Three Ways You Can Support Indy DFS in May

While Indy is prepping for the race, we are racing to help women reach economic independence. And as with any other race, we can’t do this without you, our team of supporters.  We are excited to share three ways that you can help us out this month.  Take a look and jump on board.

Benefit Cosmetics

For the fifth consecutive year, Dress for Success is partnering with Benefit Cosmetics for the month of May. During the month of May, every dollar from brow waxes at Benefit boutiques, Ulta, Macy’s and Belk BrowBars will go towards empowering girls and women through education & mentorship.


From May 20th through May 27th, you can donate a gently used item at a J.Jill store near you. You will receive 30% off a regular-priced item for your generosity and your donations will come to Dress for Success Indianapolis.

Hamlet in Indy

Dress for Success is a partner organization for Indy Bard Fest 2019. Help us reach $100 to claim a night at Bard Fest’s production of Hamlet! A portion of ticket proceeds from that night will go directly to Dress for Success Indianapolis.. Donate now at today.

It’s World Book Day!

Big MAgic Eat.Pray.Love Indy Dress for Success

I am a nerd. I love tech and I love books. Not the digital or audio kind (I am not against them), but there is something about physically turning the pages of a book that is so satisfying.  In honor of World Book Day and Financial Literacy Month, I want to share some of my favorite books for self-help and personal finance.

You are a Badass by Jen Sincero

If you are in a season of uncertainty or insecurity about your abilities, strengths or what you bring to the table, please read this book.  For me, it was a resource that solidified what I knew about myself and provided some extra confidence in moving forward with my goals.

Big Magic by Elizabeth Gilbert of Eat. Pray. Love

I adore this book! I am a creative person with some big ideas and with that comes funny looks and lack of understanding from most folks. This book explores creative living and the notion that big ideas and inspiration do not come to us by chance but that they are meant for us to act on and not be filed away out of fear.

The Money Book for the Young, Fabulous, and Broke by Suze Orman

Practical advice for younger folks that are strapped for cash, may be new to adulting, or that have been going about it wrong, financially. Suze covers how to talk about money with potential partners, retirement planning, and when and how to use credit cards. This book is old, but it was helpful for me and may still be a good intro for young professionals. I do know that Suze’s advice is often considered controversial so keep that in mind and don’t take this as a financial bible.

Girl Get Your Credit Straight by Glinda Bridgforth

I was the college freshman that signed her soul away for a free t-shirt and a “free” spring break drawing.  Mistakes happen, right? This book will help you not only understand credit, but if you’ve made some credit mistakes, it will walk you through the repairs. It’s an easy and quick read full of tips and exercises that you can use right away to repair your credit.

The Total Money Makeover by Dave Ramsey

I admit that I am late to the Dave Ramsey party, but his practical steps to budgeting and savings have made me overhaul my household budget and financial strategy. Following the seven steps does not feel as daunting as tips or plans from other financial coaches. It is worth the read if you are ready to change your spending habits or get out of debt. I also love that Dave Ramsey also has a podcast and blog that answers questions from individuals just like me.

I hope you check out some of all of the books. I would love to know what you think of them. I am always looking for new books to read so please leave your recommendations on our social media accounts. #bookwormsunite




These books can be found on Amazon, a used bookstore, or library.  If you purchase from Amazon, please use this link,, to support IndyDFS with your purchase.


Chat soon,


Advice to My Younger Self

I recently had a birthday and can say that turning 54 makes a person reflect on what they have accomplished and where they are in life. I remember my college years like they were last week, and most days feel like I am the exact same woman that I was in my 20’s. But upon thoughtful study, it doesn’t take long to realize that I am a whole lot smarter, calmer, and happier than I was in my younger years. What a gift it would have been to have had the advantage of experience back then to make me appreciate and enjoy everyday life. Here is what I would have told myself in my 20’s.

Set Goals/ Behave Intentionally
When I turned 50, I sat down and wrote out my short- and long-term goals as they relate to my core values. I was surprised to find how much time I was spending on activities that didn’t support my goals or with people that weren’t important to me. Life is so short, and one only has limited time. If you knew you only had one year to live, would you continue to work in a job that you hated, or volunteer for causes that you were not passionate about? Would you pass up a trip of a lifetime because you were afraid to ask for time off work? I would tell my younger self to spend time evaluating goals and behaving intentionally.

Chill Out
I was so stressed out in my young adulthood. Partially because I was poor, and on my own, but also partially because I was so self-conscious. Feeling undue awareness about myself only made me feel like people were critical or looking down on me, when they simply were not. If I could go back, I would advise myself to “chill out!” Not everyone is looking at you, or thinking about you, or caring about what you are wearing. In fact, most people are only thinking about themselves. I became great friends with women later in adulthood who I previously thought didn’t like me. The fact was that they didn’t know me before, and probably didn’t think much about me either way. Once I was more confident and less stressed about how everyone would perceive me, I was able to be my genuine self, breathe, and enjoy other’s company.

Appreciate Your Looks & Health
I am so tired of hearing women talk about how they need to “fix” an aspect about their body or looks. It hit me just this year that I had been complaining about the same ten pounds that I wanted to lose for 30 years. It’s all my kids have ever heard me talk about regarding my looks. A few years ago, I broke my wrist and had to have surgery. It surprised me how much the accident took me down. My wrist hurt and the lack of strength and movement made many tasks very difficult or impossible. Physical therapy helped the wrist, but also my perspective in a huge way. Thank God I didn’t break my right wrist, or my foot like the man next me in the office. At least I could drive. Before this accident, I had never been in the hospital for any other reason besides the birth of my children. No illnesses. I am thankful today for eyes that can see, ears that can hear, feet that can walk, and a heart that beats. I believe in eating healthy and exercising, but I would say that fixating on a couple of pounds or a feature that can’t be changed is not productive. Appreciate your body and your looks. I would love now to have the skin I had in my 20’s, which I didn’t appreciate one bit at the time.

Ask for What You Want
You will tend to get what you want more often if you ask for what you want. Professionally and personally. If you feel you deserve a raise or promotion, ask for it. What is the worst thing that can happen? If you don’t get your request, you can ask for a plan to get what you want, or you can consider getting a new job. I am glad that I don’t have to tell my younger self to have fun, travel, and spend time with friends and family. I did plenty of that in my 20’s, which I don’t regret for one minute. I continue to learn new things every day and try to be curious about life. I continually work to remind myself to be appreciative, intentional, and confident. Hopefully I won’t have much to tell my younger self in the future!

Julie Petr
Dress for Success Indianapolis
Executive Director