Career Closet has been an idea in the hands of Associate Professor Kristin Kinsky and her students for a while now, and with a new office space and proper funds, it is now accessible to all of campus.
Career Closet provides professional clothes students can rent or buy for interviews, meetings, or other opportunities. The clothing is all sustainably sourced, coming from Kinsky’s closet and student donations. They have put on events such as Lasell Thrift that provide students an opportunity to donate and learn more about the organization.
Samantha Keefe and Anna Richardson are involved with Career Closet as part of an individual case study and internship, respectively. Both got involved through Kinsky, but also because they recognized what a great opportunity it provided for campus.
“I initially got involved because one of my professors, Professor Kinsky, was pitching it as an idea for people to get involved and I thought it was a really good idea to try and help out students that are on campus that might not have access to stuff like that,” Richardson said.
Keefe stresses that Career Closet is a great resource for campus because of how accessible it is. The organization currently has an office on the second floor of Edwards Student Center next to Student Affairs, which they have filled with racks of clothing.
“I feel like it’s such an important resource on campus. Because you know, this will take away the stress of having to find a new outfit, especially an outfit for your internships, like a suit that you’ll only wear once. I would say this also would improve students’ confidence for their internships. I think it’s also good that it’s on the Lasell campus. So like, it’s super easy to access and like anyone can use it,” Keefe said.
One of the main goals of the organization is to maintain sustainability.
“One of the main [goals] we have is sustainability, which is huge for me. I’m very interested in it. Right now. It’s like,100 billion garments produced a year and 92 million tons are getting thrown into landfills. So, right now, [through] Career Closet, you can either rent out pieces for your internships, or you could buy them so this helps cut down on textile waste, stuff like that,” Keefe said.
Career Closet has received a grant of $7,500 from FAO Schwarz, which they spent on amenities such as hangers for the clothes and newer items for purchase. Currently, the money they make through rents and purchases is going right back into making investments for the organization so they can continue to expand on their goals and practices. Keefe says so far the biggest struggle they have faced has been marketing the organization.
“A lot of people don’t know what we are because it just officially opened [in early November]... It’s mainly about gaining awareness. And I mean, it’s super great. Like all the tops are being sold for like $5 and like we have blazer jacket suits being sold for $10. Yeah. Anywhere else you know, you have to buy a suit, that’s like over $200,” Keefe said.
The group has done collaboration with the Career Development Center that they plan to continue in the future. Recently, they provided their products for students at their headshot event. Richardson emphasized what an important relationship this is, and relayed some of the other goals for the future of Career Closet as well.
“We want to partner with the Career Development Center and work on events for students that are looking to develop their profile on LinkedIn or to have a headshot available with professional clothing that they could rent to go to an interview, but then also be able to practice an interview with the Career Development Center. So we’re looking to partner with them more in the future and be able to build students’ confidence,” Richardson said. “Also, we are going to build the thrift section out a little bit more and kind of emphasize that as part of the business, and that might even be available in studio1851 in the future. So yeah, we’re just trying to see how we can expand and what people are going to respond to the best because the thrift idea is so popular with people in our generation.”
Students can donate clothes to Career Closet at any time, as they are always looking for new pieces to give back to the community. If students have any inquiries regarding Career Closet or donating to the organization, they should reach out to the organization’s email, firstname.lastname@example.org.