Amanda's Blog

  • Oct 26, 2012

    Little Black Dress Society Foundation™ Awarded Grant from Steven and Le Ann Cyr Family Charitable Fund

     The Little Black Dress Society would like to acknowledge and thank the Steven and Le Ann Cyr Family Charitable Fund of the San Antonio Area Foundation for the generous grant of $500.00.  Because of their support, The Little Black Dress Society Foundation can continue its mission to Educate, Empower, Engage, and Embrace women of all walks of life in an effort to end the abuse of women and girls.  

    Through our Girls’ Night Out Dinner Parties we educate women on abuse, give them tools to take to their communities, and inspire them to make a difference through collective giving.    Collective giving allows LBDS members to make a more substantial difference than what they could do individually.   The Little Black Dress Society selects shelters, organizations, programs that specifically meet our mission and funding criteria.  In addition, members adopt projects on a quarterly basis that give them a hands-on approach in making a difference in women’s lives such as the Apron Project.  By making handmade aprons for women staying in shelters and distributing them along with cake mixes and icing we spread some unconditional love from our hearts and hands.
    The Little Black Dress Society could not succeed without the generous support of caring donors.  Thank you to Dr. and Mrs. Cyr for your support!
  • Oct 5, 2011
  • Jan 15, 2011


     What can we learn from the story of Cinderella?

    Last night I was reading bedtime stories to my 3 year old granddaughter and she brought me, Cinderella. Needless to say,  I hadn't read the story in a very long time.  While reading it so many of the words popped off the page like, "difficult life", "mean", manipulation, "dreams", "Prince Charming", "jealous",  "love", "dance"...just to name a few.  

    Why did they strike such a chord in me?  As a little girl I think we all have dreams of marrying a Prince Charming and dancing the night away in glass slippers.  To many women the idea of a Prince Charming is just an illusion of the mind.  Like Cinderella we grow up with just the opposite life we "pretend played" with our little girlfriends.

    Soon we are conditioned to this life of emotional or physical abuse and our dreams of dancing the night away with Prince Charming go by the way side.  Actually, all dreams are devoured by our present circumstances.

    Through the manipulation of the mean stepsisters, friends came to Cinderella's rescue and helped make a way for her to get to the Ball.  They believed in her and in her future.  In the end, Cinderella knew that her circumstances could not define the woman she was created to be.

    So what can we learn from Cinderella?

    • We must not let our circumstances define who we are.  To be empowered we must feel  empowered.
    • We must surround ourselves with friends that believe in us and love us unconditionally.  Jaq & Gus, two mice, knew exactly what Cinderella needed and went to her rescue.
    • We must never give up on dreams. Cinderella knew that no one could stop her from dreaming.  They are our path to the future we are intended to live out.

     Remember, we all own a pair of glass slippers, we just have to pull them out of our apron pocket! 

    Love, Believe, Dream...and never stop Dancing!

    Amanda Graybill, Founder




  • Jan 10, 2011

    Emotional Abuse

     The Little Black Dress Society is continually looking for ways we can help women touched by abuse.  With one in four women abused, these numbers reflect reported cases only.  Emotional abuse is a silent killer of a woman's self-esteem.

    Please read Darlene Lancer's Blog and find out how you can recognize emotional abuse and how to confront it by empowering you to take charge and regain your self-esteem.


    Darlene Lancer, MFT is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist.



  • Dec 16, 2010

    Founder, Amanda Graybill Interview on Grace & Charm


    Listen to Amanda's Interview on Grace & Charm.  Hear why she started the Little Black Dress Society!

    "You need to know that you are not junk.  You need to know that you are not doormats to be stepped upon, battered or bruised, either physically or emotionally."

    ~ Amanda Graybill, Founder

  • Dec 13, 2010

    The Little Black Dress

     "It was an early December morning when Mandy woke with a chill that penetrated deep into her bones.  A cold front swept through Atlanta during the night and the two blankets Mandy had to cover up with weren't enough to keep her warm as she lay on the bare floor of the shelter.  Mandy had lived in shelters, on the streets and in the back alleyways of Atlanta for almost a year.  This is what her life had come to: a homeless person in a world she never dreamed she would be in.  A world filled with memories of her past failures and regrets of what could have been."  

    Excerpt from my book, The Little Black Dress.

    The definition of homeless; living on the streets; living rough; dispossessed; destitute; without a roof over your head; down-and-out; itinerant.

    I have never actually been without a roof over my head but I have felt homeless in my heart.  Have you ever felt that way?  If so, I want you to know that you are not alone.

    The feeling of emptiness can stem from guilt, shame, abandonment, abuse, low self-esteem or all of the above. Women who have suffered abuse of any kind whether physical or emotional experience emptiness or homelessness.  

    Healing for me came when I wrote my story.  Although we call it "a little book with a big message", it took months for me to complete it.  Often as the words poured out over the pages, tears mixed with the ink leaving an imprint of redemption in my heart.  

    This is my journey but not mine alone. As the Founder of The Little Black Dress Society, it is my hope that you will realize that you are worthy of love and that one day you will share your story and help bring healing to women touched by abuse.

    Love, Believe, Dream and Never Stop Dancing!


    Purchase my book, The Little Black Dress 





  • Oct 29, 2010

    An Analogy of a Dressmaker

     Recently I read about how geese gather in the winter for their annual flight to the south.  United together with one goal in mind... to move smoothly and quickly to their destination using the skills they have and working as a team.

    Geese don't fly separately because no goose alone can go the distance. They are designed to fly in the "v" formation making it easy for even the weakest to make the long journey.  As they travel south in formation there is always a " point goose" out front, leading and setting the pace for the others to follow.

    The "point goose" keeps the rest on target keeping the formation in tack.  They are the leaders. They set the example for the other's to follow.

    Within the Little Black Dress Society's organization, the Dressmaker is the "point goose".  She gathers women together for one purpose, to fulfill our mission to build awareness, raise funds, and positively impact the lives of women touched by abuse.  The Dressmaker sets the pace for others to follow and stays focused on the mission, to end the abuse of women.

    However, she is not alone on her journey.  She has other Dressmakers to network with, encourage, and build friendships with that make the journey all the more rewarding.

    We believe that Dressmakers play a vital role in our effort to end the abuse of women and therefore are held in the highest esteem.  They truly are the "point goose" of the organization.

    Amanda Graybill, Founder 

    The Little Black Dress Society

  • Oct 18, 2010

    Amanda Graybill Recipient of Phoenix Award

     Amanda Graybill, Founder of the Little Black Dress Society will be honored with the Phoenix Award in recognition of  her efforts to end domestic violence in San Antonio. The Phoenix Award is given to individuals who have endeavored to work to change the consuming effects of domestic violence.

    The Award is given by the P.E.A.C.E Initiative,  a coalition of public and private institutions, grassroots organizations and individuals working collaboratively to end family violence.  This group works diligently to raise community awareness about the dynamics of domestic violence, the extent of the problem, resources available and safety planning.The Phoenix Award is given during Domestic Violence Awareness Month.

    The Phoenix, a mythical bird, when it feels its life is at an end, builds a nest, sets it on fire and is consumed by the flames.  From the ashes, a new Phoenix springs forth to live again.  Like the Phoenix, the abused women must rise from the ashes of an abusive relationship to find life again. 

    This award will be presented to various members of our community who have endeavored to work to change the consuming effects of domestic violence.

    The 12th Annual Phoenix Award will be presented during a reception on Tuesday, October 26, 2010, 6:00 p.m. - 7:30 p.m. at the Mexican American Cultural Center (MACC) located at 3115 W. Ashby, San Antonio, Texas.


  • Sep 28, 2010

    Founder, Amanda Graybill on Kens5 GreatDaySA

    Founder and CEO, Amanda Graybill  visited Kens5 GreatDaySA Tuesday, September 28th to share why she started the Little Black Dress Society and why it's so important for women to join the movement.
    Take a look!

  • Sep 8, 2010

    Become a Dressmaker

    Recently I heard  Lynn Tilton, CEO of Patriarch Partners in an interview say, "Good people together make great things happen."  I couldn't help but to relate that quote to the Little Black Dress Society because we are a good group of women making great things happen in an effort to end abuse.

    At the helm of our organization are our leaders whom we call Dressmakers.  Why do we call them Dressmakers?  Actually the name stems from my book called, The Little Black Dress.  Without giving the storyline away, Mandy meets the Dressmaker who designs the perfect little black dress just for her which changes her life forever.  

    The Dressmakers or Society Leaders, are our "leading ladies".  They believe in our cause and are passionate about helping women build friendships that go beyond pettiness and competition.  They are creative and enjoy creating ways for women to gather and have fun while giving back.  

    Dressmakers have at least one event per month and have the freedom to do what they choose as long as it meets the Little Black Dress mission statement and etiquette.  It might be as simple as inviting members to her home and everyone brings an appetizer to share and a bag of toiletries to donate to the local shelter or it could be a fashion show at the local country club that raises both awareness and funds. The ideas are limitless and the fun part of it is...everyone wins!  You get to network, make new friends, dress up and give back.

    Most importantly, we believe our Dressmakers are leading the way for women to have a voice who may not have ever spoken up for this cause.  

    If you are interested in starting a Society in your city we would love to hear from you.  We are looking for Dressmakers who want to make a difference.  As we form Societies nationwide we can make a huge impact in ending the abuse of women and you will be a part of it!

    Let us know why you would make a great Dressmaker by writing to  contact-us or email me at

    Love, Believe, Dream and Never Stop Dancing!

    Amanda Graybill, Founder




    History of dressmaking  

    The Oxford English Dictionary first recorded 'dressmaker' in 1803. Throughout the nineteenth century and until the rise of ready-to-wear, most women who did not make their own clothes at home employed a dressmaker, who copied or adapted the latest clothing ideas from Paris, London or other fashion centres, based on printed illustrations called fashion plates.