At Armoire, we’re casting a spotlight on some of the notable, powerful boss ladies in our community, and what being a boss lady means to them. Read on to learn all about Armoire member, Cali Le.
13 years ago, I went through a life-changing divorce. I realized that when women start a family and have kids, most of us set ourselves aside. We can often feel like spending time on ourselves is a selfish thing. I learned that when you dress up, you are dressing up your personality, not just your appearance.
I have been an elementary school teacher for the past nineteen years. I’m a savvy bargain shopper so I started an Instagram called @teacher_dressonabudget to show off the different outfits I wear to work each day. I want to show women that it doesn’t matter the price of your clothes, but how you carry yourself in them. It doesn’t have to cost a lot to look like a million bucks!
I am planning to continue teaching and dressing up each day. In the next two years, I want to start a non-profit to help local ladies feel great through dressing up. I aim to provide them with resources to find a job, start their career or simply find their confidence.
How she’s redefining women who work:
I want to redefine the teaching profession by reminding other teachers that what we do is a profession, and we should dress up like other professional occupations do. I grew up in Vietnam, and traditionally the teachers dress in our formal wear, ao dai, regardless of pay or status.
Her biggest challenge:
I think the biggest challenge in my line of work is a lack of resources. With the lack of funding, it is a challenge to gather the necessary materials and books to teach effectively. I am constantly looking for donations to use in the classroom.
Her secret to a work/life balance:
I learned to find balance by exercising and spending time in nature. I always try to find time on the weekends to surround myself with my friends.
What she wishes she knew 5 years ago:
Push through the challenges! It’s always worth it to me because at the end of the day, I am responsible for the students’ education and success. I wish I could go back and tell myself some of the strategies I’ve learned to alleviate some of the stressful moments!
I wish I could guide other teachers by providing them with insights on how to deal with difficult students and to remind them that they all need to find balance in life.
Why she uses Armoire:
With three kids (including one who is college-bound) I can’t afford to spend a lot on my personal wardrobe. I thought $49 was a great deal for renting a bunch of clothes that work for my everyday life. I love the professional look of all the pieces and being able to constantly get new high-quality items!
Her favorite part:
Shipping and returning items were straight forward and easy to use. As an educator, I don’t have time for added tasks in my daily schedule.
Boss Lady Go-To:
I love all of the pieces I rent, but I think my favorite is a green floral dress by Adrianna Papell. I wore it to a recent interview and got the job!
A peek inside Cali’s closet
Nicole Miller Artelier