Shop Repurpose and the Barbie Mission

Shop Repurpose and the Barbie Mission

Barbie and the Shop Repurpose Mission
Lily Billotti

The Shop Repurpose Mission
Shop Repurpose, founded by Jessie Freschl, a wife, mom, and CEO, is a secondhand boutique and nonprofit organization that “aims to transition its net proceeds from sales into scholarships for young individuals pursuing higher education in the fashion and design industries” Our mission centers around supporting the concept of sustainable fashion while also growing our Workforce Development Program.

This program offers readiness training and workforce development opportunities to young people who face varying socioeconomic and cultural barriers to success. Shop Repurpose places an emphasis on skill-building in a nurturing, supportive environment. The mission, established by a working mother and furthered by a team of hardworking businesswomen, is as much about sustainable fashion, conscious clothing, and accessibility to both as it is about uplifting the next generation of female leaders.

The Barbie Mission
In the past, Barbie has been a source of tension for those who feel that the brand encourages unrealistic beauty standards and depends too heavily on the male gaze. However, with a rapidly changing social climate and the release of the new Barbie movie, the brand message has shifted to highlight Barbie’s role as a powerful, working woman.

Her extensive resume and list of accolades represent women’s diverse role in the workforce, and the notion that dolls are capable of pushing a valuable maternal narrative, but also a career-driven one. The Barbie movie encouraged this with their new partnership with nonprofit organization Save the Children, which aims to educate and support young girls worldwide, similar to the Shop Repurpose growth and development initiatives.

Jessie Freschl, our founder, says of her experience with Barbie, “The dolls weren't so much about what I wanted to look like when I grew up, but vehicles to let me imagine crazy stories and play them out with my friends. Barbie also managed a lot and always looked fantastic.” The new Barbie movie and mission embody those values of enriched imagination and a strong, capable female role. It centers around creating a safe space for women to explore their creative niche and the importance of giving women back their autonomy and agency.

Shop Repurpose pink pieces: tube top, purse accessory, chic dress

The intersection of Barbie and Shop Repurpose
Barbie and Shop Repurpose have a shared mission of female empowerment and helping women in the workforce thrive while encouraging their ambition. Mari Lopez, a Shop Repurpose photographer, and Natalie Lambrelli, member of our marketing team, explain that when they were younger, they did not realize how many positions Barbie held in the workforce. Now that they are older, they recognize that representation and appreciate it.

They also highlight the creative agency Shop Repurpose has given them to explore their talent and interests, and they feel that the Barbie movie similarly emphasizes exploration and growth in the same way the Shop Repurpose mission does through our Workforce Development Program.

Barbara Nevis, a Shop Repurpose sales volunteer, echoes Natalie and Mari in her own experience with Barbie. Nevis recalls, “I always enjoyed watching my daughter (now 29!) playing Barbies with friends - the fun, the laughter , their creative storytelling, using their imaginations - and after her peak Barbie years we packed them away, maybe to give to a friend’s daughter.”

She continues by discussing her own experience with Barbie during the pandemic, “When the pandemic locked us down in 2020 I took the dolls out and started my @quarantinebarbienyc Instagram - again to have fun, be creative, use my imagination, and make my friends laugh! That’s what Barbie means to me!”

Nevis highlights the sustainability aspect of Barbie, which directly correlates to Shop Repurpose, and how Barbie has inspired generations of women, which is a fundamental part of the Barbie mission. There is a clear emphasis on passing down through generations and repurposing Barbie to mean different things over time, which is an essential part of what Shop Repurpose does with our clothing selection and also in preparing the next generation of female leaders.

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