Flawless360For more information, visit www.flawless360.org, call 703-944-7191 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Inspiration can come in some pretty unique ways.
For Washougal resident Jennifer Samodurov, it happened after she began reading the book, “Interrupted,” by Jen Hatmaker, after a summer Bible study.
“It talks about all the disposable things in life and what we throw away without thinking about it,” Samodurov said. “I read the first two chapters and was ready to sell my house and downsize. Then I began to pray and realized that God had a different plan for me.”
She thought of the empty rooms in her home that could be transformed for storing donated clothing to give to local girls in need.
Samodurov, who has a degree in design from the University of Oregon, realized she could put her talents to good use by assembling fashionable, fun outfits for teen girls.
“God gave me the vision of how to collect, distribute and use clothing to glorify him and bless others,” she recalled. “It was so simple and full of his love that it was amazing. I felt his presence from the very start.”
Samodurov shared her idea with fellow Bible study members, her church, friends and other community groups. The response was overwhelming. Within a month, the nonprofit was up and running.
The organization’s name, Flawless360, is inspired by the song, “Flawless” by the band Mercy Me and the local area code of 360, as well as the, “360-degrees of God’s love,” according to Samodurov, who also has the song as a ringtone on her phone.
Her enthusiasm for the project is visible, and it didn’t take long to get others excited about it, too, including her three teenage children and husband.
“There have been so many people interested and willing to help,” Samodurov said. “The feeling of gratitude was overwhelming. Running a business is hard and stressful, but a lot of this has literally landed in my lap.”
After cleaning out a room in her house and transforming it into her business, Samodurov was thinking that the girls in need of clothing would come to the house and she would help them select outfits.
“But none of them can come here because none of them have a way to get here,” she said.
Instead, she does most of the work through her website, www.flawless360.org. There, potential clients can click on samples of available clothing and select items of interest. From there, Samodurov assembles outfits and delivers them to local schools. She coordinates with counselors to distribute the clothing.
“Before this, I had no idea of the poverty in this area,” she said. “Camas is very affluent, so it is easy to see the wealth here and miss the need. One of my clients lives with her grandma in the car and wears all of her hand-me-downs. She didn’t even know her size because she had never been shopping for clothes.”
Since she launched Flawless360 in August, Samdurov has helped outfit 50 girls and is looking to take on more clients.
“My biggest challenge is connecting with the girls who need this,” she said. “For me, that’s what I need more than anything. There is a lot of shame around not being able to provide for yourself and many of the girls don’t want anyone to know they need help.”
Samodurov receives clothing donations from approximately 70 women in the community and also has those who will buy new items when needed.
“I call them my ‘angels,'” she said. “They will text me and ask if I need anything. Once I had a client who had never owned a bra and she was a 38DD. So one of my ‘angels’ went out and bought her three bras.”
Currently, Flawless360 serves 10 schools in Camas, Washougal and Vancouver and there are plans to expand further.
Deidre Collins, who volunteers with the organization, is planning to open a second site at her Vancouver home. She became involved in the efforts after Samodurov shared her vision for Flawless360 at a Young Life facilitators’ meeting.
“I thought it was a fantastic idea,” she said. “There is an invisible need we don’t see on the surface, but it exists.”
She describes the expansion of Flawless360 as an effort that involves working together but branching out to meet a need.
“It just makes sense,” Collins said. “Let’s spread out and go.”
Added Samodurov, “It has been a huge blessing to be able to put this together for the little amount of money we put out. I am in awe of what God has done with this.”