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Chester County Press

Wings for Success merges with The Wardrobe to open two stores in county

03/13/2024 02:15PM ● By Richard Gaw

Two longtime leaders in the fight against clothing insecurity and empowering people toward financial independence are merging, as Wings for Success becomes part of The Wardrobe (formerly Career Wardrobe). 

Now called The Wardrobe, the business is located at two locations in Chester County – in the New Garden Shopping Center and the Exton Square Mall. Grand openings were held at both locations on March 11.

While Wings For Success has been serving clients for 25 years, the merger will now allow public resale shopping to support expanding services to provide outfits for work or life to anyone in need in the region. The integrated organization will also expand the Wings for Success education and coaching services throughout the Philadelphia region to help people move to financial independence. 

“Few people know that Wings for Success was founded by former Wardrobe volunteers, so this merger is really 25 years in the making,” said The Wardrobe’s Executive Director Sheri Cole. “We are excited to be able to expand our successful model to Chester County and make an even bigger impact on the lives of people throughout our region. Like food and shelter, clothing is a basic need that no one should have to go without. 

“And now in Chester County, anyone struggling will have access to clothing that helps them look and feel good.” 

“Coming together with The Wardrobe will allow us to offer even more services to the communities Wings has served over the years,” said Jill Laufenberg, The Wardrobe’s development director. “By combining our resources, we can do so much more together.” 

Founded in 1995 with the mission to bridge the gap by providing professional clothing to women transitioning to work, The Wardrobe is among the nation’s largest agencies working to eliminate clothing insecurity and curb fashion waste. Each year, the nonprofit upcycles more than 200,000 pounds of gently used and new clothing to provide a stable source of free quality clothing for its participants and has outfitted more than 100,000 people.

Last year, demand for The Wardrobe’s services increased by 30 percent and the organization outfitted 6,000 people with the clothing they need to move toward independence. 

The merger was a long time in the making, said The Wardrobe’s Program Director Mars Sharock.

“Originally, The Wardrobe and Wings For Success were one entity and then split off many years ago,” he said. “When Jill [Laufenberg] came on board, she started looking at the clients the agency was serving and then contacted The Wardrobe and said, ‘Hey, why aren’t we the same organization? We both do the same work and if we combine forces, we can do a lot more good for the larger community.’

“I’m passionate in my belief that non-profits should work together and not against each other, and I know often, non-profits are competing for funding, so it’s hard to get them into the mindset of working together but when you put the people who are in need first, then you are able to realign yourself with the actual mission of the organization, and when our missions are aligned and we put our clients first, there is no reason why we shouldn’t be working together.”

Sharock said that the Kennett Square location will provide clothing for women and men, as well as the transgender community and the local farming community. 

The Wardrobe is located in the New Garden Shopping Center, 345 Scarlet Road, Kennett Square and at the Exton Square Mall, 153 Exton Square Parkway in Exton, and is open Monday-Saturday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m. for clothing donations, open shopping, and client appointments. 

To learn more about The Wardrobe, visit

To contact Staff Writer Richard L. Gaw, email [email protected].