POP BAG USA is all about creativity, quality and fun. Something else that we really care about is women empowerment. As a women owned brand, this is especially important to us. Empowering women can take so many forms. One of them is helping women getting back into the workforce.
This is exactly what Bottomless Closet does. The Bottomless Closet experience is all about making women feel confident, prepared, and empowered to ace their job interviews, start that new job, and begin their journey to self-sufficiency.
Based in New York City, the charity provides service, help and advice to women who are ready to re-enter the workforce. Each woman is paired up one-on-one with a volunteer career coach who will handle the duration of the appointment. Then, they can pick an outfit for interviews, work on improving their resume, prepare interviews, etc.
We met with Jackie, a veteran and film industry worker, who received support from Bottomless Closet when the pandemic hit and she needed a steady job. Here is what she has to say.
Endy: Hi Jackie. How are you doing today?
Jackie: I am great, thank you.
E: Tell us a bit more about yourself and how you were introduced to the Bottomless Closet organization.
J: Well, I am retired from the military. I was in New York working as a film extra but that work is up and down. So during one of the downtimes, one of the veteran organizations told me about Bottomless Closet. At that time, I needed to get regular and steady work. That is how I learnt about Bottomless Closet.
E: That is amazing!
J: It was wonderful.
E: Did you reach out to Bottomless Closet? How did you get in touch with the organization?
J: You have to have a referral. They have to make sure you are really in need of services. The veteran organization reached out to them for me. Then, they set up an appointment. It was an amazing experience.
E: That is great! So, how has Bottomless Closet helped you in your endeavors during this last year?
J: I would say the encouragement in the last year. Once everything totally shut down, I was able to connect with a counselor, which I thought was great. Bottomless Closet, even during the height of the pandemic, they were able to provide services.
The counselor really helped me, looked at my life, were I was going, what I can do. We went over interviewing skills and we brainstorm where I could look for employment. That was very helpful.
E: That is what is great about Bottomless Closet. They help you, assisting in interview preparation, resume writing. Do you feel that with their help you learnt so many things you had no idea you could do?
J: Yes. During the pandemic, I did not go out of the house and I thought “Well, how am I gonna put myself out there? My life is falling apart. What am I gonna do?”. The counselor really helped me look at my life.
One of the jobs that I considered was COVID compliance officer. At the time, it was an extremely new field and it still is. Now, more and more people are getting into it. Even though some people are vaccinated and some are not, on a film set, we are not taking any chances with COVID.
You must wear a mask. The COVID compliance job was important then and it is important now. But I was still very worried. The counselor helped me find what I wanted to do during and after COVID.
E: That is so great. So, they helped you, gave you anything you may need. You can contact them any time you want for advice and more. That is so great. You get continued support throughout your career.
J: Continued support and classes are excellent. When you are trying to put your life together, you need classes about your resume, about mental health, about yoga, everything. They have been so helpful on so many levels.
E: So they do a little more than just career. You need a full personality check to be able to get yourself together and know what you want to do next, how to move forward.
E: I love that. Now, let’s talk a little bit about fashion. Tell us what does your handbag mean to you. In your everyday life, when you wear it, how do you feel?
J: My handbag is everything. I have one when I am traveling. I have to have it on the subway. I have to have it for business reasons. I might need my USB that has my resume on it, so I can put it in the purse.
If I need water. When I travel, I try to stay hydrated, it is there. It is everything.
E: Yes, I love it. What is your favorite POP BAG?
J: Oh my god! This one is my favorite.
E: I love this tote!
J: I love this tote because, number 1 the color. And the style. This is just a great style. I love it. It is classy yet you can wear it with a pair of jeans. It is great. And the texture!
E: I love it too. This is one of our small sized totes in pebbled leather. It is good for every day, morning to night, for casual wear. You can do anything with this bag. I am so glad you said that one, I love that one.
Now, tell us what advice would you give other women in your position.
J: I would say you have to stay positive. However, it is not like you are positive on your own. You have to reach out to organizations like Bottomless Closet or get connected with others that are doing positive things. Or learning about how someone overcome a bad situation.
In terms of being positive, we try to stay positive in many ways. It could be yoga. Staying positive is so important on so many levels but I don’t think you can do it all on your own. That is only one step.
E: You need a support system.
J: You need a support system, that is the right word.
E: And that is what’s so great about Bottomless Closet. They are always there for you, women supporting women. You can always reach out, get some advice, get some help on anything that you need.
Or just having someone to talk you. That is just as important sometimes.
J: So important, because these are uncertain times. You need people, good people.
E: Yes, Jackie said it best. Thank you so much, thank you for your time today. I am so glad Bottomless Closet were able to help you to get where you are today.