Linda Gross of Advice, Inc - Shares That Designing Women Boutique Has Announced Grants and Names New as Well as Recurring Board Members

In just seven short years DWB has provided over $900,000 in grants for arts and humanities. "Being involved from the inception to this point is something that I am pleased with. We must all find ways to improve our communities and being a board member has been very gratifying." said Linda Gross, advice marketing, adverting, media relations and business solution.

Sarasota, FL, July 21, 2009 --( Designing Women Boutique Grants recipients
They go to the Asolo Repertory Theatre, the DWB Scholarship Program, the Ringling College of Art and Design Scholarship Program, Sarasota Ballet of Florida and the Westcoast Black Theatre Troupe. The Boutique also funded, for the sixth year, the Sarasota Airport Marketing Initiative, a $60,000 program supporting 42 arts organizations and the Sarasota Arts Council.

Over $900,0000 in grants
The 2008 donations bring the charity’s total to almost $900,000 to more than 50 Recipients in just seven short years. Other recent grants include First Step, Jewish Family and Children’s Service, Salvation Army, Sarasota Youth Opera, Sarasota-Manatee Holocaust Center, Sarasota-Manatee Jewish Federation/Malkin Young Ambassadors Scholarships, the Hermitage, the Wellness Community and the YMCA Scholarship Program. The shop is now donating merchandise to the Pines of Sarasota in addition to ongoing recipients such as the Salvation Army, Resurrection House, SPARCC, Suncoast Workforce Development and Goodwill.

Founders and the Board
In addition to founders Jean Weidner, Diane Roskamp and Margaret Wise, the board of Designing Women Boutique includes Jewel Ash, Chris Currie, Linda Gross, Senator Robert Johnson, Marcy Laughner, Victoria Leopold, Shelley Lister, Orion Marx, Gloria Moss, Lee Peterson, Carol Phillips, Mary Ann Robinson, Ed Schaye, Molly Schechter, Valerie Terris, Barbara Wright and Ida Zito.

Major Initiatives
Major initiatives have included the establishment of a Couture Salon to display and sell the crème de la crème of the shop’s fashion merchandise; Victoria Leopold and Jackie Rogers were the leaders of this project. At the outset of 2009, DWB became the sole Sarasota representative for renowned designer Joan McGee, and will offer a selection of her creations. The board and management are tackling a new, long-term strategic plan, working in collaboration with experts from the Gulf Coast Foundation of Venice. They are also, under the leadership of Senator Robert Johnson, expanding and refining the shop’s approach to handling estate liquidation and downsizing relocations, working with estate planers where appropriate and custom-tailoring arrangements to the needs of each individual or family.

Estate Sales and Liquidation
The shop’s furniture marketing activity is an important, recent strategy for making more money to give away. In 2007, Designing Women acquired 1000 square feet of additional space and created a home furnishings showroom adjacent to its main selling space in the Roskamp Center for Arts and Humanity. The Boutique now accepts donations or consignments of beautiful items for the home – antique, vintage or new, singly or by the room or house full. Another recent accomplishment was the launch of the Designing Women Boutique website,

Ambassadors Guild
The boutique also has an active volunteer group, the Ambassadors Guild, Ida Zito, president Originally located in rented space on Fruitville Road, the boutique acquired its own space in the Roskamp Center on North Tamiami Trail in April of 2005. The new location has twice as much selling space and the shop is winding up its Capital Campaign to pay for it. Owning the property is the shop’s growth strategy. According to founder and President Jean Weidner, “It means that we – not a landlord – can direct our future. It makes it possible for us to give more dollars to the community. And that’s what we’re all about, after all.”

Designer Clothing for sale and consignment
Designing Women Boutique’s specialty is the widest selection of designer clothes in the area at prices that are hard to beat. Designers typically in stock may include Armani, Burberry, Chanel, Escada, Fendi, Ferragamo, Louis Ferraud, Donna Karan, Dana Buchman and that Sarasota favorite, St. John. Another strong suit is new fashion merchandise purchased in New York especially for its customers. The boutique has very high standards for what it will accept; it takes donations at any time during business hours. Consignments (fashion and furniture) are by appointment.

Designing Women Boutique is known for its events.
It’s fourth annual Fashion Week which is always sold out.

It featured a calendar celebrating Sarasota charitable organizations, entertainment by local arts groups and a fashion show featuring Sarasota’s liveliest and loveliest. More than 300 attended. Plans for the fifth annual event call for a dinner and fashion show on February 25, 2010.

The Salon Series is a monthly luncheon with a featured speaker and a mini-fashion show; at only $14/person, it has become a local favorite. Jewel Ash, Joan Campo-Liga and Carol Phillips co-chair.

501-c-3 and Mission
Designing Women Boutique is a 501-c-3 charitable organization with the mission to meaningfully grow the funding for arts and human services through innovative marketing of unique couture apparel, fine home furnishings, and estate liquidation. To that end, in the last seven years, Designing Women Boutique has provided over $900,000 in grants to arts, endowments and human service organizations in our community.

The boutique is successful only through countless hours of local volunteers, donations and consignment merchandise. Both consignment and new merchandise are offered for sale

Location, Hours and Phone
Designing Women Boutique is located at
1226 N. Tamiami Trail at 13th Street.
Phone 941-366-5293; FAX 941-373-9563;
The shop is open Monday through Friday, 10 to 5; Saturday 10 to 4.

advice, Inc.
Linda Gross
941 907-9507