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Top Buttons, an upscale thrift boutique that recently opened at 236 N. Kentucky Ave., supports the work of a non-profit organization that works with teen girls. 

Shoppers can purchase clothes, accessories, shoes, handbags and jewelry for pre-teen, adult, maternity and plus-sized people.

Top Buttons was founded in 2012 and is a 501c3 organization that offers a variety of programs to help Lakeland girls aged 12 to 17 with establishing a more confident lifestyle through professional attire.

Their “Wearing Confidence” program offers at-risk teens educational sessions on “On the Job Attire”, “Cultural Impact on Fashion” and “Understanding Contextual Modesty” to learn healthy ways to promote self-esteem and modesty.

These girls are nominated by civic or religious organization and get invited into the store and receive a free haircut, skin care and makeup tutorial, photo shoot and a wardrobe makeover from a professional stylist and up to $100 of properly fitting attire.

CEO and founder Sarah Powers is a mother of four kids, three of whom are girls, who said she had a strong desire to provide an alternate and positive fashion resource.

“Collaborating with other nonprofits to serve young women in the community has always been the best part,” said Powers, a Southeastern University graduate. “Seeing them feel more confident from the inside-out as they obtain jobs and become contributing members of our community makes all the long hours worth it.”

Powers explains that civic and religious organizations that work with young women in need are able to enroll in the Wearing Confidence Program. Once they are enrolled, the organization will receive all of the services Top Buttons provides including positive body image and job-preparation sessions plus proper-fitting attire. Because Top Buttons can serve just 12 organizations at a time, there is currently a waiting list.

Through their Wearing Confidence Program, they hold an annual “Building Up Girls Educational” event. Organizations who are enrolled in this program are invited to attend. Top Buttons staff members and outside experts teach positive body image, self-compassion, cultural impact on clothing ethics and how to dress professionally.  

“This event has been very impactful for the girls who attend. Our last event was held at the Harrison School of the Arts with more than 120 young women from PACE, Girls Inc., Boys and Girls Club and more,” Powers said.

The boutique is run entirely through donations from the community. Donations can be dropped off during normal public shopping hours, Tuesday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 5 a.m.

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Emily Goldberg, a journalism/public relations major at Florida Southern College (class of 2017), is an intern for lkldnow.

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