Event benefits Planned Parenthood

“What you wear is how you present yourself to the world, especially today when human contacts are so quick. Fashion is instant language.” ‒ Miuccia Prada

The idea of fashion is as different as the person realizing it, and for some it’s an opportunity to showcase individuality and self-resolution. Women of all ages and from different backgrounds use style and clothing to present their innermost confidence to the world. Whether through comfort and practicality or trendy design and distinctiveness, fashion is an expression and can sometimes be used to benefit others.

A global movement of women supporting and lifting one another in strength and love has recently begun, and Salida is an active participant. One local boutique owner has joined forces with another woman entrepreneur to raise awareness for a cause that empowers women and supplies them with affordable, necessary health benefits.

The event is called Fashion for a Cause, and it’s the brain child of Opal Boutique owner Lizzie Farnsworth of Salida. On Thursday evening, April 19, at 8 p.m., Farnsworth and Sarah Gartzman, owner of The Biker & the Baker, 123 W. First St., will host a liberating night of fashion and wine to raise funds for Salida’s Planned Parenthood. Tickets are $25 and can be purchased at Opal Boutique or at the door of The Biker and Baker the night of the fashion show. The ticket proceeds not only contribute to a great cause but also provide a complimentary drink during the event and 15 percent off your next purchase at Opal Boutique.

“I have been wanting to give back to the community in some way, and I felt it would be fun to create an event where people could come together, socialize and support a great organization that we are so lucky to have in our town,” said Farnsworth. “Sarah and I are hoping for a really entertaining night of fashion and great food and drinks that will also bring people together for a great cause. Ticket sales will go to Planned Parenthood, and we will also have a donation box at the event.”

Celebrating its third anniversary, Farnsworth’s Opal Boutique is a thriving business nestled next to another of Gartzman’s popular eateries, Sweetie’s Sandwich Shop on F Street. With more than seven years of experience in the fashion retail industry, Farnsworth fell in love with Salida and knew she had to make her mark by adding another great business that offers a unique shopping environment for locals and tourists alike.

“Opal Boutique offers new, fresh and effortless style at an affordable price. We are your one-stop shop for clothing, accessories and shoes. Our target audience is a wide range, from teen to mature adult. Daughter, mother, grandmother, etc., any and all can shop together at Opal. As soon as I saw the space I felt my vision come alive,” she said.

Farnsworth said the most rewarding aspect of Opal Boutique is meeting customers and the relationships she has stablished with them. She had been looking for a way to give back to this supportive community and, after conceptualizing ideas with Gartzman, decided Planned Parenthood was the perfect nonprofit organization to support. She said it is a great resource for women of all ages, and its services should not be taken for granted.

The fashion show will be a celebration of women, by women, for women. This effort to support a local organization that has helped so many women is a way to solidify the support women have for one another, she said.

“To me, fashion is wearable art ‒ a way you can express yourself. It’s important to showcase women of all ages and sizes in our show because what we mostly see in the media when it comes to fashion is not your typical average woman. I believe fashion is for anyone, and I try my best to carry a variety of styles and sizes at Opal. I love how clothes can make you feel confident and ready to take on your day,” Farnsworth said.

“We really want to raise as much money as we can for our local Planned Parenthood. I want women to come together and support each other and have a fun night out.”