We had the good fortune of connecting with Blythe Hill and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Blythe, is there something that you feel is most responsible for your success?
The single most important factor behind both my own success and the success of my brand is collaborative partnership. From the very beginning, I sought out people, organizations, and brands interested in the same type of work or work that is tangential or parallel to the work we hoped to do. Our partnerships have been responsible for our growth, momentum, and credibility in the human rights landscape. Collaboration is inherent in Dressember’s very structure– we empower a collective of people to advocate together, and then we support a network of programs across the world.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Dressember Foundation is an anti human trafficking nonprofit organization with an annual campaign where thousands of people commit to wearing either a dress or a tie every day in December as a way to raise money and awareness for this issue. In seven years, our community of advocates have raised over $10MM toward comprehensive anti-trafficking work across the US and across the world. We got where we are today through leveraging partnerships, and providing ordinary people with extraordinary passion an easy, fun way to create a tangible impact. We are different than other nonprofits in that we lead with hope, not guilt or desperation, in our messaging. Our supporters know they are providing a continuum of care for survivors and those at risk of trafficking, not a single service area, when they support Dressember. Along the way, I’ve learned the importance of an ongoing practice of cultivating my vision for the organization, and developing clear ways to communicate this vision to continually keep and bring people on board.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
Even though I grew up in the Seattle area, I’m “new” to this area since it’s been nearly 20 years since I lived here. Here’s where I’d be sure to take visitors: A walk or run around Green Lake followed by a drink from Chocolati Paseo sandwiches on the beach at Carkeek or Golden Gardens Fish and chips from Totem taken and eaten at the Ballard Locks A bike ride on the Burke Gilman trail followed by a picnic at Gas Works park
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Nada Jones played a pivotal role in helping me to scale Dressember from a start-up to a full-fledged, mature organization. Similarly, she gave me the tools to level up as a leader.
Instagram: @dressember, @blythehill
headshot by Jordan Sabolick, all other photos by Lauren Scotti