• Heather Fowler

Making Mary Jane's Closet

Making people the highest priority is the mission for Mary Jane’s People. And part of that mission is to serve communities that get little attention.


This is something I believe we are all called to do and for me personally, it has been a wonderful years-long journey to get here. After going through a weight transition during the pandemic, and losing over 80 pounds in the last 1 1/2 years, I now have a lot of awesome clothes (designer and budget) to give away. I didn’t want to give the lightly used clothes to just anyone, and honestly I wanted to control who my pretty clothes went to since they boosted my confidence when I wore them and I wanted to share that feeling with others who really need a lift to help them move forward.


After about a year of research in the local area for a place to donate all of my clothes and still losing weight and watching the pile grow taller, I didn't see the kind of organization I had in mind. But I knew it would come sooner or later and so I waited, and my donation closet grew.


To be honest, I waited expectantly for it to happen, and denied doing it myself, “because I don’t have time” and wished an organization like that would show up. Even after folks asked, “Do we need to start one?” My answer was, “No, I don’t have time, someone will do it though” And I believe now there are a couple of closets for the community in the area. And that is wonderful!


And the great news is there's space for another free clothes closet!


I opened one after all.


Mary Jane’s Closet is a career closet for trans women and women from domestic violent relationships as they move towards better things. As a DV survivor myself, I know what it's like to rebuild, to restart, to transition to better things and this wardrobe helped me become who I am today.


Additionally to align with the vision of Mary Jane’s People, Mary Jane’s Closet will offer free career help, such as, resume writing, cover letter help, interview prep and career coaching. Our goal is to help women transitioning to something better for themselves.


This Winter Solstice season, on December 18, 2021 from 10a to 2p Mary Jane’s Closet will be open for new wardrobe building! Sizes range from L to XXL, 12 to 18. ALL Styles and most occasions from business to casual. There will also be some body shape wear and lounge wear, plus swim suits.


Mary Jane’s Closet is located at Mary Jane's People office (visit us on Instagram @maryjanescloset.austin for details). It is a private and secure room for choosing clothes for a new wardrobe. Appointments can also be made for privacy and security.


The goal is to create a safe space and private experience as people desire. In addition to career help, I am also happy to provide style guidance too.


Would you like to start Mary Jane’s Closet in your own community?


Here’s how:


  • Collect clothes of all styles and sizes. You can host a clothes drive at work or home by posting on your neighborhood facebook page

  • I lost a bunch of weight and had a steady supply of clothes to donate

  • Have a clean space. If you have an extra room, or room in your closet that allows for a wardrobe or covered clothes rack

  • I have an at home office that now has an empty closet that I use for Mary Jane’s Closet

  • It is a private room, I think this is helpful but not critical if not available. Do what is best for your scenario

  • For open houses, I am investing in some cheap clothes racks so I can put up in my living room to create a boutique vibe

  • Make your Instagram page using maryjanescloset.yourcity

  • True story: All variations of mary janes closet on Instagram were taken

  • maryjanescloset.austin was available and it is the naming method you can use to set up your page maryjanescloset.yourcity

  • Post on IG: Take some pics of outfits and separates to show off what’s available

  • Host Equinox and Solstice Open Houses for wardrobe building

  • Create a safe and secure environment

  • MJC is free for trans women and domestic violence survivors

  • We don’t ask questions if someone comes to us we help them


What about donations?

Clothing donations are always accepted. Clean please!


No T-shirts. Or workout clothes.


We’d love a full length mirror if you have one to donate


Is Mary Jane's Closet a nonprofit?

Not yet. I do envision Mary Jane’s Closet becoming an official non-profit organization within the next 3 years depending on need and response. As of now, I have spent about $50 on boxes and hangers from the dollar store to organize.


Contact me and I’ll help you get a start building your closet 💕


I hope you love this idea as much as I do.


I am open to feedback and suggestions, just contact me at hi@maryjanespeople.com. Please follow @maryjanescloset.austin then DM us to learn more about Mary Jane’s Closet.


Word of mouth is most appreciated if you know anyone that might benefit!


Be Well.

Love, Heather


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