Giving Back by Vancouver Island Stagers, Stylists & ReDesigners Group

Giving Back by Vancouver Island Stagers, Stylists & ReDesigners Group

Have you heard of the Vancouver Island Stagers, Stylists and ReDesigners group? Just think, VISSR!

VISSR is a group of business women on Southern Vancouver Island who meet once a month as colleagues and collaborative professionals. VISSR is a mix of home stagers, interior stylists and redesigners, and many offer a slice of all three services.

Recently VISSR initiated a volunteer redesign project for the Bridges for Women Society in Victoria.

Bridges for Women is a not-for-profit, charitable agency focussing on employment services for women with a background of abuse or trauma.

 Source: Bridges for Women Society

Bridges mission, taken directly from their website, is this:

Bridges is a gutsy, innovative community agency. Our employment training and supportive programs inspire women impacted by violence or abuse, to reclaim their lives and build economic security. Bridges draws on its extensive knowledge of the impacts of abuse on employability, to provide education, training and consulting to community agencies, employers, and government.

As VISSR members, we volunteered our professional skills to redesign two classrooms along with support from our clients and local businesses who donated materials and/or trade labour. We had a narrow budget to work with, which had to stretch far… Without the unified support of VISSR members, our clients, and participating local businesses, the scope of these classroom transformations would not have been possible.

Imagine taking a classroom setting from this…

BEFORE

Photo: Diana Zinck

to this…

INSTALLATION DAY

Photo: SZInteriors

to THIS!

 AFTER

Photo: Diana Zinck

From this…

BEFORE

Photo: SZInteriors

to this…

INSTALLATION DAY

Photo: SZInteriors

to THIS!

AFTER

Photo: Diana Zinck

And from this…

BEFORE

Photo: Diana Zinck

to this…

INSTALLATION DAY

Photo: SZInteriors

to THIS!

AFTER

Photo: Diana Zinck

And all on a dime.

What went into the redesign?

  1. Two new paint colours
  2. A chair rail around the whole room
  3. Custom made bulletin boards
  4. White board paint (dry erase) painted directly on the wall to replace wall-mounted white board
  5. Oak cabinet, baskets and decorative boxes for organization and storage
  6. Artwork and incidentals
  7. A folding screen room divider in place of empty storage lockers acting as room dividers
  8. Privacy film over the windows
  9. And of course, volunteer time and energy

Here’s a closer look…

The custom bulletin boards were a huge part of this redesign. Collages made by the students are a significant component of the Bridges program, and displaying them is equally important.

So the collages (blurred for confidentiality) went from being displayed like this…

 Photo: SZInteriors

To this…

Photo: Pauline Dueck

On walls like this!

Photo: Diana Zinck

The frames are painted in the same blue as the Bridges for Women Society’s branded blue! All have been prehung so they’re ready to feature each collage as a presented work of art.

The bulletin boards were definitely the pride of this project with their functional form underscoring the significance of their presence!

The wall of windows was another key consideration. Obtaining privacy without the loss of natural light was the hope, and to accomplish this, opaque film for the windows was the solution. But our budget was the obstacle! And thankfully, in the end donations came through.

 This is a closer look at the windows before the privacy film was installed.

Photo: SZInteriors

The existing blinds provided the privacy function, but with them closed, the natural light was lost. And even with them tilted open, the light was still filtered out a lot, leaving the overhead fluorescents in charge!

Here’s a look at the windows AFTER the privacy film was installed.

Photo: SZInteriors

There was no leftover film to spare, and even the little scrap pieces didn’t go to waste. The birds were drawn free-hand and made with the leftover pieces!

And here, some (but not all) of the VISSR members who came together, and brought this vision to reality.

Photo: Pauline Dueck

(Back Row, L to R): Michaela Starling, Carell-Ayne Whalen, Diana Zinck, Tracey Jones, Josée Lalonde

(Front Row, L to R): [Me], Stacey Kaminiski, Pauline Dueck

For a list of all VISSR members, click here.

Bridges for Women…

Photo: SZInteriors

Break the cycle. Build the future.

Photo: Pauline Dueck

Thank you so much to Bridges for Women Society for the opportunity to give back by doing what we do best!

And a heartfelt thank you to these local business for their invaluable support. Without you these transformations just wouldn’t have been possible:

You made it possible for us to change up this space…

 Photo: Diana Zinck

To look like this!

Photo: Diana Zinck

And the second classroom to look like this…

Photo: Diana Zinck

And this!!!

Photo: Diana Zinck

And thank you to SHAW TV Daily for the coverage! For those of you who missed the news clip, click here to view. It only takes a few minutes to watch!

To see more photos of the project you can visit our VISSR site here, and The Stage Coach here.

Have you pitched in on a project lately? I’d love to hear about it!

It’s always so gratifying to lend a hand, and I really enjoyed being a part of this project. I hope you enjoyed this overview and got to feel for a moment how incredible it was to be able to give back in this way.

 Thanks for stopping by!

Signature 100x47 b&w

Photographs by Sheila Zeller unless otherwise indicated. Please link and credit if you choose to use!

 

 



6 thoughts on “Giving Back by Vancouver Island Stagers, Stylists & ReDesigners Group”

  • What a great organization! I’m seeing groups pop up in different cities that would be so great to have in my area. It’s really fun to see like-minded people unite for a worthy cause too. Thanks for sharing Sheila!

  • Thank you for doing such a beautiful job of telling the story of this project. It was such an honor to work with you and the VISSR group in bringing it from a wishlist to a reality. The Bridges staff are still talking about what a huge difference this has made for them and their clients.

  • Great job story telling. It is wonderful to see the details shared of this Hand Up Service Project. The work involved and the mindfulness of all the details was key to the success of these room transformations. The finished look and the function of the rooms is simply awesome! It was wonderful to work with such a talented and lovely group of people for such an inspiring organization. The amount of effort, and details really made it all worth while. Huge kudos to everyone!!

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