This Week I Love …

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… my other job. As a personal shopper at ARC’s Value Village

I’ve been thrifting since I was 12 and I’ll be thrifting until I’m 112. I’m the type of person who sets her mind to a task and doesn’t stop until the task has been completed, which makes me an ideal thrift shopper. I have the patience and drive to sift through an entire store’s worth of stuff in search of that perfect skirt or pair of jeans. And I actually enjoy the hunt.

But I know that many people feel more than a bit daunted by the prospect of tackling an entire store. Even retail stores that carry each garment in multiple sizes can feel overwhelming, so entering an environment in which every single garment is one-of-a-kind makes many people’s brains all melty. Thrift stores are amazing resources, but if you don’t enjoy the act of searching for your desired purchases, they may not feel like amazing resources for YOU.

Which is why I absolutely adore working as a guest stylist at Arc’s Value Village thift stores. I get to use my laser-like focus to comb the racks for items in the styles and sizes desired by my clients, assemble fun and creative outfits using those items, and help my clients decide which items work best for their needs. People who are ordinarily wary of shopping in the thrift environment are shown that they can, in fact, find great garments at bargain prices and look amazing for pennies on the dollar. And although some of them are unlikely to thrift on their own, many more have told me that their experiences working with me have encouraged them to return later and try a little solo hunting. This service helps them ease into the idea of thrifting.

I encourage just about everyone I meet to give thrifting a try. And the ones that are leery? I offer to shop for them! I’m happy to make myself an enabler if the end result is more happy, skilled thrift shoppers combing the racks right along with me.

I’m only able to take on one appointment per month myself, but there are three other personal shoppers taking appointments on all weekdays and some weekends. You can even shop with this program’s founder, Michelle Dustin, pictured up top with me! This service is totally free to you, personal shoppers work out of all Twin Cities Value Village stores, and appointments are an hour and 15 minutes long. Plenty of time to get some great new-to-you outfits going. Most of the clients I’ve shopped for are either petite or plus sized, so if you wear a specialty size don’t be deterred from trying this service!

Reach out to Michelle to book your appointment. You’ll love it. I promise.

  • http://Facebook Janice

    I wish we had something like that in Columbus, Ohio, although my sister and I do pretty well on our own, especially on 1/2 price days! It sounds so fun! I used to shy from thrifting, but now love it and I think it is the trill of the hunt!

  • http://www.thecitizenrosebud.com Bella Q

    What a fantastic job you have Sally! I would love to do this- and VV is one of my favorite thrift stores (I’ve only discovered since I moved to Seattle- Ari of Advanced Style first took me!)

    You are like a SECONDHAND FIRST ambassador, and I feel not only will people have fun shopping this way, and save money, but it helps retrain our minds to think “classics” rather than buy disposable fast fashion. There is nothing like finding a great quality piece that will wear for years for under $20.

  • http://birdybegins.wordpress.com Eleanorjane

    What a fun job! I’m curious about why you’re only doing one appointment a month, though.

    I’d be tempted to take you up on it if I were anywhere near you…

    • http://www.alreadypretty.com Sally

      Just don’t have time for more!

  • http://helmetorheels.com Pam

    I have an appointment with Michelle earlier this year and loved it! I wish the wait wasn’t so long for an appointment with any of the great personal shoppers!

  • Monica H

    This sounds like so much fun! I’m almost tempted to fly to Minneapolis just for this! It might negate the savings of buying thrifted clothes, however. :)

  • Fritzy dean

    What Monica said! How I wish I lived close enough to come for a personal styling, Sally. I’m certain I’d be the best dressed great-grandmother in my circle.

  • Janet

    I always appreciate the encouragement to thrift. I bought a beautiful chiffon blouse today for $14.99 at a thrift store in Toronto, Farmers Daughter. I love it. And my friend got incredibly fun shoes!