Styled by a Child: Fashion fundraiser by the North Dakota Women’s Network kicks off

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You might notice people in the area sporting some unique clothing this week. That’s because the North Dakota Women’s Network is putting on a fashion fundraiser.

“I showed up with a gold dress and jacket and this top hat thing that made me look like I was ready to run a circus,” said Katie Aitchison.

That’s what happens when you’re “Styled By a Child.” It’s a fundraiser that a group of moms started just for fun.

“So we did it the first year, and then we continued to do it beyond that, turning it into a fundraiser. People wanted to donate, and North Dakota Women’s Network is where my friend worked at the time,” said Aitchison.

A tradition was born and over the years, the event has evolved. We spoke to Executive Director Kristie Wolff of the North Dakota Women’s Network. She tells us they now use it to raise funds for several initiatives, one of which is to help get more women in office.

“Just the fundraising of it is really great for our community. Less than a fourth of our North Dakota legislature is women, yet half of our population is women. So, gender parity in office is really something that’s important to have good outcomes for policy,” said Wolff.

One of the women who got the ball rolling on this says it’s not only good for her daughter but has had an impact on her as well.

“For me, it’s really let me care a lot less about how I look or look at things a lot differently,” said Aitchison.

Tess, Aitchison’s 11-year-old daughter, tells us it’s something she looks forward to every year.

“It’s sort of a way I can just be creative in my own way. I just want to say I think it’s really fun to dress your parent because normally your parent dresses you. And you don’t get a say in what your parent wears most of the time. It’s fun that way,” said Tess.

She also tells us she has a unique style.

“I don’t think I’ve ever done anything very casual. I think I’ve just always done high heels and a skirt. A skirt or dress. I just wanted to make her look nice, in a way,” said Tess.

Wolff is also being styled this year by her 6-year-old neighbor. She tells us it’s a rewarding experience.

“I really watched empower her. That was a really really cool thing to see. How the event just empowered her as a young girl,” said Wolff.

Wolff also tells us anyone can participate in the event, even adult-aged children.

At the end of the week, the Women’s Network plans to host a virtual fashion show. They hope to return that to an in-person event in 2022.

It’s not too late to get involved, the event is going on through Friday of this week. For information on how to sign up, click HERE.

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