Gina’s Closet is one of the best up and up coming boutiques in Delaware County, Pennsylvania, with their unique touch of high fashions of all age. This store is the dream job for many young ladies interested in working in retail, but luckily that opportunity was first presented to one of our own, Lauren Brown. Lauren Brown started working at Gina’s Closet as a job try-out. At that time, the goal was for her to gain experience while the staff at Community Integrated Services continued to look for other employment opportunities. Lauren’s primary tasks were to color coordinate clothing, clean the mirrors, tag the new items, and vacuum the floor. Lauren loved her job so much that one some occasions she would ask to come in on her days off just to work. Within a few months, Lauren mastered all of her responsibilities within the store. Lauren could locate any item in the store, down to size, color and brand; she even offered fashion advice to customers.
Lauren was such an excellent volunteer that Dawn started to pay Lauren to work 2 days a week despite having a very tight budget. Dawn believed that Lauren was a huge asset to the store. Lauren had a great work ethic and was also able to offer insight on which clothes would be fashionable to the younger generation, which is very important in the consignment business. As time went by, Dawn noticed how much business was growing. She realized she needed more help; she could no longer do it on her own. She knew that Lauren was capable of taking on more responsibility at the store, so dawn started working together with Community Integrated Services to brainstorm ideas of ways she could expend her role. We began to consider Customized Employment to create a job that would be a good fit for both Lauren and Gina’s Closet. During this process, CIS and Dawn had Lauren try various different tasks to determine the best job within the store that fit Lauren’s strengths, needs, and interest, and also meet the specific needs of Gina’s Closet. After supervising several assessments, Dawn created a specialized job for Lauren as an administrative assistant.
Lauren’s new responsibilities included organizing and documenting all sales and expenses on Microsoft Excel, contacting other businesses to gather information, and filing all documents and receipts. Lauren will also continue some of her other tasks including coordinating and organizing clothing. Dawn is working with Community Integrated Services to provide Lauren with an office, computer, printer, fax machine, file cabinet as well as many other office supplies, so that Lauren has all the tools to complete her new administrative tasks. This resource ownership has led to an increase in Lauren’s wages and will give Lauren the opportunity to use and expend her organizational and computer skills. Dawn is also increasing Lauren’s hours and has giving her a raise. Dawn is honored to have Lauren on her team, and we are so grateful that she offered this opportunity to Lauren; it has enlightened her life in so many ways.