DES MOINES, Iowa — You don’t have to spend much time with Teresa Choi to pick up on her passion for helping women. “I grew up with a single mom who raised us by herself,” Choi explains, “she had multiple jobs, sometimes two or three jobs, so this is near and dear to my heart.”
It’s one of the reasons she helped start Dress for Success Des Moines. “We really try to take care of the entire woman – not just the outfit. We always say we’re more than a suit,” she said.
Angela Fullmer experienced that motto firsthand. A house fire in 2017 left her and her family homeless. Dress for Success gave her everything she needed to feel confident and prepared for job interviews. “I had no idea that it was going to change everything for me,” Fullmer says. “Then I got the job and I came back and they gave me five days worth of work clothes and then said – we have this professional women’s group – do you want to join us?”
She did. And that’s when her life really started to change. “They were like – think about your life and what you want in the next five years. I got to thinking about it and I’d always had a dream to be a writer.”
The Dress for Success values are to embrace, empower, and employ women and the organization did just that for Fullmer. “It’s life changing and empowering,” Fullmer explains, “we lift each other up. We cheer each other on.”
You could call Choi the captain of the cheerleading squad. “She helped put together my first book signing which I’m eternally grateful for. She’s just an amazing woman,” Fullmer gushes, “I love Teresa. She’s amazing, happy, joyful. She’s genuine and you can tell she loves every woman who comes in the door.”
Jodi White, the co-founder of Dress for Success Des Moines, agrees. “Oh my gosh!” she exclaims, “Teresa is the nicest, most bubbly, energetic, passionate person. She’s always doing something and always giving back.”
And that’s exactly why she’s one of WHO 13’s Remarkable Women.