Style Lottery’s Pop-Up Closet Setup

Style Lottery is converting a Syracuse University classroom into a a giant walk-in closet for the evening. Setting up for a closet-swap is a great design challenge. We typically have only a couple of hours to transform a classroom with desks and tables into a closet with racks and mirrors.
I’ve always had an obsession with flash mobs and pop-up shops that appear and disappear overnight. At our closet swaps, we have a lot of creative and hard-working volunteers who make our pop-up closet magic trick appear seamless. We have to “build” the closet and tear it down as soon as the event is over. Timing is critical, but my team is up for the task.
Just to give you an idea of what point we’re starting from, the picture above is the before picture of the space we’ll be working in. Imagine this room with about 50 more chairs!
We are grateful for every ounce of sweat and for every hand that makes our events a possibility. We can’t thank the Office of the Chancellor at Syracuse University enough for the grant they gave us to enable us to buy travelers racks (the type that folds flat) and other equipment for our swap! If you are interested in volunteering for the upcoming or any future swaps, please click here.
About the event:
SWAP BACK TO SCHOOL is an event by Fast Forward grant recipient Style Lottery. The event encourages people to restyle, reuse, and reward​ with their clothing. ​Our guests bring at least 5 lightly used articles of clothing, shoes, or accessories to our closet swap event. Their items are then placed on the racks inStyle Lottery​’s giant walk-in closet setup and they can swap freely with one another. Remaining clothing from the swap is set aside to be donated to women in need in the community. In the past, Style Lottery has donated to organizations like The Rescue Mission and the Exodus House from the success of our swaps.
The event is Thursday, September 25th at the Hall of Languages 500 from 5-7pm. 
Facebook event link is here.

Style Lottery #1

I’m excited to announce that today we had the opportunity to give our first Style Lottery to five beautiful women from the Exodus House. These ladies were headed to a dinner tonight so we have the privilege of styling their outfits and helping them get ready .

We had been given their sizes earlier so were able to pick out dresses for them beforehand. Some of them were a hit and a perfect fit and others required a replacement or a second look.

My favorite part of the whole day was taking the ladies to the attic to let them shop from the Style Lottery closet.

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I was overwhelmed with happiness when I saw them going through the racks with gusto and unbridled excitement.  It was so wonderful to see that something as simple as a shopping spree could put a smile on someone’s face. We love our happy customers!StyleLottery#1 2432x3648 StyleLottery#1 2432x3648-004 StyleLottery#1 2432x3648-003 StyleLottery#1 2432x3648-002 StyleLottery#1 2432x3648-001

After they picked out their clothes and got dressed, we sent them to hair and makeup. Our volunteer, Jen (a fellow Syracuse grad student), applied makeup and gave the ladies a natural makeup look.

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During this first Style Lottery, we discovered just how much clothing can contribute to how we feel about ourselves. Our biggest success of the evening was with Sam. Sam is a beautiful girl with a great curvy shape. Jen and I went through dozens of outfits, but none of them were really her. With the help of one the ladies, we found this gray blazer and paired it with a top from the Style Lottery closet. She wore her own pants and boots. She loved the outfit and rocked the look to the dinner. We could see the look of relief and confidence she wore along with her outfit. We knew we’d made the right choice. She looked, on the outside, the way she felt on the inside– like a beautiful, confident young woman. StyleLottery#1 2432x3648-006

And this is why we’re doing what we’re doing. We want to make more women like Sam smile. She deserves to be pampered and to look nice and we’re here to help.

Special thanks to the women who attended the December Clothes Swap. Without them, this first Style Lottery would not have been possible.

Special thanks to Exodus 3 Ministries for nominating these women to win a Style Lottery.

If you know a woman who would enjoy a Style Lottery, you can nominate her here. Our next Lottery will be after Spring Break 2014. Our goal is to give away at least 15 Lotteries. Spread the word.