Tina’s Story 💙

We recently caught up with Tina, a former client, who we met over a year ago, after she fled her home in Ukraine amidst the war, in search of a safer life in the UK.

For Tina, settling in a new country was a struggle. She had to leave her life behind, find schools for her children, and look for a new job for herself. “It felt like starting life anew.”

Lacking confidence, not having secured employment, she came to Smart Works where we supported her with clothing and coaching to help her look and feel her best at a crucial time.

Soon after, we heard the amazing news that Tina had landed a job. She said, “After I came to Smart Works, a switch turned on in my head, and I realised I’ve got this, and I deserve it. Getting a job is not just a matter of luck, I know I made it happen, and it’s a great start to a new life for my family and me.”

We were thrilled to hear about all of her success in her current role and how she now feels “confident about her future and her ability to support her family independently.”

Click here to find out more about Tina’s journey.

The Smart Works Summer Shop with Covent Garden is back! ☀️

We’re thrilled to be returning to Covent Garden for a second year with a seasonal pop-up shop in a new location. Join us from 3rd to 23rd August for the ultimate feel-good shopping experience.

You can expect to shop your favourite brands at up to 70% off RRP and feel great knowing that 100% of proceeds will go towards supporting unemployed women to get the job and transform their lives.

Drop by and join us in using Fashion as a Force for Good. You can find us at 62 Neal Street, Covent Garden 11am-7pm Monday-Saturday and 11am-6pm Sunday.

The Smart Works Network 💙

Our service is deceptively simple: a two-hour dressing and coaching session that equips our clients with the clothing, coaching, and confidence they need to successfully land a job. In fact, 69% of our clients find employment within a month of their visit. But even once you’ve secured the job and left Smart Works – the support doesn’t stop.

Our ambition is to help women into employment, but we’re also passionate about their entire journey and are committed to empowering them throughout. For us, building a strong Client Network is essential to this.

The Smart Works Network is optional for all former clients to join once they have secured employment, and to date, we have over 2,000 members.

By hosting a variety of events throughout the year we’re able to provide engaging, insightful and inspirational opportunities for alumni clients to connect with each other, as well as with industry leaders and experts. Our events allow Smart Works Network members to share their experiences, ideas, and challenges on a variety of topics, from career development to personal wellness, all while building a sense of community that is integral to our mission at Smart Works.

Learn more about the Client Network

Check out our most recent Network events

Women in Leadership with Bank of America

We’ve hosted three inspiring events with Bank of America as part of the Women in Leadership series. These events have been truly empowering and an excellent opportunity for Bank of America’s senior leaders to share their learnings, advice, and career journeys with the Network. From navigating leadership positions to mentoring advice and networking skills, the team at Bank of America have shared a range of expertise. Former clients learnt about the variety of careers available within banking and left feeling inspired. We look forward to another Network event with Bank of America in July.

How to Win at Networking with Chubb

Our partners at Chubb hosted an exceptional night of networking in collaboration with Interactive Workshops. Colleagues AnnMarie and Kali led an impressive and engaging conversation, encouraging our clients to share their networking challenges. Together, we delved deep into finding the most effective solutions to overcome them.

Breaking Barriers: Lessons from Leaders in Tech with Block/Clearpay

Last month, we held a Smart Works Network event organised by Block/Clearpay. It was an interesting evening with three inspiring leaders in the tech industry – Amanda Anderson, Samina Hussain-Letch, and Thish Nadesan. They talked about how they overcame challenges in a male-dominated industry and shared tips on building resilience, navigating the corporate ladder, and cultivating a supportive network.

Elevate your Personal Brand, hosted by Norton Rose Fulbright

During an interactive session with Norton Rose Fulbright, we learned the importance of building our personal brand. After all, there’s only one of you! Our clients were taught how to develop a one-minute elevator pitch, which they then presented to their group. We also had the opportunity to network with employees from Standard Chartered and Norton Rose Fulbright and hear about their personal experiences.

Break the Glass Ceiling: unleash your potential with leaders at Airwallex

We recently visited Airwallex for our latest event which featured a panel of inspiring female leaders.  The panel included Stephanie Kendall, Jessie Apple, May Afrah, and Lena Diesch. Through their compelling stories, they highlighted the vital role of personal branding, networking, and mentorship in achieving success in male-dominated industries. Attendees left feeling motivated and inspired, with valuable insights to help them overcome obstacles in their own careers.

Celebrating Visionary Women with AllBright 💙

Our partners @Allbright recently hosted the #BrightListAwards – a remarkable event that brought together people who are making a significant difference in the lives of women across the world.

We were proud to support The Women of Courage Award, recognising women who demonstrate unwavering spirit while navigating challenging situations and raising awareness for important issues, against all odds.

Our CEO, @bykatestephens, had the honour of presenting this award and spoke about the powerful connection between Smart Works and AllBright. She highlighted how our core values align and how the support from AllBright will help us to connect even more women with their potential at a crucial moment in their lives.

You can find out more about the incredible women nominated here. We hope that this event continues to inspire sisterhood and action.

Clare Hornby in conversation with Julietta Dexter

This time last week, our long-standing partner @bankofamerica, kindly hosted The Fashion Club in their King Edward Hall at their London office. Clare Hornby, the Founder and CEO of @me_andem, joined our Chair, @juliettadexter, to share her knowledge and experience in the fashion industry.

Clare Hornby shared her journey from making clothes at home with her mum to her first job in Harrods, and the lessons she learned from her career in advertising. There was no shortage of valuable insights on how to make a statement with your wardrobe and dress for success, and teachings all learned from Clare Hornby’s experience in having skilfully built a brand that provides functional, flattering, forever clothes for modern women.

The Smart Works Fashion Club provide great opportunities for members to network and connect with like-minded individuals and use fashion as a force for good by supporting our mission.

We want to thank Clare Hornby, Julietta Dexter, and the wonderful teams at Bank of America and ME+EM for an exceptional event, leaving us feeling inspired and motivated to take our personal style to the next level.

Click here to learn more about The Fashion Club and become a member today.


The Fashion Club with Sinéad Burke and Vanessa Kingori MBE

The Smart Works Fashion Club is a membership group for those who love fashion, style and empowering women.

Our Fashion Club members recently joined us for a powerful discussion with Sinéad Burke and Vanessa Kingori MBE, in conversation with our Chair, Julietta Dexter, kindly hosted by Bobbi Brown Cosmetics.

Sinéad and Vanessa led an insightful conversation on diversity and inclusion in the fashion industry, sharing their personal experiences and insights, shedding light on how we can all do our part to embrace and promote inclusivity in our everyday lives.

From Sinéad’s mission of creating systemic change with intersectionality at its roots to Vanessa’s experiences of navigating a male-re for the industry she loves, we all left thinking about our role in creating meaningful change.

We’d like to thank Sinéad Burke and Vanessa Kingori MBE for leading such an important conversation and being a source of inspiration, it was truly a night to remember.

To be involved in future Fashion Club events and hear fascinating insight into the world of style and fashion, with the opportunity to meet other dynamic and inspiring people, join the Fashion Club here.

The Care Leaver’s Programme

Created by care leavers for care leavers:

39% of care leavers aged 19-21 aren’t in education or employment, this is compared to 13% of non-care leavers. To help tackle this issue and empower young care experienced women to get the job and transform their lives we have launched a brand new pilot programme – The Smart Works Care Leavers Programme.

The idea for the programme came from Kim Emenike, a Civil Service secondee, who we met last year. Being a care-leaver herself, Kim immediately saw the value that Smart Works offers to women from vulnerable situations and wanted every care-experienced woman to have access to the Smart Works service. Each element of the programme has been designed with thought and care and with the challenges of a care leaver at the forefront, to ensure our clients have the greatest opportunity to get the job and transform their lives.

To celebrate the launch we invited care leavers and support associations from across London to visit our centre in North London and hear more about the programme. It was wonderful to hear from Kim about why this is important and what it will mean for the lives of women transitioning out of the care system.

Over £80,000 raised! 🥳

We’ve spent the past few days packing up and moving out of The Smart Works Shop with Covent Garden, which has been our home for the past three weeks.

We’d like to thank the brilliant team at Covent Garden who helped make this possible. Our brilliant supporters who helped bring the store to life, our wonderful volunteers who kept the shop running and all of the amazing shoppers whose purchases will help unemployed women get the job!

Every member of our wonderful community has contributed to the final amount and more importantly, they have allowed Smart Works to continue delivering our transformative service to even more women in need.

Special thanks to Missoma, By Far, Young British Designers, Bobbi Brown, Home of Hai, Frame, Rae Feather, Sisterhood, Lisou, Really Wild Clothing, Theory, The Outnet, Elizabeth Scarlett, Baukjen, Rejina Pyo, Paradise Row London, OMNES, Pink City Prints, Dilli Grey, Usisi Sister, People Tree, Rixo, Maje, Rainbowwave PR, Nicholas Kirkwood, Phoebe Grace, Fujifilm, Jovonna London, Bucherer, Radley London, Ganni, Hunter Boots, Lexy London, Celeste Starre, Hilton Hotels, Granger Hertzog, Found Pop and Jupter Visuals for all contributing so generously.

Although our time in Covent Garden has come to an end, our journey to help more women continues and we can’t wait to see what exciting opportunities it brings. 💙

Didn’t get a chance to visit our Covent Garden shop?  Click here to get tickets to our upcoming October sale.

Although the wardrobe is where the magic happens, it isn’t curated by magic alone.

Meet the wardrobe team: They take care of all the lovely clothes we give to our clients and coordinate everything coming in and out of the Wardrobe. They’re often joined by our wonderful volunteers, who help get the clothes ready for your appointment.




At your dressing appointment, you get to choose which clothes you take home, but have you ever wondered how we choose which clothes make it to the Wardrobe?


We rely on the donation of high-quality workwear to run our service. Our offerings come from individuals who drop into our centres or post items of clothing to us in the mail, from corporate partners who host clothing drives, and 70% of our donations are brand new with tags on, thanks to our retail partners who kindly donate to all our centres. We’re lucky receive donations from all types of people with various styles. So, whatever your style, we’ve got you covered!


First impressions last, and we think the same sentiment should apply with clothes!

Every single item is vetted to ensure that they’re in excellent condition – free of wear and tear, rips and stains – ready for you to wear at your interview, and many times after that.

There’s a place for everything in the Wardrobe; from Jackets, to Jumpers, Bags to blazers. We organise the clothes by size and category before we steam and prep them for the rails. We often get help from our lovely wardrobe volunteers and corporate wardrobe day volunteers, who make sure it’s easy to find that all important outfit.

Sometimes we receive clothes that aren’t as well suited for the workplace or aren’t appropriate for the season but are still in fantastic condition. We try our best to champion sustainable fashion by turning pre-loved clothes to re-loved clothes. So, we’ll always find a use for them, whether that’s holding a Smart Works Sale or re-donating clothes to better suited charities, rest assured that the clothes that we receive are always put to good use.

Want to support our wardrobe team?

If you’d like to support the wardrobe, there are so many ways you can get involved. From donating clothes, to volunteering your time or holding fundraisers. Everything you do to support us could help to transform a woman’s life.

Get ready to run for Smart Works!

Calling all sprinters, joggers, and walkers – if you’re looking for fun ways to get active this autumn whilst helping support women in the long run, look no further.

Ever wanted to run a half marathon?

Get in touch with us by 25th August – We have limited spaces available in the Royal Parks Half Marathon, taking place on Sunday 9th October. You’ll be joined by a friendly team to support you from the moment you sign up, right through to the finish line 💙

If that’s not your speed, why not fundraise for Smart Works as part of a running event you’re already signed up to?

If you’re a keen runner, we’d love to hear from you! Whether you’re one step ahead of us and are already involved in a running event, or you would like to run in the Royal Parks Half Marathon to fundraise for Smart Works, please email charlotte.owens@smartworks.org.uk or more information.

Fundraise for Smart Works