sometimes fear. Excitement because she is planning to go all out, fear because she has never worn a dress and maybe it won’t look good on her. Nothing replaces the look in her eyes when she has found the dress. She is no longer fearful because she KNOWS she looks beautiful in the dress.

This year we had 140 dress appointments, 140 looks of nervous excitement, 140 success stories that represented 18 different Saskatchewan communities, and 140 Princess Graduates who have celebrated their achievements (in style). 140 represents the number of dresses that were worn to graduation celebrations this year but The Princess Shop is more than dresses. This year, our graduates received $32,000 of scholarships. They worked hard and are now off on new adventures. We also have new graduates connecting to mentors, connecting to community. 140 represents the number of dream chasers and hard workers.

Although back the school rush has faded, the pumpkin spice craze is upon us, and grad season seems like a lifetime ago, we want to say a special thank-you to our 2018 Princess Graduates. Thank-you for allowing us to be a part of your day. Thank-you for allowing us to sit next to you while you flashed looks of delight in that mirror when you saw how beautiful you looked. Thank-you.  

 

ps. You can be a part of this impact, too! Click here for more information on how to get involved.

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7 Reflections on Being a Real-Life Fairy Godmother...

posted by The Princess Shop    |   June 18, 2018 16:00

As we come to the peak of our 2018 graduation season and look forward to supporting our graduates in their next transitions through scholarship support and mentorship, we decided it would be important to hear from one of our Fairy Godmothers to share her experiences as a mentor in the Fairy Godmother Program.

Kayla Brien has a rich history with The Princess Shop. Starting with helping out for the Glass Slipper Benefit, to coordinating the Fairy Godmother Program, to becoming a Fairy Godmother and Board Member...

1)      What made you want to become a Fairy Godmother (mentor)?

Effective mentorship relationships enrich both people. Personally I wanted to dedicate time to getting to know a Princess Graduate, becoming a friend she could trust and to support her in her achieving her goals after graduation. On the flip side, I was also very excited about the prospect of having my eyes opened to new experiences and to learn new things from someone I may have never had the opportunity to engage with. 

2)      Why do you think it is important to mentor women at this stage of their life?

I have been very fortunate to have a strong network of support through the critical time in my life following graduation. This has played a large role in my personal growth knowing that I have champions in my corner ready to encourage me and help me navigate through the obstacles and roadblocks that show up in life. Every woman deserves that same level of support and encouragement, and I was excited about the idea of being able to provide that for a young woman.

3)      What surprised you throughout your experiences being a mentor?

After I hang out with Zoya, I always feel very inspired and uplifted. Although she has endured struggles in her life, she is always upbeat and positive and sees the light at the end of the tunnel. She has changed my outlook on life in a very positive and transformative way.

4)      What are a few key things you've learned by being a mentor?

Listening is so important. When you are actively listening you are establishing trust and respect in the relationship. Being present and engaged in your conversations allows for a person to feel truly heard and that they are valued. 

Have fun! Discover activities you like to do together and try new things! As important as it is to provide solid advice and guidance to a young woman, it is equally as important to share in positive experiences together. 

5)      What do you love most about your mentee?

I feel so fortunate for the friendship that has developed between Zoya and I. I have had the opportunity to participate in some of the most precious milestones of her life since I have met her; I attended her families citizenship ceremony, watched her cross the stage as a university graduate and grow from a shy, soft spoken young lady, to a confident, driven and fierce young women. I love that I have been able to witness this growth and to be part of her journey.

6)      Mentorship is a two-way street, so what benefits have you seen for yourself?

Mentoring allows you to bring out and develop key strengths in each other. I have had the opportunity to support and encourage my Princess Graduate to help her achieve her goals. However, in return, the experience has strengthened my leadership skills and my ability to communicate. My Princess Graduate comes to me to discuss a lot of big decisions in her life and I want to be able to help her make informed and confident decisions.

7)      What advice would you have for anyone looking to become a mentor for the first time?

Determine expectations and needs early on. Ask questions and be actively listening. The Princess Graduate has signed up to be in the program for a reason so take the time to really get to know her and about what peaked her interest in being in the program. It helps strengthen the connection early on and establish trust.

-end interview-

Thank you, Kayla! Your reflections are so appreciated and Zoya is lucky to have you in her life (and vice versa, as we have learned).

For anyone wishing for a meaningful mentorship experience, please apply as soon as you can and we would love to match you up! 


Not every mentorship match really has to match like Kayla and Zoya, but they sure make it fun! Here is a picture of Kayla supporting Zoya at our annual BBQ where Zoya won a scholarship! Photo by Joi Photography

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The Princess Shop
our location
12 - 1622 Ontario Avenue
Saskatoon, SK S7K 1S8
t: 306-222-3311

Karen Robson, Executive Director

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