SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — One in five women have experienced domestic violence, according to the CDC, and that number has risen during the pandemic due to lockdowns.
Cabi Clothing officials have made it their mission to use their brand to positively impact families through their Heart of Cabi foundation during these difficult times.
“I have this, it’s a blue sleeveless, I think it’s like silk top that I wear almost like weekly to work now,” Rachel Reagan of San Jose told KPIX.
With her smile and laugh, it is hard to believe Regan has experienced all that she has.
“My name is Rachel Regan and I am a survivor of domestic violence,” she states.
Reagan had a handful of relationships that caused pain. Plus, pair that with a lifetime of drug use.
“I started using at 13 due to, my father was a user and a dealer as well so it was always around,” she said.
Reagan has been through the ringer, a divorce left her without her kids and financially cut off.
“I had some run-ins with the law and ended up in a drug treatment program that sent me here,” Regan explains.
Here, as in the CityTeam House of Grace in San Jose, a residential addiction treatment center for women like Reagan.
Three years later, Regan is now on a better track. Part of that is due to CityTeam’s partnership with a clothing manufacturer, Cabi Clothing.
“Just the donors that we have, just provide absolutely everything you can possibly imagine from food, to clothing, to the events like Cabi,” Reagan said. “Where we are able to have clothing to go into interviews. You know, it is so super important, it is life-transforming.”
A single piece of clothing can thread confidence into a woman who is designing the next steps of their lives. Which is where a Cabi stylist comes in to play.
“We can change the world one outfit at a time, kind of like that,” said Katy Stamos, a Cabi stylist. “It really does make women feel better about themselves.”
Stamos has been a stylist with Cabi Clothing for 13 years. Now, as part of her job with personal styling, she organizes Heart of Cabi events, bringing the high-end fashion experience to women who have an empty closet.
“All the stylists that will come will be able to help create outfits for these women, so they won’t just be walking away with 5 to 8 pieces, they will be walking away with 3, 4, 5 outfits,” explains Stamos. “So that really helps them hit the ground running.”
51 women from CityTeam will be styled and go home with brand new clothing, just for them. All gifted to them for free.
“I am not used to having like that type of focus on me, it gives you a worthwhile feeling that you lose a lot of times in the situation that you know in the past and the background I have been in,” Reagan said. “It’s absolutely amazing.”
So, can a piece of clothing really change lives?
“It is mine, it has never been with anybody else, there is just something about that, it does leave a lasting impact,” Reagan said. “I think it was one of the first brand new things I had gotten because I wasn’t working yet, so yes, and it is something I have held onto.”
Reagan, now dressed in confidence is at peace with her past, has a strong faith in her present, and has hope for an even brighter future.
“Life is amazing, it is,” she said.
Reagan is a case manager now at House of Grace, helping women that have experienced domestic violence and addiction.
The Heart of Cabi Foundation offers an item for purchase in each season’s line that can be purchased to support it’s goals.
It can be found here: www.cabionline.com/collection/clothes/go-to-blouse/