Overview + History

Dress for Success Indianapolis was granted its charter in May 1999 to the founding Executive Director, Ms. Talene Shuck.  Ms. Shuck, along with other founding board members, saw the need for such an organization in the Indianapolis area.  The original program, Suits for Success, served the first client in 2000.  In 2006 the second program, Professional Women’s Group, was launched. In May of 2009 the Career Development Center started serving clients through our third program which addresses Career Development needs. The organization relocated to its current facility at 820 N. Meridian Street in May 2008.

Dress for Success Indianapolis has grown significantly and measurably since its inception in 1999.  There are six full-time and one part-time employees who oversee programs and daily operations.  Volunteers continue to be a driving force for the organization.  In 2013 more than 400 volunteers contributed an estimated 5,500+ volunteer hours.  This includes an active Board of Directors that has 23 members.

Dress for Success Indianapolis is one affiliate of more than 150 Dress for Success sister locations in 30 countries worldwide.  We are the only affiliate in Central Indiana, with Dress for Success Ft. Wayne opening in 2013.  An annual licensing fee of $500 is paid to Dress for Success Worldwide, but all other funds raised locally stay in Indianapolis.  Dress for Success Worldwide provides limited support and oversight; considerable local autonomy is allowed in order for each affiliate’s programs to fit local needs.  An increasing amount of in-kind and financial contributions flow from Dress for Success Worldwide to affiliates as the international organization evolves and grows.

The mission of Dress for Success Indianapolis is direct, immediate, and simple: The mission of Dress for Success is to empower women to achieve economic independence by providing a network of support, professional attire and the development tools to help women thrive in work and in life.  The purpose of our organization is to provide women with the supportive services they need to make life transitions that result in women achieving self-sufficiency and socioeconomic advancement.   

Three programs exist to support our mission: Suits for Success, Career Development and Professional Women’s Group (PWG).  Suits for Success offers women professional attire and support, Career Development helps our women advance their skills and employment opportunities while PWG provides additional support, resources and career development opportunities.