Secondhand Style

Personal stylists guide shoppers through eco-friendly thrifting.
Edina Magazine editor Angela Johnson

Most women will offer a compliment whenever we see a friend sporting a terrific new outfit. Great fashion makes people feel good whether they’re wearing it or simply admiring it. And when someone looks particularly smashing, we want to know “Where’d you get that?” But once, after this often repeated question, I was astonished by a friend’s response. “This outfit was styled for me by a personal shopper at a thrift store,” she said.

That’s right! Michelle Raven has been styling shoppers at Arc’s Value Village since 2011. This diligent thrifter with a writing degree had accumulated so many compliments on her own thrifted clothes and accessories that she decided to turn her knack for curating budget-friendly fashions into a vocation.

The service makes perfect sense, since people love the eco-friendly nature of thrifting but can get overwhelmed by the perception that it’s an arduous treasure hunt. And so, without charge, shoppers can complete a style profile and then have Raven or a guest stylist scour the store and pull items that fit their style and lifestyle. When you arrive, a rack filled with fashions including five to 10 styled outfits is ready to try on. It’s a completely guided shopping experience, and your only expense is the purchase of any items you love. Even better, Arc’s Value Village stores provide more than $1 million each year to charity. Customers find value while supporting a local nonprofit. Cleaning out your closets? You can drive up and drop off donations seven days a week at any of Arc’s five locations.

Schedule a personal shopper appointment online.