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My Year Volunteering at The Princess Shop

posted by The Princess Shop    |   December 29, 2018 10:32

Written by Heidi Anderson

I am very grateful for the volunteer position that I was given the opportunity to have over the past year at The Princess Shop. 

In December 2017, I was looking for a consistent volunteer commitment that I could take on that would be of a benefit to my community.  When I first heard about The Princess Shop I was interested in the idea that they are helping women in need and being apart of reducing and reusing grad dresses. Reducing and reusing are two concepts that I try and follow in my personal life. I love art and expression, but I feel like we live in an overly commercialized culture filled with so much stuff.  On further inspection I learned about the rest of the programs – it is so much more than a dress. If a graduate uses The Dress Program they gain access to other programs and attendance at the main events. There is The Dress Program, The Next Chapter Program and The Fairy Godmother Program. The full name of The Princess Shop is The Princess Shop Mentorship and Female Youth Development Inc. The Princess Shop mission is to create an enhanced graduation experience for female-identified students in need, and provide them with mentorship, support, and the tools to pursue success after graduation. 

My first meeting was overwhelming, and it took awhile to understand everything that The Princess Shop does, what was expected of me, and how the organization is run.  It takes a lot for this organization to run effectively. Thankfully, the rest of the volunteers and Karen Robson the executive director were patient and understanding. They were also able to adapt with me as I went through some life changes like a work scheduling change. I felt supported by these women and that they wanted what was best for me. This was a refreshing change as in many avenues in my life I have felt a sense of rivalry from my female peers.  I felt as if my volunteer contributions were appreciated! As women we should be all be trying to encourage one another and build each other’s self esteem. Empowered women empower women.

I took on the position of the Fairy Godmother Program Coordinator. I felt this was the right fit for me as I have an interest in and a background in education.  The Fairy Godmother Program is a mentorship program and it was sponsored by TD. An interested princess graduate is partnered up with a woman in the community that wants to be a mentor to a princess graduate. All the participants were interviewed and matched into pairs. These women keep in touch throughout each month. They are also expected to attend monthly activities that are put on from September to March. This season we have had a lawn games activity, a pumpkin painting activity, a skin care workshop with local business Green Tree Beauty, and a holiday party so far.

 

It was great to see the connections made!  Mentorship is a learning opportunity for the mentee and the mentor. Even though attendance was a struggle at times for the participants, it didn’t take away from the value of the program. It was clear that it was making a difference for the people who were apart of it. Having the program as an option available for those that want to utilize it, is a value in and of its self. Having someone that supports you and is your cheer leader in life is so important for your personal growth. Imagine never having that and then getting the opportunity to have that!  I love that each season past matches can continue to be apart of the program. My wish for the Fairy Godmother Program is that it grows. If you want to be a role model in a princess graduate’s life, please apply to be a Fairy Godmother as The Princess Shop will be seeking new fairy godmothers to join the program next season. 

The Dress Program

Being at dress choosing appointments, it is interesting to see all the sorts of people that use The Dress Program and what their style preferences are. The participants are encouraged to choose something that interests them. At The Princess Shop there is so many styles of dresses, shoes and accessories to choose from and you are encouraged to be you. I really liked complimenting the ladies when they found a dress and seeing how appreciative they were for the experience. My favorite comment from a graduate when choosing a dress and accessories was, “I feel like Beyonce.” 

 Graduation Days

On the graduation day it is a very busy and exciting time! The graduates can have their hair and makeup done and get professional photos taken.  Seeing the graduates light up is very rewarding for all involved. My favorite moment on a grad day was watching an elderly lady who was about to graduate and she brought her son with her.  She explained that over the years she wasn’t often able to make herself a priority and was very nervous for graduation. As she was done up and went to pictures, you could see the confidence in herself build. 

The Perfectly Pink Appreciation BBQ

The BBQ is a great time to gather with all the princess shop participants, their families and supporting community members. We had such a great turn out this year and almost all the food was eaten! There was even a bouncy castle for the children.  During the BBQ the recipients of the scholarships from the next chapter program were announced! This BBQ has been sponsored by a Fairy Godmother Kari Calder of Kari Calder Realty for a very long time which provides the opportunity for Princess Graduates and their families to attend at no cost.

The Next Chapter Program

The Next Chapter Program is The Princess Shop’s scholarship program. What I really appreciate about the Next Chapter Program is that it doesn’t matter how many years ago you utilized the dress program, you are still able to apply for the scholarships! If The Princess Shop exists, a past Dress Program participant is able to apply to those scholarships. There are so many great scholarship opportunities and learning workshops offered through the program. At the Glass Slipper Benefit this year a scholarship opportunity was bid on and $9,300 was raised! 

The Glass Slipper Benefit for Princesses presented by K+S Potash Canada

The Glass Slipper Benefit is the largest fundraiser event put on by The Princess Shop. Lots of work is put into this event and planning begins very early on every year. Sponsors and silent auction items are gathered from all around our community. It is very inspiring listening to the speeches given at the gala by past princess graduates explaining how the princess shop has impacted their life.  

If you are interested in going to the Glass Slipper Benefit, it is best to get your ticket early as it saves you money.

There are many fundraising events that are put on all year round by The Princess Shop like the upcoming cupcake contest held on January 29th of this year during the Nutrien WinterShines Festival. The Cupcake Contest is where bakers compete by creating a cupcake modeled off a dress from The Princess Shop and guests get to judge and decide what cupcake was their favorite. It’s only $10 to attend and sample all of the cupcakes.  The Princess Shop is always interested in different creative fundraising ideas, so they can continue to have the funds to run. 

Unfortunately, I cannot continue as the Fairy Godmother Coordinator as I will be moving out of the city and have travel plans in 2019. I will however continue to show support in the ways that I can. The Princess Shop is always seeking help in many ways from small to large commitments. Please reach out and contact them if you want to contribute in any way. 

I am approaching ten years since I graduated high school. At that time, I really did not see that much significance on the day of graduation. I viewed it in many ways just like any other day and that graduating high school wasn’t that big of a deal. As I have lived my life for the past ten years and reflected, I have seen the value in celebrating positive moments and successes in life. Life is simply too short not to celebrate.  

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7 Reasons Why You Should Visit The Karma Cafe in Saskatoon

posted by The Princess Shop    |   April 19, 2017 14:52

 

1. 3% of your purchase will be donated to a local nonprofit/charity. The Princess Shop is the lucky and grateful beneficiary February-July 2017. This speaks to their name, The Karma Café – Conscious Café & Eatery. This local business was built upon the philosophy that it goes beyond serving the community delicious food, to giving back to the community.

2. The owners are the nicest people you’ll ever meet. This attitude is also reflected in the staff which is always welcoming and helpful.

3. Their Bulletproof Chai Latte. If you haven’t tried it, what are you waiting for? It is great iced or hot, and has the perfect balance of Black Chai Tea, Grass fed Butter, Coconut Oil, Raw Honey, Dash of cream, Ginger, Cinnamon, and Turmeric. This among their other amazing teas, lattes and hot smoothies… so delicious!

4. Located in beautiful downtown Saskatoon. Located at 157 2nd Ave North, this spot is super accessible by all modes of transportation, and they have a cute sidewalk patio!

5. The décor is both cozy and bright. It makes you want to bring your favorite book or journal, friend for a catch-up, or a date – it appeals to all!

6. The Nighttime Menu launches tonight (April 20) and it is full of amaaaaaaaazing food and cocktails. Our Executive Director, Karen, received a special invite to the preview tasting and can’t stop thinking about the Dim Sums, Samosa Flautas, or the Key Lime Beergarita. The Nighttime Menu be offered Thursday-Saturdays 6pm-10pm.

7. So many other reasons… Including the fact they hosted our Fairy Godmother Program mentorship group after hours for two nights in March, they attended our Glass Slipper Benefit, and they are planning a fundraiser (stay tuned)!

In closing, local businesses like The Karma Café are so important to support as they are built to better the community through experience and giving back. Please plan your next trip to The Karma Café soon!

Pretty Little Shoes Gives Back to The Princess Shop

posted by The Princess Shop    |   August 23, 2016 19:32

 

 

 

Pretty Little Shoes creates an at-home shoe shopping experience while giving back to local women’s charities such as The Princess Shop! Pretty Little Shoes is an e-commerce initiative founded in January 2016 by Baillie Janex with majority of sales being online or through home Shoe Parties. Baillie is passionate about giving back to the community and that’s how Pretty Little Shoes became involved with The Princess Shop! For every 150 pairs of shoes sold through Pretty Little Shoes home parties a brand new pair of shoes will be donated to The Princess Shop to be used by Princess Graduates participating in The Dress Program

 

We have asked Baillie a few questions about Pretty Little Shoes and her involvement with The Princess Shop:

  

Q1: Tell us about Pretty Little Shoes

 

Pretty Little Shoes is a home and ecommerce based shoe company located in Saskatoon. The bread and butter of Pretty Little Shoes is the in-home shoe party.

 

Shoe parties are so much fun - we bring a selection of shoes for you and your girlfriends to try on, purchase, and take home the day of the party. What better way to spend an afternoon/ evening then trying on shoes with your girlfriends?! In addition, we also offer one-on-one shoe shopping appointments, shopping via our online store, and we also have Facebook and Instagram so our customers can stay in the know about all things Pretty Little Shoes.

 

Currently we carry ladies shoes from size 5-11, but also carry a small selection of little girl shoes. We offer a wide variety of shoe styles (boots, heels, flats, sandals, booties), and carry a wide array of brands.

 

Q2: Tell us about yourself! Why did you wish to be involved with The Princess Shop?

 

I am an entrepreneur, student, runner, friend, and volunteer. I love the flexibility that my business allows me to have. Each day is a different schedule and brings something new - which is good because it keeps me on my toes. :)

 

When I first started Pretty Little Shoes, it was a priority of mine to find a local organization that we would be able to give back to. I know a couple ladies who are Fairy GodMothers with The Princess Shop and they have expressed how much they love their roles, so The Princess Shop was an obvious choice. Not only is it wonderful that they provide graduation attire for the Princesses, but offering mentoring to these young ladies is very encouraging.

  

Q3: How does The Princess Shop benefit from your involvement?

 

I'm very excited to be involved with The Princess Shop! Every woman deserves to have a day that they get to dress up and feel gorgeous and if we can help by providing a pair of shoes, then I am so happy to be involved. Pretty Little Shoes is excited to donate one pair of shoes to The Princess Shop for every 150 pairs of shoes that we sell. We also gladly accept donations from our customers/ hostesses that we pass on to The Princess Shop.

 

Q4: What was your graduation experience like? Your dress?

 

To be honest, I wasn't overly excited about graduation and the dress up experience. I used to say I was going to wear a brown paper bag to my graduation. But when I went dress shopping and found a dress that actually looked good on my tiny frame, I got so excited! It was a gorgeous strapless, navy blue dress with ruching.

 

Graduation was always something that scared me a little - fear of the day, fear of what would lie ahead, and saying good-bye to many friends who I had become so close to. But my graduation day was close to perfection. I have so many fond memories of that day, whether it be the ceremony, getting dressed up, or spending the day with my friends.

 

Q5: If you could give Princess Graduates a word of advice, what would it be?

 

If I could give a word of advice to Princess Graduates it's this - Work hard. Dream big. Have faith. Don't settle. Success isn't just handed to you - you have to work for it. Surround yourself with people who inspire you, lift you up, encourage you, and love you just the way you are.

 

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Good things can happen if you stay within your comfort zone but great things happen if you step out and see what else is out there.

 

The Princess Shop is grateful for local initiatives that can give back to our Princess Graduates in unique ways! You can find Pretty Little Shoes online, to shop or book a home party, at www.prettylittleshoesonline.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PrettyLittleShoes. You can also find them on Instagram @pretty.little.shoes and using the hashtag #PLShoes. Check it out for back to school shopping and you will also be contributing to a good cause, The Princess Shop!

The Princess Shop's Graduation Emergency Essentials Kit

posted by The Princess Shop    |   June 24, 2016 16:45

Here at The Princess Shop, we are making our way through our 9th graduation season with 130+ Princess Graduates in our Dress Program! We have seen amazing growth in numbers of women accessing the Dress Program, which lends out the dress and accessories to graduating women in financial and/or social need. Furthering that, for Saskatoon Graduates we can set them up with hair, makeup, photos, limo and corsage (Thanks to these amazing sponsors) to provide the enhanced graduation experience to mark the accomplishment.

Over the past 8 years (this year not included) we have supported 628 women for their graduation day. That means 628 women have attended their graduation feeling proud of their accomplishments, and equivalent to their peers. 628 women who might not have attended their graduation celebration at all, if not provided the opportunity to be a part of The Princess Shop's Dress Program.

That being said, we know a thing or two about graduation days: the good, the bad, and the ugly. 

Whether you're reading this and you're a graduate, an escort, a parent, friend or a family member of a graduate, this is for YOU! We all want the big day to go smoothly, but we know anything can go wrong. It is our goal for our Princess Graduates to have a stress-free graduation day! Having been a part of so many graduates' big day, and accompanying them to hair, makeup and photography appointments, we have learned a lot about quick fixes, and how to be prepared in case of anything - and we would love to share this with you! 

Here is The Princess Shop's Graduation Emergency Essentials Kit:

  1. Safety Pins - these are a MUST for the day. They can temporarily fix anything from a shoe strap to a dress strap. They are small and can be thrown in a clutch easily! 
  2. Mini Sewing Kit - these are found at the dollar store and contain needle, different colour threads, mini scissors and a thimble. We love these kits because they are compact and affordable!
  3. Hooks & Eyes - throw a couple of these into the sewing kit. These are important pieces at the top of a zipper to take the stress off fastening the dress.
  4. Tide to Go Pen - a miracle worker for stains!
  5. Baby Wipes - an alternative to the Tide to Go pen. Last year a Princess Graduate got RED lipstick on her WHITE dress... Baby Wipes to the rescue! A nice gentle solution!
  6. Crazy Glue - the dollar store also has mini crazy glue tubes which is amazing. If there is something a safety pin can't fix, then saftey glue is your best bet!
  7. Bandaids - for when those heels start to hurt!
  8. Extra Bobby Pins - in case a piece gently falls out of your amazing updo!
  9. Q-tips - to gently touch up makeup throughout the day
  10. Granola Bar/Protein Bar - this one is important! During big, stressful days we tend to forget to eat or lose our appetite. However, keeping in mind that your energy needs to be sustained through the whole day, from hair and makeup to photos, to walking across the stage to receive the diploma.
If you want to go all out (and if you have the cargo room), you can add these items:
  • Oil blotting sheets
  • Mini can of hairspray
  • Ballet flats so you can really hit the D-floor!
  • Fashion Tape (double-sided tape)
  • Mini deodorant stick
Other words of wisdom? Drink plenty of water throughout the day to stay hydrated; most graduation days take place end of June, which is known to be hot! 
 
Oh, and don't forget your banquet/prom ticket!
 
Happy Graduation Day to all!
 
Much Love,
 

How To: Become a Princess Graduate

posted by The Princess Shop    |   June 7, 2016 09:41

The Princess Shop is now in its 9th Graduation Season in Saskatoon! What does this mean? It means we have helped over 628 young women in Saskatoon and surrounding areas to feel supported, celebrated, and beautiful on their graduation days. 

If you are planning to graduate in 2016, we want to hear from you. What many do not know is that in addition to our Grad Dress Program, we also offer mentorship opportunities, and scholarship opportunities for all current and past Princess Graduates. If you are considering applying to be a Princess Graduate, here's what you need to know: 

1. Print off our application form and submit it to info@theprincessshop.ca (or drop it off in person)

2. Once we have received your application, Karen from the Princess Shop will contact you to book your dress appointment with one of our volutneers!

3. At your dress appointment, you will have the opportunity to try on your favourite choices of our massive selection of new and gently used grad dresses! 

4. At your appointment, you will also have the opportunity to choose shoes, jewellery, and handbag for your special day.

*All Saskatoon Princess Graduates will have hair styling, makeup artistry, photography, and corsage provided by the Princess Shop, and our wonderful sponsors!

5. Princess graduates are eligible to join our mentorship program, The Fairy Godmother program, as well as our Next Chapter program, which has scholarship opportunities that are available exclusively for Princess Graduates!

6. In addition to your graduation experience, The Princess Shop also holds three events annually that are great opportunities for you to meet fellow Princess Graduates, our wonderful volunteer team, and receive all of the support, and information you might need about our mentorship and scholarship programs! We encourage all Princess Graduates to attend!

Kinsmen Club of Saskatoon Sponsors the Dress Program

posted by The Princess Shop    |   October 20, 2015 12:35

We are so proud to have Kinsmen Club of Saskatoon return for the 2015-2016 graduation season as a Diamond Sponsor of The Dress Program

The Kinsmen Club of Saskatoon have been a major sponsor of The Dress Program since the 2011-2012 graduation season! This commitment and support has allowed The Princess Shop to grow and flourish over the years! 

Last year we saw a 33% growth in participants in The Dress Program which indicates how important it is to have the community's support for our program. Not only does a Princess Graduate get to come pick a beautiful dress, get treated to hair, makeup, photography, limousine and photography services as part of The Dress Program, but she also gets an infinite chance to participate in our mentorship program (The Fairy Godmother Program), or apply for scholarships, a work placement, or skill development workshops (The Next Chapter Program).

Opportunities are endless for Princess Graduates, thanks young woman should have the chance to celebrate her graduation day and celebrate her accomplishments equivalent to her peers.

Not only does the Kinsmen Club of Saskatoon provide their sponsorship, they enjoy being in the mix of the organizations they support. They always ensure they attend our annual Glass Slipper Benefit for Princesses and always ask how else they can be involved. This club has incredible genuine support of the Saskatoon community.

Thank you, Kisnmen Club of Saskatoon!

 

 

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

Karen Robson, Executive Director

Office Hours:
Mondays: 9am - 12pm, 1pm - 6pm
Tuesdays: 9am - 1pm
Thursdays: 12pm - 8pm

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