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Project Zoe outfits teens, young women in need

Updated: 12/02/2013 10:21 AM | Created: 12/02/2013 9:40 AM
By: Heather Mills, KOB Eyewitness News 4

There's a new place to shop in Albuquerque, but this one isn't for the average customer. It's called Project Zoe, a non-profit store designed with young fashionistas and their futures in mind.

Just like many high-end boutiques, this shop caters to an exclusive clientele and is only available by appointment. But unlike those pricey stores, this one is free and for teens and young women who need a little extra help.

"That could be someone aging out of CYFD, or just having trouble adjusting to foster care life or a young lady coming out of juvenile detention, rape crisis. We're also helping out with APD and human traffic girls," said Michelle Schroff, Director for Project Zoe.

Each girl must have a sponsor, whether it be a teacher, pastor or even a first responder. Then, they can make an appointment to come in, and each is allowed to pick out three items and three accessories, for free.  "Clothing that they can go for a job interview in. Clothing that they can hang out with their friends in," Schroff said.

Schroff and her husband have five daughters, so she says she knows how important fashion can be to a girl's self-esteem. To do that, they make sure the store is stocked with each girl's size, before she comes and they've even decorated to make each girl feel special.

"A lot of times, young ladies have been beaten down or convinced they're nothing so we wanted to create a 'you are' board," Schroff said.

On that board: Mantras of self-worth.

Project Zoe has only been open since September, but Schroff says she expects it will keep growing as word gets out.

"We get our stock from donations, Kohl's has donated, JC Penny has donated the display cases and a lot of the clothes are from generous folks that want to help," she said. 

Fashion is just part of the equation. Schroff also offers workshops in everything from GED prep to health and wellness. For more information, visit the Project Zoe Facebook page


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