Wednesday, May 29, 2024

Dress for Success Ottawa says merchandise, clothing stolen from downtown boutique

Must read


Dress for Success Ottawa says a weekend break in at its downtown Ottawa location has “left us shocked,” after merchandise and computers were stolen.


In a statement on social media, the organization says its boutique on Catherine Street was broken into Sunday night.


“Thankfully, no one was present, but the violation of our cherished boutique space has left us all shocked,” Dress for Success said in a statement on Facebook.


“When we opened our doors on Monday morning, we were met with our boutique in disarray, having been thoroughly ransacked. Several essential items including boutique merchandise, staff computers, and tablets were stolen.


“This incident represents not only a violation of our physical space, but also an affront to the spirit of our mission.”


Speaking on Newstalk 580 CFRA’s “Ottawa Now with Kristy Cameron”, executive director Jen Crawford said the organization had just held a fundraiser that weekend.


“Our major fundraiser was that weekend and our cash that we raised from that weekend was behind two locked doors and they couldn’t get into them,” she said. “It was obvious folks were trying to get into the office area because there were a lot of attempts — as you can tell from our doors — to get into the office, with no success, thank goodness.”


The organization says its team is reaching out to reschedule appointments this week. Crawford said they intend to reopen Wednesday.


Dress for Success describes itself as a community that “works towards a common goal – to promote the economic independence of disadvantaged women and gender nonconforming individuals who feel most comfortable in a women-centred environment.”


Dress for Success says it supports its clients by providing personalized suiting sessions offering free professional attire and career development tools.


“Dress for Success Ottawa is more than just a boutique; it is a beacon of hope and support for over 800 women and gender diverse individuals, providing crucial services that empower them to achieve economic independence,” Dress for Success said.


“The disruption caused by this senseless act has been profound, however, we are determined to overcome this setback. Our team is currently working tirelessly to restore the boutique and we are committed to resuming our services for those who rely on us, as soon as possible. We will be reaching out to reschedule appointments in the coming days.”


Dress for Success is asking people to reach out to Ottawa police with any information that could help recover the stolen items or find those responsible.


“The disruption caused by this senseless act has been profound, however, we are determined to overcome this setback,” Dress for Success said on Instagram. “Our team is currently working tirelessly to restore the boutique and we are committed to resuming our services for those who rely on us, as soon as possible.”


In the meantime, Crawford said the non-profit is working with the building manager to determine what can be done to bolster security.


“We’ve talked about unfortunately putting bars on the windows, nothing that we ever would want to do and create a space like that for the folks who come to us, we feel like that’s not who we are, but unfortunately we’re in a place now where we have to think about these things,” she said, adding that nothing has been finalized.


Crawford is asking anyone who wants to help to donate to the “Your Hour, Her Power: Taking back our power” campaign on the Dress for Success Ottawa website.


“As all non-profits are, especially post-pandemic, we’re definitely feeling the squeeze so anything extra above or beyond, it hurts,” she said.


“Of course safety and security and providing that safe space for our clients is our number one concern and we will make that happen one way or another but it hurts. We obviously didn’t plan for this. It’s not in the budget.” 


This is the second break-in at an Ottawa business this week.


Lavish Events Ottawa, a wedding planning business, says its trailer was stolen last week, and it’s now out $50,000 in inventory.


Jenny Saily of Lavish Events Ottawa says the trailer was stolen from its warehouse with 150 chairs inside. While the trailer has since been recovered, the unique luxury wedding chairs remain missing.


“I think it was a chance thing and they didn’t even think to look at what’s in the trailer,” Saily told Newstalk 580 CFRA’s Ottawa at Work with Patricia Boal.


“I don’t know whether it would be of any value. A 150 of these chairs are quite unique.”


Saily says if you see silver/chrome chairs for sale on Facebook Marketplace or elsewhere, you should reach out to Lavish Events Ottawa.

Latest article