By Yevgeniy Trapeznikov
“Giving the women opportunity to earn an equal income or to earn an equal place has become my passion,” Nina McLemore said.
McLemore is a founder of the Nina McLemore Collection, an apparel company that caters designer clothing to executive women. The company has 12 stores around the country, including shops in New York, San Francisco and Seattle. In July, McLemore’s fashion boutique opened in Chevy Chase, Md.
From Dec. 2 through 15, her boutique at 5310B Western Avenue will donate 15 percent of all sales to the Washington Area Women’s Foundation (WAWF) as part of the holiday shopping season.
WAWF is a membership
organization of more than 500 women who work together to provide educational, employment
and childcare support to low-income women and their families. The foundation partners with a number
of community institutions and local businesses to raise and direct financial
and intellectual resources.
“There are a lot of
women in the area who just need a little bit of college to step up their
career. The foundation helps such women providing educational grants for the
college,” said Jennifer Lockwood-Shabat, vice president for the WAWF.
collaborates with Montgomery
Community College (MCC), which is the first stop for many low-income women in Washington.
Lockwood-Shabat, WAWF, which helped 5,000 women in metro area this year,
focuses on three things. First is job-training, including its latest program in partnership with MCC to train
women to be apartment managers. Second is financial literacy—teaching women skills to manage their budgets,
decrease debts and help move their families into a more sustainable state. And, the foundation
seeks to provide women with access to quality childcare.
“Women, children and
education are the things I really
care about. When a mother understands the value of education and can afford the
time to give to her children, you solve the problem of the next generation,”
said McLemore, who is also a member of the International Women’s Forum, World
Women’s Presidents’ Organization, the Tiffany Circle of the Red Cross and the
Financial Women’s Association.
Nina McLemore, Inc.
is a strong supporter of charitable organizations and has donated approximately
$1.3 million over the past ten years.
McLemore is from a town in
Mississippi where helping neighbors is part of the culture, she said.
Last Friday, her boutique store
in Chevy Chase held a special in-store event at which McLemore shared insights and information on women’s accomplishments, as well as why philanthropy is important in American society.
Shoppers also had a
chance to receive one free class from Potomac Pilates (located at 5406 Wisconsin Ave., Chevy Chase) with any Nina
McLemore purchase on the day of the event, as well as an opportunity to win a month of classes in toning,
lengthening and lifting the body.
“We try to stay
actively involved with the Chevy Chase community, and it has been a joy to work with Nina and her team to help
promote these events,” said Catherine Calabrese, marketing vice president for Potomac Pilates, which has worked with many charities—including Fashion for Paws,
Movember and the Breast Cancer Research Foundation—in the past.
A client shopper,
Nancy Zeidman, said she really appreciated the work McLemore was doing.
“If we only could
have more people like her, we all would be in a better situation,” Zeidman said.