For Lisa McSherry, owner of Lex's of Carytown, the fashionable trend for 2008 was community outreach. And that will continue in 2009.
In April, McSherry spearheaded the country's first organ-donation drive with retailers and continued her store's participation in prom-dress drives for two programs, Cinderella Dreams and the Fairy Godmother Project.
Through the fall and winter, she put three new lines of bridesmaid's dresses online and collected items again for seniors through the Salvation Army's Silver Bells program. And on Dec. 5, the Retail Merchants Association named her the Distinguished Retailer of the Year. The publicity from winning the award reconnected McSherry with her fashion-merchandising teacher from high school. "He told me I was the only one of his students in my class that actually pursued it and did it," she says.
Last year's organ-donation-awareness drive at 200 retailers in the Richmond region resulted in 3,500 more donors for the month of April. "I was bawling when [officials from the United Network of Organ Sharing] called me with those numbers," McSherry said, adding that this year, the program will be expanded to college campuses.
Also look for McSherry's involvement in an upcoming fashion show featuring Project Runway's Jonathan Kayne, a gown and formalwear shoe designer.