Community Conversations: KW Princess Project


Prom is stressful enough without having to worry about whether or not you can afford the dress. But for some high school students, that concern is very real. That’s where the K-W Princess Project comes in. Each year the organization accepts gently used dresses so local young women can have a shot at their very own Pretty in Pink moment. The CCE’s Social Media Coordinator spoke to project coordinator Kelly Steiss about how they make prom happen for many girls each year.

TCE: What is the vision or mission of the KW Princess Project?

Kelly Steiss: The KW Princess Project collects new and gently used prom and grad dresses and gets them to young women in our community who deserve to attend their grad and prom but who may not have the opportunity or means to purchase a dress. We strive to create a fun and respectful experience for young women at the Dress Day event.

TCE: What types of donations are in need? What type of dress or accessory is not always donated, but needed?

KS: We accept gently used dresses, shoes and accessories that are suitable for prom, semi and grad. This year we would like to receive more shoes and handbags — these are items that are not always donated, but in need. We celebrate all sizes. We accept dresses in all sizes.

TCE: Is there an application process for young women to attend the Dress Days?

KS: We welcome those in need, without question. We do not have an application process or criteria. If you need a dress, show up on Dress Day or contact us for a fitting.

TCE: How are the dresses and accessories distributed?

KS: Dress Days are days where young women can come and receive their dresses and accessories. We set up a venue just like a boutique. The girls come to the event. When they get there they are matched with a [volunteer]consultant who works with the girl to find the dress of their dreams. Once the girls have found their dress, they go to the shoes area where we have specialty volunteers who will help them find the right shoe for the dress. Then, they are off to accessories where they find jewelry and a handbag to finish off the outfit. At the end their items our brought to a volunteer who will steam the dress and package up their items. The girls get to leave with a package and a boutique experience but there is no transfer of money.

TCE: What events do you have planned for 2013?

KS: We have two Dress Days planned for this year in May and June.

TCE: If people would like to get involved, who should the contact?

KS: If people want to help out, they can email me at We also want people to share the information about the project so that we get to girls that need the support. Please like us on Facebook or follow us on Twitter.

Donations can be dropped off at, GLOSS, 87 King St. W., Kitchener, The Shoe Diva, 730 Belmont Ave, West, Kitchener, Waterloo Sports Medicine Centre 65 University Ave. E., Waterloo

K-W Princess project can be found on Twitter @kwprincesspro.