Women TRULY Empowering Other Women: Meet ‘Potential Me’ Founder Kimberly Klacik
How empowering it is for a woman to have the perfect outfit for a special event or professional occasion.
Unfortunately, so many women do not have the financial means to make this dream possible. Many are trying to care for their loved ones with barely any extra income to spend on themselves. Many don’t even have enough money to purchase the career wear they need to find a good paying job.
So, this is where Potential Me steps in to give these women a boost.
This non-profit organization helps provide disadvantaged women with the garments they need for a job interview and other career wear to help them achieve success. The program also helps provide young women with dresses for proms and homecoming events.
Potential Me strives to build confidence, support self esteem, and remove insecurities in women so they are able to see their full potential. The organization also helps women receive the important tools needed to obtain a career and gain financial independence.
Potential Me accepts clothing donations in order to generate funding for their recipients through eBay sales. Scheduled pick ups are arranged in the MD, DE, DC, PA or VA area. Donations are also be dropped off at their Maryland address. People can also contact Potential Me to receive a shipping label so that garments can be sent directly to the organization.
The program is exempt from Federal income tax under section 501(c)(3) of the Internal Revenue Code. All donations receive receipts from the organization and any type of item may be donated. Through eBay, Potential Me is able to sell any item for monetary gain for the organization, and 100% of donations support their mission.
Program recipients include women who are in high school, college, trade school, the work force, and military bound, as well as their families and local communities. Potential Me also assists women coming out of incarceration so these women have an opportunity to create a new path with a sense of confidence and self esteem.
Here is PolitiChicks’ EXCLUSIVE interview with Potential Me CEO and our very own Politichick Kimberly Klacik:
PC: What inspired you to launch Potential Me?
Kimberly Klacik: I started out in the hospitality industry hosting hotel guests in D.C. When I got engaged, I moved to Baltimore. However, I soon discovered that I got paid half working in Baltimore as what I got paid working in D.C.. So, I decided to stay home. But that wasn’t enough for me. I wanted to do something to serve others. That’s when I started to collect clothing and sell them on eBay. Then I would use the money to take women shopping for the ideal garments for any special or professional occasion. This allowed me the opportunity to share my personal story with them and get to know them on a personal level.
Having the ideal garment for a special or professional occasion builds confidence and relieves anxiety for young women that do not have the means to make that dream a reality independently. Some women are also not fortunate enough to provide their loved ones with more than just the necessities to live. That’s where Potential Me comes in! That’s how we got started.
PC: What does Potential Me do? How does it work?
Kimberly Klacik: At Potential Me, we thoroughly understand that when it comes to interviewing for a new position at any workplace, “first impressions are lasting impressions”. With that being said, our staff wants women to look and feel their personal best so that they are interview ready.
Once they are referred to us through an agency, we take them on a “professional shop” for professional work attire before their job interview. Our “professional shop” includes us taking the women to a retailer to be properly fitted for 1 business professional look and 2 business casual looks. This also includes a small makeover to make sure their hair and/or makeup are also workplace appropriate.
PC: What are your short-term goals for Potential Me?
Kimberly Klacik: We would like to double the number of recipients in the next year. Because of our new space being free of charge by Sagamore Development Company, this dream can likely become a reality for us.
PC: What is the most rewarding part of what you do at Potential Me?
Kimberly Klacik: Taking these women shopping for a professional look is always the fun part, but watching that same woman discover her self worth is the most rewarding part.
Some of the women have been living in homeless shelters or are just coming out of incarceration. They have no self-esteem and they are usually really depressed. Therefore, seeing them discover their own potential is very rewarding.
Many women have difficulty dealing with their insecurities, which can put any woman, from any neighborhood, on a destructive path. That’s why women need a positive influence in their lives to mentor them and help them see their full potential.
PC: Tell us about the organization’s success rate?
Kimberly Klacik: In existence for over 4 years, we are proud to disclose all of our recipients have taken the next steps to independent living. We’ve had a 100% success rate.
PC: Where is Potential Me located?
Kimberly Klacik: We are located at 240 W. Dickman Street in Baltimore, Maryland. Our new 1,272 square-foot headquarters offers more space for clothing storage and operations. The new space has been leased to Potential Me free of charge by the property’s owner, Sagamore Development Company. This will certainly help us reach our goal of doubling the number of recipients in the next year.
PC: Can you explain a little bit about Potential Me’s skills training and professional development program?
Kimberly Klacik: Many women want to learn the social skills and professional tools they need to gain employment, but they just don’t know how to go about it. Many of them have come from situations where they have never been taught social skills, and have never had a mentor to teach them the critical skills that will help them reach their full professional and personal potential.
So, Potential Me’s mission is to provide these women with the tools necessary to successfully enter the workforce and gain financial independence. Supporting women in discovering their self-worth and reaching their professional and personal goals, we like to take our applicants with us to various fundraisers and other events in our area. This gives them an opportunity to watch us interact with other people and learn important skills they need. It also allows them the opportunity to apply these skills and gain personal experience.
The skills training and professional development programs help our clients to overcome barriers to employment, build their confidence, and challenges them to be their professional best.
PC: How can people get involved and how can they reach you?
Kimberly Klacik: You can visit our website: www.potential-me.com.if you would like to make a clothing donation or to get involved with our organization.