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Category: Events

Kathie Kurkjian – Honoring An Unsung Shero In Our Community by Amelia Cooper

She always told me that strays found her. It’s true. Nearly all of her cats have found their way into her home and her heart. She never went looking for rescues, because eventually one would show up when the time was right. After every animal I’ve ever known her to have has crossed over the Rainbow Bridge, I’d wonder or ask if she’d be looking for another. The answer was never a direct no, but more like an undecided acceptance of whatever was to come. So, that’s how she ends up with new pets. It’s like there was this glowing, soft light that only strays could see, that promised a soft word, a gentle pet, dinner and a place to sleep.

Strays like me.

Kathie and AmeliaAmelia and Kathie

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you were to ask her how this always seems to happen, she would tell you it’s the Angels. Her Angels, my Angels, all of our Angels. She would tell you that Angels are always there, guiding us and creating serendipity. Well, she’d say it more purely than that. Because that’s precisely what her heart is, pure.

I strayed into her home in 2001, a cleverly orchestrated move by my social worker, Amy. The plan wasn’t for me to call her “mom”, or for her to give me away at my wedding seven years later, or for me to tell everyone I was Armenian since she was, or for her friends to know me as her daughter.

It wasn’t easy, especially for her. If she were writing this, she would probably roll her eye and say “Well, yea! I thought I was just getting a roommate!” Then she would say “I love you, Anusheek” and give me a kiss on the cheek. To document in writing those awkward first years of her unexpectedly navigating the raising of a teenager would oversimplify her incredible efforts of the soul. And, now, none of that matters. All that matters is she’s my mom, and I’m her daughter, and although it took me 17 years to find a mother, she was worth the wait.

Kathie, Amelia, and Amy

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

And, because of her, I do believe in Angels.

I do, I do, I do believe in Angels.

style with a cause on The Morning Blend

View style with a cause on KTNV Las Vegas The Morning Blend click here

Opportunity Village to be this year’s beneficiary

0446Choosing Opportunity Village to be this year’s beneficiary was a no brainer. This past spring I helped with a fashion show with all of the OVIP’s. I have known about Opportunity Village since I moved here almost 13 years ago. I have always loved the organization and thought they were doing so many wonderful things. When I agreed to work on this project, I asked a lot of questions about the girls that were going to participate. I wanted to make sure that I was sensitive to each one of their individual abilities, disabilities, likes, wants, hobbies, personalities and fashion sense.

I decided to create a questionnaire to help the process along. I asked them what their favorite things were. If they could be someone else, who would, they want to be? I asked them to describe their style and fashion sense. We were ready to rock and roll.

0428What happened from that point on is where the real story lies.

Each one of the girls came in and we talked about their answers during the initial fitting. I learned that most of the girls participating were in their early adulthood and trying to date. One of the girls told me I made her look fat. They wanted to look like royalty. Some wanted to look androgynous. Some had always wanted to be a cowgirl.

As I got to know each and every one of them, I realized so many times we are solely focusing on how we can help them with their disabilities and we don’t look much further than that. But most of these girls are struggling with so many of the same things we are. They are trying to date. They want to look and feel beautiful. They have issues and jealousy with their friends. They don’t love their bodies. They struggle with self-confidence and self–worth. They want to fall in love. They want to be loved.

So this year, I am committed to helping these beautiful women feel and look great at their next fashion show, Starlight Ball and dinner with friends. I want to help advocate for these women beyond the wonderful things that Opportunity Village already provides. To help them feel and look “like Katy Perry”, “like a princess” and like the best version of themselves. To be able to look in the mirror and see what beauty stares right back at them. Thank you for shifting my perception and sharing your beauty and soul with me.
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New web site design

swac letterheadtop
We may have been quiet the last little while, but we have been mighty busy getting ready to roll out so many exciting things before this year’s style with a cause event that takes place Thursday, September 17th, on the runway at the Great Hall inside Fashion Show Mall in fabulous Las Vegas!

I’m pleased to share with you the new website design. Play around on the site! Everything clicks to something else and there’s a lot of great information on here and so much more to come. From here, you can nominate a friend for the beauty transformations, like us on our social media pages, learn about our designer collaborations, explore our sponsors, watch videos from past events, purchase tickets to the event and eventually you will be able to bid on our auction items and purchase exclusive items made just for style with a cause.

style with a cause was just some crazy idea I had three years ago. I had said to one of my friends, “I wish I could help more women look and feel beautiful in the skin they’re in.” Each one of my clients goes through their own metamorphosis. So much of fashion focus on what is not good enough about us and as I work with my clients one on one, I see those roadblocks crumble and they gain more clarity on their own beauty. I wish I could give each and every one of you this same experience, but I know that is just not humanly possible. And that is how style with a cause was born.

style with a cause is designed to empower and inspire women through fashion and beauty. I hope style with a cause will mean something special to you and help give you the courage to stop shaming yourself, forgive yourself and look in the mirror and see what is uniquely wonderful about each and every one of you; all while enjoying some fashion tips, beauty trends and stylist tricks along the way.

Please make sure to let us know what you #loveaboutyourselfie and you just might end up on our website!

swac letterheadbottomThe last three years of my life have been my hardest and my most rewarding. I have had to learn a lot about myself, my friendships, and how everything fits together. There have been times where I wonder if I created this because I’m the one that needs the message the most. And there have been times that I feel like I have it figured out and then I have to restart and relearn. And then there are times that remind me that simple acts of kindness can change someone’s perspective for a lifetime. And there you have it! I hope you enjoy and I hope you will explore the movement, want to become part of the movement and share the movement with your friends.