A Hot-Pink Accessories Guru Mixes Fashion and Philanthropy
After years identifying trends as an accessories designer for Steve Madden in Manhattan, Marie Wendorff found herself in the position to open her own on line shop.
Since it's opening , Witchy Poo is a reflection of Wendorff, with trendy finds from all over the world, including of-the-moment enamel jewelry, bright colored watches, neon sunglasses, scarves, bold handbags, mod-print beach tunics and even accessories for the younger set—all priced well below similar items at J. Crew and national vendors.
Around town, everyone knows that if the pink balloons are flying, Wendorff is hosting a jewelry and accessories show at a charity event or at a private home.
Despite her blonde good looks and finely tuned fashion sense, what many don’t know about Wendorff is that she’s an active philanthropist, working to help victims of domestic abuse break the cycle and reclaim their lives.
A mother of three who has experienced firsthand the tumult of a marriage that was upended by a husband whose drug addiction caused him to throw away a plum seat on the New York Stock Exchange, a beautiful family and a tony lifestyle, Wendorff has become an advocate for women in abusive relationships. She has spoken on the Oprah Winfrey show, at the State of CT General Assembly and at Public Hearings. She has been interviewed by Dow Jones Small Business report and the New York Times and, most recently, graced the cover of WN magazine as one of the top 5 Most Influential Women in Westchester and Fairfield County.
Wendorff has made it her mission to become a force for change. As such, she has held multiple clothing and food and toy drives to help those in need, both in her community and as far away as Haiti.
In 2009, she founded Families to Families, a nonprofit organization that helps local families in need. She works directly with Wilton Social Services and local schools and Houses of worship to find out what the local needs are and makes sure they are met, quietly and confidentially.
Wendorff’s goal is to take Families to Families to national level, encouraging local communities to recognize that there are those who live among us that need help and encouraging those that need help to ask for it.
On any given day, you can find Wendorff and an army of local mom and teen volunteers folding donated clothing into boxes for a container shipment to Haiti or to Bridgeport. In the midst of it all, they’re drinking coffee, talking fashion and celebrating the fact that women can help one another and get back to being a community. Says Wendorff, “That’s when you know you’re successful. When I put my head on my pillow at night, I know I’ve brought some incredible women together and inspired them to reach out and help other women who are down on their luck in small but meaningful ways.”
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