Bloom is a non‐profit organization that provides complimentary wardrobes to men, women, and children who are transitioning to a life of self‐reliance. Our clients are among the low income or working poor populations who are referred by supporting social services agencies. The population served includes participants in substance abuse recovery programs, victims of spousal abuse, as well as others who are homeless, jobless, or suffering from economic hardship. Bloom not only provides clothes to satisfy the requirements of the workplace, but also to enhance the social and recreational needs of our clients who are working to transition to a life of self‐sufficiency. Bloom is the only non-profit in the United States to provide wardrobes for the entire family at no fee to the client.
On the initial visit, two personal shoppers work with each client, offering a one-on-one wardrobe consultation and professional dressing. Each client receives a two-week, mix-and-match wardrobe and accessories. After six months, the client may schedule a second appointment to receive a change of season wardrobe. More than 60 people volunteer as personal shoppers to clients. Our volunteers are dedicated to improving our client's self-esteem by helping them choose an appropriate, functional, and flattering wardrobe.
1999: Bloom, (formerly Image for Success), was founded by Barbara Lee. The organization was originally established to serve the needs of women in Marin County’s welfare-to-work program. Bloom began its mission by working in collaboration with two other agencies and partnered with Cal Works (a welfare to work program) and Homeward Bound of Marin (dedicated to eliminating homelessness). Initially Cal Works helped us identify women in need and Homeward Bound provided us with office space.
Before the existence of Image For Success, Cal Works had provided each of their clients with vouchers to shop at a local discount store. Ms. Lee’s vision was to find a way to provide a more positive and personalized shopping experience for these women who were struggling to meet the serious challenges in their lives. She wanted each client to have a stress-free shopping experience that could boost her self-image while finding suitable clothes for a job interview. Image For Success was able to achieve this through donated clothing and the volunteered time provided by personal shoppers.
2001: Image For Success moved to a new location and expanded their services to include a children’s program.
2005: A men’s clothing boutique was established and Image For Success became a family agency and provided life skills training in addition to wardrobe services.
2007: Image For Success relocated to a larger, more central location on Fourth Street in San Rafael, which allowed for the opening of a retail store. This business venture has provided a new source of income to help cover operating expenses. In addition, the store is a valuable community resource with affordable, quality clothing available to our clients and the public.
2009: Image For Success began a program in collaboration with the Conservation Corps North Bay to offer a series of wardrobe and image workshops for Conservation Corps participants. These workshops were designed by Image For Success and are taught by volunteers.
2011: The retail store's success began offsetting costs of services, and we hit the milestone of 10,000 clients served since we opened our doors.
2015: Image For Success established over 50 partnerships with referring agencies and over 15,000 clients served.
2016: Image For Success was officially rebranded as Bloom, and launched a rebranding campaign, including a retail store upgrade.
As we move into the future, the Bloom community is hopeful that the mission, defined by founder Barbara Lee and embodied in the organization she has built, will continue to thrive and truly make a difference in the lives of the clients served.