One of the keys to a successful interview is looking the part. But imagine if you don’t have the proper interview clothes. There’s already a strike against you, unfortunately. An organization called That Suits You provides men with interview work clothes. The nonprofit also helps high school seniors dress for the prom and graduation. Clothes are just part of That Suits You’s vision; the organization also teaches and trains men in such areas as: the importance of image; being the brand; thinking beyond the norm; social media; and even manhood.
Founded by brothers Gerard ‘PK’ Kersey and Jamael Thompson, the organization does a lot of outreach to young men in New York City and the tri-State area.
“We started the organization because we felt minority men were from our experience coming to interviews without the proper attire. It was either from a lack of knowledge as to what to wear or a lack of funds to buy proper attire. We felt there was something we could do about that,” says Kersey. “I believe we are needed because we provide a much-needed product that all men need. Every man should have at least one suit to go to interviews, work or to conduct business in. We also teach a much-needed skill of tying a tie among other skills. We believe in building up the inner man as well as the outer man.”
The brothers are running the organization while maintaining full-time jobs, and this can mean a tight balancing act. It is one of the main challenges, along with a variety of others. Explains Kersey, “Some of the challenges we are balancing are our full-time careers, and families along with providing this much-needed service. Also, because we rely so heavily on donations, we find that we receive fewer suits for shorter guys (5’7 and shorter).”
One thing the brothers never face is a shortage of men to help. Before That Suits You works with the men, the men must complete a job training program. “We work with job training programs in the tri-state area and schools in the NYC area. When men complete job training programs that we partner with, the programs then contact us for the attire for the men to go on interviews and work,” explains Kersey. “We also go into schools to provide the young men with the importance of image, interview skills, social media information and entrepreneurship. The schools love it as it counters all the negative information that is being displayed in the media.”
The organization depends on donations in order to help others get on the right track. “We raise funds through events, and general donations we receive via our website. Also, we receive the attire from the general public or suit drives by churches, businesses, law firms and cleaners,” explains Kersey.
Looking ahead, That Suits You wants to help even more men. Shares Kersey,“Our goals are to continue to build with job training programs throughout the state and also to have a greater impact in NYC schools. The earlier we reach men to teach them about the importance of image, the better.”