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A Year in the Life of a Core Volunteer

posted by The Princess Shop    |   July 5, 2019 11:30

Written by Sarah Hadley.

In May of 2018, I had just finished my first year of university at the UofS. I had a job at a local company that was offering me casual hours, so I was on the search for a second job over the summer. In my job search, I came across a posting for a volunteer representative position at The Princess Shop. Not even knowing what The Princess Shop was about, I went ahead and applied anyway. I was in need of volunteer experience for my resume. However, The Princess Shop quickly became so much more than just something to put on my resume.

When I walked into The Princess Shop for the first time, I was surprised to see so many dresses. I would later find out that the quantity of dresses is in the thousands. I was also surprised to see a woman sitting at a desk who I thought might have been a volunteer (with super cool glasses), it was Karen. Karen interviewed me and I was instantly inspired by her and what The Princess Shop stands for. I soon became the newest member of the core volunteer team. I attended my first meeting and I was… confused. It was the middle of grad season and there was a whirlwind of things going on, I had a lot to learn, but I was determined to catch up. I shadowed a dress appointment and got to meet my first Princess Graduates. Soon, grad season was over, and The Princess Shop was coming to its end of year in July. We had the first fundraiser I would attend, and I was blown away by the effort and skill that goes into planning these events and making sure everything runs smoothly.

Over the summer, I helped plan and volunteered at a few fundraisers put on by The Princess Shop. At the end of the summer, we had a lot of changes to the core team and I was nervous about welcoming new members to the team and no longer being the ‘newbie’. Soon after, we started planning The Glass Slipper, our biggest annual fundraiser that takes place every April. I was so in awe of how huge this event really was. I had never attended before, so I was unsure of exactly the magnitude of it. We brought in our Glass Slipper Coordinator, Colleen, and I was blown away by the efforts that she and Karen put in to put all of this together. From October to March, we were in full planning mode every Thursday night to put this together (with Colleen and Karen putting full-time effort into the planning). It was an intense process, and it seriously paid off. The morning of the Glass Slipper I had a final exam, so I wasn’t there for the setup. But when I made it to TCU Place I was awestruck. The venue was so gorgeous and extravagant. It exceeded every expectation I had of the event and immediately all of the work that we had put in for the last few months had paid off. Even with a couple of bumps in the road, The Glass Slipper Benefit in 2019 turned out to be a huge success, and it will be a night I will likely never forget.

After The Glass Slipper, more and more dress appointments started rolling in. I was excited to finally be leading dress appointments having had the proper training. No dress appointment goes completely smoothly, but I think that’s part of the beauty of it. There will always be bumps in the road, but watching the graduates pick out their beautiful dresses is such a fulfilling experience for me. I enjoy lacing up corsets and the graduates trying on their jewellery. Some will facetime family and friends when they think they’ve found ‘the dress’ and get their approval. I was and still am so excited about dress appointments because no matter what, there is always so much happiness in The Shop during this time. Finally, grad days came around. I had my first grad day recently. It was panicky and rushed but it was also amazing. The big day had finally come for these women. The day that is the reason The Princess Shop exists.

At the end of it all, a Princess Graduate had told me how grateful she was for me this day and everything was made so worth it and the panic and craziness of the day was forgotten. It’s been an insane year. From being the new kid to veteran volunteer, I have become not only a better volunteer for The Princess Shop, but I have also become a better person. The Princess Shop, and outgoing Executive Director, Karen, have inspired me so much. I can’t wait to see what the Next Chapter of The Princess Shop looks like with our new Executive Director, Kelsey, and I can’t wait to continue to contribute to making an impact in our community. There is no other experience like this one, and I am so lucky to have found The Princess Shop.

4th Annual "Dress It Up" Cupcake Contest

posted by The Princess Shop    |   March 7, 2019 19:57

On Tuesday, January 29th, we took part in the Nutrien Wintershines Festival for the fourth time! That week was one of the coldest we've had this year (perhaps even in the past few years, honestly), but we bundled up and braved the cold to set up our fundraiser. Lucky for us, we were met with a large crowd of people - the greatest turnout we've had at a Cupcake event thus far - and of course, the cupcake contestants with their yummy goods! 

The rules are pretty simple. Six local bakers select a dress from the Princess Shop to base their design off of. Bakers are encouraged to be as creative as possible with all aspects of the cupcake; the flavour, the decorations, and even the setup of their display. This year, their hard work in these different areas paid off as we had three categories to win! The categories were: Best Cupcake, Fave Flave, and Best Look-a-Like. Let's meet the contestants!

Cakes by Britney:

Inspired by a sparkly light purple dress, Britney named her cupcake "Purple Unicorn". This blueberry-filled lemon cupcake with blueberry infused icing was a true showstopper. The crowd thought it was nicely decorated and the filling inside was a sweet surprise. Britney's take on the dress and how she turned it into a unicorn cake was such a great finishing touch!

Instagram: https://instagram.com/cakesbybritney/

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/cakesbybritneygraf/

 

CM Cakes:

Chantelle from CM Cakes was our youngest contestant, but that didn't stop her from bringing bold flavours to the table! Her vanilla cake with strawberry-raspberry buttercream and lemon curd filling was to die for! Chantelle had a gorgeous display, complete with fairy lights and pinecones. Her cake was inspired by a pink high-low gown with layered ruffles. 

Instagram: https://instagram.com/cmcakes.yxe/

Create Cupcakes and Cakes: 

Angela from Create Cupcakes had champagne-infused flavours in her cupcake. The cake was inspired by a white dress with blue accents, and her beautiful cupcakes definitely fit the look!

Chef de Partie:

Italian lemon and olive oil cupcake with wildberry compote filling - yum! Based off of a lacy fitted gown, this cupcake took the flowers from the dress and recreated them with a twist! We don't know how Heather dreamed this one up, but it sure was fun to bite into it :)

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/chefdepartiecatering

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/chefdepartiecatering

Foodiepharmbabe / Get Baked With V:

Vanessa's chocolate cake with cookies and cream buttercream, creamy cheesecake filling, and a honey sugar shard topping it off was a sight to take in! The cupcake was packed full of flavour, with each bite revealing another layer to the complex creation! The crunch from the honey shard added some great texture. Vanessa chose a sparkly dress with tones of purple, pink, and blue. We're still not sure if it was the dress or the cupcakes that had more sparkles. Vanessa had a beautiful display, with lights, marble accents, and even some baking books to finish off the look!

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/foodiepharmbabe/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/foodiepharmbabe/

Humblebee Bake House:

Melissa Served up a vanilla cupcake with vanilla, strawberry, and chocolate Swiss Meringue buttercream. She named her creation “Ice Cream Sunday”, very fitting for a dress giving off Neapolitan vibes. Her cake looked exactly like the dress and was overall rich in flavour, not overwhelmingly sweet, and had great balance. 

Instagram: https://instagram.com/humblebeebakehouse/

Facebook: https://m.facebook.com/humblebeebakehouse/

Saskatoon’s Best Cupcake 2019:

By now you're probably craving to find out who won (or maybe you're just craving some cupcakes). All the bakers gave the competition their best in terms of flavour and creativity. After over 200 guests had tasted all the delicious flavours and voted on their favourites, the results were in favour of...

Foodiepharmbabe! Venessa’s cupcakes and their layers of complex flavours won over hearts, but others weren't too far behind. After all, there were two other prizes to compete for too. CM Cakes’ Chantelle won Fave Flave and Melissa from Humblebee Bake House took home the title of Best Look-a-Like. The three winners were congratulated with framed certificates.

Thank you to everyone that came out that night in our support, to the bakers for pouring your creativity and hard work into a project for a good cause, and to Apex Trampoline Park for donating door prizes. Thank you to Nutrien for sponsoring an important event that truly keeps our community warm and vibrant: Wintershines! A huge thanks also goes to each of our The Princess Shop volunteers who helped organize, set up and take down the event as well as Janella Hamilton of CTV Saskatoon News for emceeing the event and announcing our winners! And lastly, but surely not least, to each of YOU in the community who came to sample, vote, and enjoy an evening of sweets for such a great cause. It means the world to us to have an entire community backing us up as we help bring the joys of graduation and the life that follows after to our Princess graduates. 

Our next major fundraiser is our 12th Annual Glass Slipper Benefit for Princesses, presented by K+S Potash Canada on April 10, 2019 at TCU Place. Join us for an evening of good fun, good food, and giving back to the community. We'd love to see you there! And if you're looking for more Cupcake Contest photos, check out our Facebook page for the full album!

The Princess Shop's 2019 Bucket-List

posted by The Princess Shop    |   February 25, 2019 19:55

Res·o·lu·tion

/,rezǝ’looSH(ǝ)n/

A firm decision to do or not to do something. 

Most people's January to-do lists mention the idea of a New Year's Resolution. They might work hard on these ideas throughout the year, meet some, change some, or just put them off for the following year's list. This word "resolution", however, is so set on the idea of being able to firmly commit to something and for that idea to then just magically come true. We all want that "law of attraction" to be real, but there's more to it than just that. By this point in the year, most people have come to this conclusion already. We need to work on our goals with a plan of action in place and the proper support systems helping us out. We have many magical ideas that we're always dreaming up, but their ability to actualize depends on so many factors, such that perhaps they fall into a category of their own; a bucket-list of sorts. At the end of 2018, one of the activities The Princess Shop volunteer team went through was drafting up a bucket-list of our own:

Heidi's Bucket List:

  1. Broad awareness about The Princess Shop - it's more than just a dress. It's true! Our Next Chapter and Fairy Godmother programs offer so many life-changing opportunities!
  2. Every graduate should know The Princess Shop is an option and that they don’t need to struggle alone. 
  3. The Fairy Godmother Program could gain more matches that sustain into the future. 
  4. There should be more applicants to all scholarship opportunities as well as a greater variety of scholarships to give out!
  5. The Princess Shop should have a larger volunteer team

Bailey:

  1. Recruit a full team of volunteers by April. 
  2. Record the number of graduates every year. 
  3. Have more rural graduates in the program.

Sarah:

  1. Have more graduates than in 2018. 
  2. Fill all volunteer positions.
  3. Reach goals for the 12th Annual Glass Slipper Benefit for Princesses.
  4. Dream up and organize more fundraising events with a greater turnout.
  5. Have volunteers put in more cumulative hours.

These goals of ours may not be met just by us wishing them into existence, but with continuous action, we hope to see them born into reality. On top of these ideas and our plans, we have a wonderful support system that acts as the final piece of the puzzle working towards The Princess Shop's success - that's you! This all happens because of the people upholding a commitment to this journey with us; volunteers, sponsors, alumni, and everyone working hard for The Princess Shop's success creates an environment of growth and constant improvement. These thoughts are echoed in the volunteers’ bucket-list wishes when they recognize the need for more volunteers and funds - essentially, the need for even more assistance. Many hands indeed make light work and the greater our community, the better!

It is with these goals in mind and with gratitude for the support we receive in our hearts that we move forward into this year. We hope to create some magical memories this year.

TD’s Women in Leadership Sponsors the Fairy Godmother Program

posted by The Princess Shop    |   November 16, 2016 14:39

The Princess Shop is proud to announce a new partnership with TD's Women in Leadership, who have joined in on the impact as the Fairy Godmother Program’s sponsor!

“Where confidence and capability meet opportunity.”

Women in Leadership is not only a promise, but an actionable initiative and key objective by TD Bank to enhance the organization’s diversity by expanding leadership opportunities for women. From their website: “At TD, women have access to valuable learning experiences, ongoing support for career goals and a powerful network of like-minded colleagues.

TD has extended this key objective outside of their organization by sponsoring and donation to organizations with shared values, like ours! The mission of the Fairy Godmother Program is to provide Princess Graduates with the needed self-awareness, self-confidence, motivation and live skills to accomplish their goals. The Fairy Godmother (mentor) provides encouragement and support in bringing these ambitions to reality.

On Tuesday, November 15, 2016, TD Bank held a special event to present sponsorship for the Fairy Godmother Program! The event was held at Lucky Bastard Distillery’s beautiful space, it was catered, with complimentary beverages. The best part was that the room was filled with brilliant women from TD Bank branches from across Saskatchewan, not to mention the men in attendance there to celebrate Women in Leadership!

TD invited The Princess Shop’s Executive Director, Karen Robson to speak about the impacts our programs make. In addition, a Fairy Godmother match, Kaya and Zoya got to share with the room how the Fairy Godmother Program has impacted their lives and brought new perspectives.

To cap off the evening, several TD staff members put on a surprise fashion show showing off some of The Princess Shop’s amazing donated dresses! They all had a blast strutting their stuff on the red carpet runway!

TD’s sponsorship of the Fairy Godmother Program will provide learning opportunities and experiences for the matches to attend together over the course of this year’s cycle. The Princess Shop is proud to share values with TD Women in Leadership, and is excited to continue to encourage new perspectives, growth and learning through mentorship! 

Executive Director, Karen Robson

2014 Princess Graduate, Zoya

Zoya, Karen, and Kayla proudly holding the sponsorship cheque!

The lovely TD models!

The Princess Shop's Holiday Spiritraiser

posted by The Princess Shop    |   November 14, 2016 09:58

That's right, The Princess Shop's Wineraiser is back and better than before with The First Annual Princess Shop Holiday Spiritraiser. If you participated in the first wineraiser you'll understand how this is going to work, but there's more.

With a $20 donation there is a choice for a minimum donation of one bottle of wine, one 6-pack of beer, or one 375 mL bottle (mickey) of liquor. There is no limit on the number of donations and you will have the chance to win back all of your alcohol donations. The draw for the Holiday Spiritraiser will take place on December 8th, so don't miss your chance to get your donations in! The prize breakdown will be as follows: 

1st place receives 35% of all alcohol collected

2nd place receives 25% of all alcohol collected

3rd place receives 15% of all alcohol collected

4th place receives 5% of all alcohol collected

5th place receives 5% of all alcohol collected

6th place receives 5% of all alcohol collected

7th place receives 5% of all alcohol collected

8th place receives 5% of all alcohol collected

So here are the Official Rules of The Princess Shop's Holiday Spiritraiser:

1) Minimum donation of one bottle of wine, one 6-pack of beer, or one 375 mL bottle of liquor and $20 

2) For every additional $20 donation your name will be entered into the draw again! (For example a $60 donation means 3 entries to the draw!)

3) Homemade wine, beer or alcohol will not be accepted

4) Final draw will be on December 8th, 2016

This is an excellent fundraiser to get you set up for hosting this Holiday Season and we wouldn't want you to miss out! So, be sure to contact a Princess Shop volunteer, email info@theprincessshop.ca, or phone (306) 222-3311 for more information and to get your donations in! Cheers! 

An Exciting Start to The Princess Shop's 10th Year

posted by The Princess Shop    |   October 6, 2016 12:14

Back to School means back to routines and getting down to business, which is what we’ve been doing at The Princess Shop! The change of season has the The Princess Shop team changing gears from summer and getting ready for the exciting year ahead of us!

The Princess Shop team had a great summer that was kicked off with The Perfectly Pink Appreciation BBQ, which was an awesome opportunity to celebrate a successful graduation season with all of our Princess Graduates. This summer we had a number of fundraisers including our first ever Wine-raiser, Firkin Friday at Fionn MacCool’s and Broadway Street Fair with KR Jewelry. Our volunteers also had so much fun with Back Then & Again Jewelry, selling old inventory at The Saskatoon Comic and Entertainment Expo

 

 

Now that the summer is over and autumn (or winter?!) is upon us, The Princess Shop team has been getting back to routine and planning events for the coming months! The 2016/2017 Fairy Godmother Program has commenced! The first official activity in September was held at the University of Saskatchewan. The program coordinators, Emily and Susan, created a photo scavenger hunt for the matches to have fun with. This activity was to expose the Princess Graduates to campus in a fun and relaxed atmosphere, while working together with their Fairy Godmother. Some of the questions were designed to get them thinking about post-secondary studies and what they would possibly like to pursue, and others were just for fun! The activity was also a great form of exercise as the matches were running back and forth all over campus! The October activity will consist of a self-confidence workshop put on by MASALA Model & Talent. Future activities that the coordinators are looking into are a self defense classes, healthy cooking classe, and a personal finance session with TD Bank to name a few!

Coming up we are having The Fourth Annual Steak Fundraiser for The Princess Shop at The Sutherland Bar for the Saskatchewan Roughriders' away game vs. The Toronto Argonauts on October 15, 2016. This is going to be a fun event to cheer on The Riders, while supporting The Princess Shop! There will be a number of awesome raffle prizes that will be available to win! Tickets are only $20 and you can get yours by contacting The Princess Shop at info@theprincessshop.ca or phone (306) 222-3311!

Last, but certainly not least getting back to routine means starting to plan for the 10th Annual Glass Slipper Benefit for Princesses! The Princess Shop volunteer team has already started brainstorming in preparation to make this year the biggest and best year yet! Make sure you save the date for April 5, 2017, it’s going to be an event you don’t want to miss!

To stay up to date on upcoming events, new and stories for The Princess Shop is doing, join our mailing list! Request to be added can be found on the homepage of our website, www.theprincessshop.ca, along the left page margin! 

Pretty Little Shoes Gives Back to The Princess Shop

posted by The Princess Shop    |   August 23, 2016 19:32

 

 

 

Pretty Little Shoes creates an at-home shoe shopping experience while giving back to local women’s charities such as The Princess Shop! Pretty Little Shoes is an e-commerce initiative founded in January 2016 by Baillie Janex with majority of sales being online or through home Shoe Parties. Baillie is passionate about giving back to the community and that’s how Pretty Little Shoes became involved with The Princess Shop! For every 150 pairs of shoes sold through Pretty Little Shoes home parties a brand new pair of shoes will be donated to The Princess Shop to be used by Princess Graduates participating in The Dress Program

 

We have asked Baillie a few questions about Pretty Little Shoes and her involvement with The Princess Shop:

  

Q1: Tell us about Pretty Little Shoes

 

Pretty Little Shoes is a home and ecommerce based shoe company located in Saskatoon. The bread and butter of Pretty Little Shoes is the in-home shoe party.

 

Shoe parties are so much fun - we bring a selection of shoes for you and your girlfriends to try on, purchase, and take home the day of the party. What better way to spend an afternoon/ evening then trying on shoes with your girlfriends?! In addition, we also offer one-on-one shoe shopping appointments, shopping via our online store, and we also have Facebook and Instagram so our customers can stay in the know about all things Pretty Little Shoes.

 

Currently we carry ladies shoes from size 5-11, but also carry a small selection of little girl shoes. We offer a wide variety of shoe styles (boots, heels, flats, sandals, booties), and carry a wide array of brands.

 

Q2: Tell us about yourself! Why did you wish to be involved with The Princess Shop?

 

I am an entrepreneur, student, runner, friend, and volunteer. I love the flexibility that my business allows me to have. Each day is a different schedule and brings something new - which is good because it keeps me on my toes. :)

 

When I first started Pretty Little Shoes, it was a priority of mine to find a local organization that we would be able to give back to. I know a couple ladies who are Fairy GodMothers with The Princess Shop and they have expressed how much they love their roles, so The Princess Shop was an obvious choice. Not only is it wonderful that they provide graduation attire for the Princesses, but offering mentoring to these young ladies is very encouraging.

  

Q3: How does The Princess Shop benefit from your involvement?

 

I'm very excited to be involved with The Princess Shop! Every woman deserves to have a day that they get to dress up and feel gorgeous and if we can help by providing a pair of shoes, then I am so happy to be involved. Pretty Little Shoes is excited to donate one pair of shoes to The Princess Shop for every 150 pairs of shoes that we sell. We also gladly accept donations from our customers/ hostesses that we pass on to The Princess Shop.

 

Q4: What was your graduation experience like? Your dress?

 

To be honest, I wasn't overly excited about graduation and the dress up experience. I used to say I was going to wear a brown paper bag to my graduation. But when I went dress shopping and found a dress that actually looked good on my tiny frame, I got so excited! It was a gorgeous strapless, navy blue dress with ruching.

 

Graduation was always something that scared me a little - fear of the day, fear of what would lie ahead, and saying good-bye to many friends who I had become so close to. But my graduation day was close to perfection. I have so many fond memories of that day, whether it be the ceremony, getting dressed up, or spending the day with my friends.

 

Q5: If you could give Princess Graduates a word of advice, what would it be?

 

If I could give a word of advice to Princess Graduates it's this - Work hard. Dream big. Have faith. Don't settle. Success isn't just handed to you - you have to work for it. Surround yourself with people who inspire you, lift you up, encourage you, and love you just the way you are.

 

Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Good things can happen if you stay within your comfort zone but great things happen if you step out and see what else is out there.

 

The Princess Shop is grateful for local initiatives that can give back to our Princess Graduates in unique ways! You can find Pretty Little Shoes online, to shop or book a home party, at www.prettylittleshoesonline.com or on Facebook at www.facebook.com/PrettyLittleShoes. You can also find them on Instagram @pretty.little.shoes and using the hashtag #PLShoes. Check it out for back to school shopping and you will also be contributing to a good cause, The Princess Shop!

How To: Become a Princess Graduate

posted by The Princess Shop    |   June 7, 2016 09:41

The Princess Shop is now in its 9th Graduation Season in Saskatoon! What does this mean? It means we have helped over 628 young women in Saskatoon and surrounding areas to feel supported, celebrated, and beautiful on their graduation days. 

If you are planning to graduate in 2016, we want to hear from you. What many do not know is that in addition to our Grad Dress Program, we also offer mentorship opportunities, and scholarship opportunities for all current and past Princess Graduates. If you are considering applying to be a Princess Graduate, here's what you need to know: 

1. Print off our application form and submit it to info@theprincessshop.ca (or drop it off in person)

2. Once we have received your application, Karen from the Princess Shop will contact you to book your dress appointment with one of our volutneers!

3. At your dress appointment, you will have the opportunity to try on your favourite choices of our massive selection of new and gently used grad dresses! 

4. At your appointment, you will also have the opportunity to choose shoes, jewellery, and handbag for your special day.

*All Saskatoon Princess Graduates will have hair styling, makeup artistry, photography, and corsage provided by the Princess Shop, and our wonderful sponsors!

5. Princess graduates are eligible to join our mentorship program, The Fairy Godmother program, as well as our Next Chapter program, which has scholarship opportunities that are available exclusively for Princess Graduates!

6. In addition to your graduation experience, The Princess Shop also holds three events annually that are great opportunities for you to meet fellow Princess Graduates, our wonderful volunteer team, and receive all of the support, and information you might need about our mentorship and scholarship programs! We encourage all Princess Graduates to attend!

Cameco: Diamond Sponsor

posted by The Princess Shop    |   June 4, 2015 16:32

One of Cameco’s top priorities as an organization in Saskatchewan, is its perpetual involvement in the community. Whether that means putting on large fundraising events or sponsoring local nonprofit organizations in the community.

The Princess Shop is proud to be chosen by Cameco for the second year in a row for sponsorship of the Dress Program. As a Diamond Sponsor, Cameco ensures that we can continue to provide a memorable graduation experience for disadvantaged women who are looking to celebrate the amazing accomplishment of high school graduation equivalent to their peers.

The Dress Program is important in more ways than just one (looking and feeling great). The dress symbolizes more than self-confidence and self-esteem, and equates to a sense of accomplishment so young women in need in Saskatchewan can understand their potential and value, and become motivated to pursue further success.

More doors open to these amazing women because of the Dress Program, as well! The Fairy Godmother Program is an additional service that provides mentorship opportunities, with monthly planned activities for matches. This allows support, guidance and continuous goal setting and pursuits during this important life transition. Lastly, our Next Chapter Program gives Princess Graduates a leg up with exclusive scholarships, bursaries, work placement opportunities, and financial literacy workshops!

 

All of this would not be possible without the great help from our friends at Cameco.

The Princess Shop Sponsors
The Princess Shop Sponsors
The Princess Shop Sponsors
The Princess Shop Sponsors
The Princess Shop
our location
12 - 1622 Ontario Avenue
Saskatoon, SK S7K 1S8
t: 306-222-3311

Kelsey Murphy, Executive Director

Office Hours:
Mondays: 9am - 12pm, 1pm - 6pm
Tuesdays: 9am - 1pm
Thursdays: 12pm - 8pm

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