OGDEN -- A nonprofit sewing center that teaches women a skill so they can earn a living is launching itself as a sustainable boutique store Friday and Nov. 13.
Give Me A Chance is holding an open house for the public to purchase dresses, children's and women's clothing, purses, jewelry, aprons, placemats and scarves women have made as they complete a training program. Program participants also offer alterations to those who visit their facility.
The free training, for Ogden's low-income residents, covers not only how to sew but also how to start their own businesses, as well as how to be successful in their personal lives.
The open house will run from 2 p.m. to 8 p.m. Friday and from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday, Nov. 13, at Give Me A Chance, 2620 Washington Blvd.
"At the Give Me A Chance Center, we provide job training and skill development to unemployed women in our community with a hope that they are able to use the new skill to earn a living," stated Sister Maria Nguyen, a Daughter of Charity of St. Vincent de Paul, who started the program in May. "Our service philosophy is 'to empower the powerless in helping themselves.'"
So far, 18 women have graduated from Nguyen's program.
Nguyen came to Ogden specifically to serve area women in need. She wrote a letter that went out to community leaders, asking them to attend the open house.
Nguyen said the purpose of the boutique store is to give the women in the program the opportunity to sell their handmade products. Nearly all of the items featured there were handmade in Ogden.
"I am proud of our local talents and want to find a creative way to develop them," Nguyen wrote to members of the community. "With your help, we can promote this talent and help them build jobs for their own financial stability."
Profits from the boutique also will go to help Give Me A Chance to continue free training programs.
"This class has motivated me to believe in myself," said Maricela Romero, who sewed her own wedding dress. She spoke at the program's October graduation ceremony.
"I was able to learn different things, not just about sewing," she said. "Sister Maria has motivated me to maybe go to college."
For information, call Nguyen at 801-643-1221.