“Imagine yourself with this outfit.”
Maxine
ATC Client for 13 years

Maxine describes how “retail therapy” in ATC’s clothing room helps her dream big.

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Maxine: Every clothing room to me is therapy room because you guys have some great stuff. The stuff that you guys have here is not no rinky-dinky, $2 stuff that you get from thrift stores. You guys have got good quality stuff and I like good quality stuff, so when I get good quality stuff I try to make myself look quality, try to match the whole outfit with the shoes or the shirt.

It's therapeutic for me, it’s like I forget where I'm at. Sometimes Onyinye will have to remind me, "Maxine, we've got five minutes. We've got to go get your food," because if I don't keep talking, Onyinye will know I'm in my own little world. I'm like, "Oh okay, I'm back here now. What time is it?" I don't know what it does to me, it just helps, it's soothing, it's relaxing. It's my own time for me. I don't get a lot of that because, you know, I have to spread myself from work to time with my husband to time with my daughter, now we've got a puppy. I've even got to spread my time with my puppy.

I don't get a lot of me time and when I do, I enjoy it, I let it be and I swear my thinking process, just like, "Okay." Even though I'm looking at clothes, I'm thinking about something else in my head, like, "Okay Maxine, imagine yourself with this outfit. Going to school or going to another interview," because where I'm working, it's good, it's great, but it's not all that.

I want to be able to have a better-paying job, I want to be able to advance myself educational-wise. I have it, I know I do, I just don't have the time. But once I do, be careful because I'm going to get out there and I'm going to find me something that I really really really am supposed to be at and I want to thrive in it because I want to grow. I feel like there's more in me that I can let go, not outgrow. Hey!

Onyinye: Snaps!

Both: [Laughter]