Online luxury consignment store, Joyce’s Closet builds confidence in support of Dress for Success Calgary

Originally from Nigeria, stylist and business owner Joyce Jebose says she has loved fashion ever since she was young. Like most little girls, mom’s closet can be a playground and a destination for exploration and discovery.

“I remember being little and playing in my mom’s dresses and shoes. My mom was very into fashion. She also subscribed to fashion magazines too, so I remember flipping through [magazines] and being in awe,” Jebose says.

A permanent position as a fashion player in Calgary started in 2011 when Jebose become a fashion and lifestyle blogger for her blog Tall Freckled Fashionista. After running the blog for two years, Jebose began selling her pieces as demand increased. It was at this moment that she considered starting an online luxury consignment store called Joyce’s Closet.

“A lot of people were like, ‘Oh I love your dress, I love your shoes’ and this and that, so I started selling, I had a ‘shop my closet’ tab on the blog and people could shop those items,” says Jebose. “And then I thought, ‘You know what, I’m sure there’s thousands of women out there who have clothes and shoes in their closet they would want to sell.’”

Jebose opened Joyce’s Closet in 2013. She says it was an easy decision to make.

“I knew the concept wasn’t anything new, but I knew it was the first of its kind in Calgary. So when I started two years ago I was the only one doing it.”

Joyce’s Closet has a mix of new, high end, vintage and gently loved clothing, shoes, handbags, accessories and jewellery.“But how I really got into the fashion industry here in Calgary, was I became a fashion and lifestyle blogger for my personal blog called Tall Freckled Fashionista in 2011, that sort of transitioned into Joyce’s Closet,” says Jebose.

Photo by Ato Baako

The online consignment sources quality finds from designs like Balenciaga, Mui Mui to Gucci, but also has brands like Zara and Aritzia. Joyce’s Closet was featured in Fashion Magazine’s August issue showcasing the “Coolest vintage and Consignment boutiques across Canada.” 

While running her lifestyle and fashion blog, Jebose also worked for the Calgary Catholic and Immigration Society (CCIS), a non-profit organization that provides settlement and integration services to immigrants and refugees in southern Alberta.

As an immigrant, Jebose says she has been in a position where she needed help. She says the opportunity to work with CCIS was one of the reasons she become so adamant about incorporating a cause into her consignment company.

Joyce’s Closet works with and is a proud supporter of Dress for Success Calgary.

Dress for Success offers long-lasting solutions that enable women to break the cycle of poverty. As part of a global movement, Dress for Success wants to emphasize change and empower women to strive for safer and better futures.

Through donations and fundraising, Dress for Success provides clients with professional attire to secure employment. But the cause is more than just providing a new wardrobe. It’s also about building confidence. According to Jebose, the mission behind Dress for Success mirrors her own.

“I am passionate about helping women, empowering women. The potential of women is sometimes undermined in our society and I’m all about empowering them and that stems from creating a business that focuses on women with clothes and accessories to make them look and feel good,” she says.

So how does an online luxury consignment store give back to the community?

Jebose says that during each fashion season, Joyce’s Closet donates clothes and accessories to organizations like Dress for Success and has been a part of the group’s events in Calgary.

“There isn’t any set rule for how we do it. Seasonally we donate clothes that are appropriate for the women to wear during those seasons.”

Jebose says she would like to do more than just provide clothes and has been considering joining the mentorship program at Dress for Success Calgary.

Stylist and fashion blogger Jebose says Joyce’s Closet has a specific mission. “I want women to feel empowered and beautiful, I want to dress them for success to know that they can go out there looking and feeling their best and that they can do their best.”

Photo courtesy of David Hatch“Maybe have women who are looking to enter the workforce intern at Joyce’s Closet or (help) women who are wanted to start their own business come into Joyce’s Closet and to learn how a small business works,” she explains.

On top of everything going on at Joyce’s Closet, Jebose is also a designer. She recently designed a collection of African print skirts made from Ankara material, a West African textile that features bold colours and patterns. The collection contained 25 pieces influenced by Nigeria.

Jebose says she will be launching another collection in September.

“I’ve always wanted to design my own line. I think everything has just sort of progressed into [designing], which I think is sort of the right way to do things and not really jump into it,” Jebose says.

Jebose says her main objective is to help women look and feel their best, to help build confidence through her passion for all things fashion. She says passion and perseverance is key, two things she has never forgotten.

“I want women to feel empowered and beautiful. I want to dress them for success, to know that they can go out there looking and feeling their best and that they can do their best. I also want women in the city to know that they can rise above any situation they might face,” she says.

abaako@cjournal.ca

Thumbnail image courtesy of Joyce’s Closet