Author Archives: yourg724

Find Your Motivation With Cute or Cool Workout Clothes from Goodwill

 

Guest blog by Lauren, Penn State University Student.

At any time of the year, exercising and staying active is in style. Often times, people struggle with staying motivated and on track.

What helps motivate me? Cute or cool workout clothes! It certainly helps.Lauren2

Just like any other successful clothing purchase, whenever I find athletic apparel that fits me well and fits my budget, I am excited to put them on and try them out! Finding workout clothes that are comfortable, functional, and reasonably priced is a trifecta win!

Lauren3The problem with this motivational tactic is that athletic apparel is so expensive. Some large retail chains charge more than $30 for a workout top and more than $40 for shorts or pants! Thankfully, I found brand name athletic clothing at Goodwill at prices I can easily afford. I found these brand-new, tags-still-on Champion leggings at Goodwill for $6.50, which I can wear to my yoga and Zumba classes as well as for running outside or lifting weights at the gym.

For $3.50, I also found a nicely fitted workout top that can be worn for pretty much any type of exercise. A friend of mine found brand new trendy, exercise pants too. She loves them for yoga.

Finding affordable and fashionable athletic apparel can really change the way you approach working out. Working out and being active becomes another opportunity to show off your style and individuality.

While many people point out their insecurities and imperfections as a way to motivate themselves to be healthier and more active, I say it is better to feel content and comfortable in your own skin. Feel good and proud about being healthy! Become motivated by self love and by desire to better ourselves FOR ourselves. Lauren1

Tap into your unique fashion style and let it shine!

 

Have you ever gotten all dressed up and realized that your outfit needs a little something-something? Well, that is how Jeanette was inspired to redesign a one-of-kind accessory.

Jeanette’s creation made her the winner of the accessory category in the Goodwill ReDesign Contest.Jeanette2

What is the ReDesign Contest?
The Goodwill ReDesign Contest required interested participants to buy items at Goodwill and transform the pieces. There were 4 winning categories:

  • Social Media Favorite – Finalist with the most likes on Facebook won this category
  • Avant Garde – Create an innovative look that is experimental and pushes the boundaries.
  • Repurpose the Dress – Transform a dress (wedding, prom, formal) into another article of clothing.
  • Accessories – Construct an accessory (i.e. handbag, hat, jewelry or shoes) using a variety of items.

They submitted an entry form, receipts from Goodwill, and before and after photos of a redesign to Goodwill Keystone Area. Entries were judged on the use of Goodwill items, originality, overall appearance, and technical ability. Selected finalists walked the catwalk in their designs at the fundraiser Goodwill Runway Show in April 2015. Each category winner received a $75 Goodwill gift card and will be featured in an upcoming issue of Berks County Living.

AN INTERVIEW WITH JEANETTEJeanette

How did you get started in redesigning clothing and why do you shop at Goodwill?

I started re-designing clothing over four years ago after attending my first Goodwill Runway Show and ReDesign Contest. I shop at Goodwill because it benefits a good cause and you never know what you will discover.

What Goodwill locations do you shop at and what items do you typically look for when considering a redesign piece?

I shop at the Goodwill stores in Montgomeryville and Royersford, PA.
I look for creative pieces that have a little flair to everyday items.

How do you create your redesigns?

Have you ever been all dressed up and ready to head out the door when you realized that you didn’t have an appropriate sweater or shawl? This gave me the inspiration to create a formal cover for those special occasions. I chose items that could be used other than their original purpose. The tiered blue fabric was from a dress which I embellished with a shimmer fabric from a child’s tutu, feathers from a Halloween mask and a broach. The cover could be worn over both shoulders or just one.

What was your experience like at the Goodwill Runway Show?Jeanette3

The Goodwill Runway Show is always an exciting and energetic venue for raising awareness about Goodwill. The lively audience and great fashions add to the evening of fundraising, dining and socializing.

What advice do you have for aspiring redesigners?
Tap into your unique fashion style and let it shine!

Mad Men Redesign Wins Over Voters

 

Inspired by Mad Men’s Betty, Peggy, and Joan, Kirsten redesigned a vintage dress that captured the nostalgia of the 60s, but modernized it for today’s wardrobe. The voters loved it and made Kirsten the Social Media Favorite winner of the Goodwill ReDesign Contest.KirstenK-S-SocialMediaFavorite

What is the ReDesign Contest?
The Goodwill ReDesign Contest required interested participants to buy items at Goodwill and transform the pieces. There were 4 winning categories:

  • Social Media Favorite – Finalist with the most likes on Facebook won this category
  • Avant Garde – Create an innovative look that is experimental and pushes the boundaries.
  • Repurpose the Dress – Transform a dress (wedding, prom, formal) into another article of clothing.
  • Accessories – Construct an accessory (i.e. handbag, hat, jewelry or shoes) using a variety of items.

They submitted an entry form, receipts from Goodwill, and before and after photos of a redesign to Goodwill Keystone Area. Entries were judged on the use of Goodwill items, originality, overall appearance, and technical ability. Selected finalists walked the catwalk in their designs at the fundraiser Goodwill Runway Show in April 2015. Each category winner received a $75 Goodwill gift card and will be featured in an upcoming issue of Berks County Living.

AN INTERVIEW WITH KIRSTENKirsten

Why do you shop at Goodwill?
I started shopping at Goodwill over 15 years ago when I discovered I could purchase high-quality clothing and high-end designer pieces for my workwardrobe at great prices. After I had my children and with finding out how quickly they outgrew their clothes, it was a no-brainer to shop for them as well! My favorite Goodwill store is in East Earl (Lancaster County, PA) and my second would be Morgantown (Berks County, PA).

How did you get started in redesigning clothing?
My dream job is to be a fashion designer. I have always been crafting outfits on my own. I started redesigning when Goodwill announced it would have a ReDesign Contest at the Runway Show in 2011. Since then, I have had entries in each show. And I have won several times as well!

What items do you typically look for when considering a redesign piece?
I comb the racks hoping to find a treasure to transform. I never know when inspiration will strike.

Describe the creation of your redesign.
When I found the handmade, vintage, polyester, orange dress, I knew I had to update it (but keep its original style). To modernize the piece, I cut off the high collar and bell sleeves. I was going for a Mad Men look and feel. The hand-painted, silk screened design on the fabric only highlighted the era it came from and made a fun conversation piece when pointing out the actual signature of the original artist. Not wanting to waste the sleeves, I crafted them into a draw-string purse with faux tortoise shell handles.

What was your experience like at the Goodwill Runway Show?
I have enjoyed every show that I’ve been in and this year was no exception. Meeting the other designers and seeing their creations and talking about their ideas and plans is as much fun as the contest itself. I have made some great friends through this event. I learned that Goodwill is more than a place to buy used clothing and that they help people with challenges learn job skills and find jobs.

What advice do you have for aspiring redesigners?
Don’t be afraid and mostly, don’t think you are too old to try new things! I would have never thought at 42 that I would follow my dreams of being a fashion designer! Goodwill made that happen for me.

 

“It’s all about the hunt, chase and win”

 

We’d like to introduce you to Sheila Martin who won the Repurpose the Dress Category in the Goodwill ReDesign Contest. It’s hard to believe that she used a formal dress to create this one-of-a-kind jacket! The judges couldn’t stop gushing over the quality and technique of her stitching.

SheilaMartinReDesignWhat is the ReDesign Contest?

The Goodwill ReDesign Contest required interested participants to buy items at Goodwill and transform the pieces. There were 4 winning categories:

  • Avant Garde – Create an innovative look that is experimental and pushes the boundaries.
  • Repurpose the Dress – Transform a dress (wedding, prom, formal) into another article of clothing.
  • Accessories – Construct an accessory (i.e. handbag, hat, jewelry or shoes) using a variety of items.
  • Social Media Favorites – Finalist with the most likes on Facebook won this category.

They submitted an entry form, receipts from Goodwill, and before and after photos of a redesign to Goodwill Keystone Area. Entries were judged on the use of Goodwill items, originality, overall appearance, and technical ability. Selected finalists walked the catwalk in their designs at the fundraiser Goodwill Runway Show in April 2015. Each category winner received a $75 Goodwill gift card and will be featured in an upcoming issue of Berks County Living.

Sheila Martin won the RePurpose the Dress Category.

How did you get started in redesigning clothing?Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 2.34.50 PM

I love the redesign sewing experience! It is cheaper than buying yard goods and I like working from existing Goodwill pieces. In redesigning, I like the thrill, anxiety and terror of not knowing if I will have enough fabric to work through my inspiration.

Why do you shop at Goodwill?

It’s all about the hunt, chase and win! And we ALL win when we score a fabulous find at Goodwill. When a day is “giving me lemons,” there’s no better way to “make lemonade” than by strolling through a Goodwill store and letting my creative sewing juices flow. I’m back-to-happy in about 30 minutes!

What is your favorite Goodwill store?

I especially like the Goodwill store in Morgantown, PA. They seem to shine in their formal section, which is where I found the lion’s share of my winning garment’s fabric. They colorize the racks and prepare the apparel with noticeable care.

What items do you look for when redesigning?

I go right to the formal section and look at the full-length dresses. A redesigning seamstress is assured of optimizing YARDAGE.

Describe your redesign creative process.

Screen Shot 2015-06-30 at 2.34.33 PMRedesign sewing takes time, problem-solving, engineering and tactile skills, and just plain LOVE of the endeavor. I redesign clothes that I can wear. I start by asking myself, ”What does my wardrobe NEED this season?” and “Do I have the necessary time and skill to execute something that I will wear?”

When dealing with formal dresses (wedding, mother-of-the-bride, prom, bridesmaid), where the yardage is best, I never cut out and sew something that might be a dead giveaway that it once was “bridal.” Best way to achieve this is to shop by examining the underside of the fabric, which will usually have a much more matte, daytime look and feel. Sure, you will still probably end up with a “Dry Clean Only” garment, but it will be something you’ll be proud to wear any day of the week.

What was your experience like at the Goodwill Runway Show?

This was my first year at the Runway Show, and I was utterly blown-away by the entire event – the array of quality food, the sophisticated party atmosphere, the sheer NUMBER of attendees, and the technical merit of the show set-up. Plus, it was wonderful hearing the positive stories from people who have been helped by Goodwill. There was definitely a feel-good vibe during the whole evening!

And as a contestant, I was very appreciative of the chance to meet privately with the four judges and discuss my redesign.

What advice do you have for aspiring redesign artists?

My advice is to get excited about it and commit to it. Stay focused and let the creative passion build as you shop and assess the possibilities. Be flexible, but don’t give up on your intended finished (especially when the going gets tough, which it will). Keep looking at your options for a 100% successful outcome.

“Be fearless with your scissors and Sew outside the lines!”

 

We’d like to introduce you to Susan who won the Avant Garde Category in the Goodwill ReDesign Contest. She created a winning design from a lampshade, wedding dress, and a vinyl window blind. Yes, you read right. We repeat a lampshade, wedding dress, and a vinyl window blind. It was absolutely brilliant.

Image courtesy of Berks County Living.

What is the ReDesign Contest?

The Goodwill ReDesign Contest required interested participants to buy items at Goodwill and transform the pieces. There were 4 winning categories:

  • Avant Garde – Create an innovative look that is experimental and pushes the boundaries.
  • Re-purpose the Dress – Transform a dress (wedding, prom, formal) into another article of clothing.
  • Accessories – Construct an accessory (i.e. handbag, hat, jewelry or shoes) using a variety of items.
  • Social Media Favorites – Finalist with the most likes on Facebook won this category.

They submitted an entry form, receipts from Goodwill, and before and after photos of a redesign to Goodwill Keystone Area. Entries were judged on the use of Goodwill items, originality, overall appearance, and technical ability. Selected finalists walked the catwalk in their designs at the fundraiser Goodwill Runway Show in April 2015. Each category winner received a $75 Goodwill gift card and will be featured in an upcoming issue of Berks County Living.

Susan MacCombie won the Avant Garde Category.Sue

How did you get started in re-designing clothing and why do you shop at Goodwill?

Goodwill items are always clean and in decent order. I love walking in to a store and seeing all the colors lined up. May sound strange, but it reminds me of an impressionistic painting. And I love 50% off sales.

What Goodwill locations do you shop at and what items do you typically look for when considering a re-design piece?

I Goodwill shop mostly at the stores within Goodwill Keystone Area. There are plenty of Goodwill shops to go to. I have my regular route that I take and I can hit at least 5 shops in one day! I look for elements in a piece that are attractive or that catch my eye. I then look for pieces that will blend with it. Sometimes I go with an idea in mind, sometimes I just get inspiration from the pieces I come across.

Explain and describe how you created your winning design.

SusanM-AvantGardeI knew I wanted to work with a wedding dress and that I liked the look of a diagonal opening. I wanted a stand up collar which I had trouble finding until I came across some pleated lamp shades. I wasn’t sure I could bend the (lamp) shade without breaking it, but it worked. I was going to put trim fringe on the bottom, but after the lampshade, I thought why not use a vinyl window blind to give it some swing. I cut the slats off just above the opening for the cord and use that to attach it to the skirt of the jacket. After a lot of fussing and tweaking, it all came together.

What was your experience like at the Goodwill Runway Show?

AWESOME! It was a blast. Winning my category was just the icing on the cake. I enjoyed the whole process of the event. There was such great camaraderie among the designers, models, and organizers. And the food was delicious!

What advice do you have for aspiring re-design artists?

Be fearless with your scissors! Sew outside the lines and combine the unlikely. Trust what you like.

Cleanout Your Closets & Get Ready for the New!

ValiHeist

 

By Certified Professional Organizer and Owner at The Clutter Crew, Vali G. Heist

 

 
Goodwill Keystone Area Blog
It’s springtime! And many of us need to clean out our closets to make room for some fresh, new looks. Cleaning out your wardrobe may be easier said than done, especially if you haven’t done a closet shakeup since high school (you know who you are) or you live out of your laundry baskets (you aren’t the only one). Even though it may be overwhelming, the results are well worth the effort, so let’s break it down.

STEP ONE: SORT
It’s important to see how many items in each category you have before you decide to keep or donate. Empty your closet floors, shelves and sort by items. For example, make separate piles for your handbags, shoes, and belts. Then, go through the hanging clothes and sort by type: short sleeve, long sleeve, pants, skirts, blazers, evening wear, etc. Last, don’t forget to clean out the drawers.

STEP TWO: KEEP OR DONATE
Then go through each pile and decide if you should keep or donate items to Goodwill. It’s time to donate it if:
• It doesn’t fit – that means too small or too large
• It doesn’t fit your current lifestyle
• It’s faded, pilly, out-of-date, or ripped
• You haven’t worn it for two seasons (even if original tags are still on it)
• You don’t feel comfortable in it
• Your mom gave it to you because she thought you would like it (and you don’t)
• The last compliment you got when you wore it was 1995

Can’t decide whether to keep or donate? Call a friend to help sort and give you an honest opinion. And here’s another green tip: take out the empty hangers and recycle the wire ones to the dry cleaner!

You can do this!

7 Secrets of a Goodwill Fasionista

7SecretsOfFashionista

 

Story submitted by guest blogger Wendy Kerschner.

 

Goodwill stores offer a unique shopping experience and the opportunity to add a signature piece to your wardrobe. Making an amazing find at Goodwill is indeed the luck of their daily inventory, but it’s also in the eye of the beholder!

7SecretsOfFashionista-2ONE
Arrive with an open mind. Although you may find a complete outfit during your shopping trip, consider this experience as an opportunity to purchase individual pieces to add to your existing wardrobe.

TWO
Allow an hour. Because Goodwill has a wide variety of clothing and accessories, you’ll need to allot yourself ample time to peruse the goods and try things on.

THREE
View from above. Look at the clothing from the top of the hangers (if possible). From here you will have a view of the item’s color and fabric. You’ll be able to see what you like in terms of cotton, polyester, spandex, and mixes and you’ll be able to recognize the right color or the right fabric at a glance.

FOUR
Be open to all sizes. Just because you are typically a certain size, doesn’t mean that you can’t wear a small, a medium, a large or even an extra large. Goodwill provides the opportunity to take risks with clothing sizes.

FIVE
Trust your instincts. When you try something on and look at yourself in the mirror, you will know instinctively if that piece is for you. Does it look good? Does it highlight your best features? Does it make you feel good?

SIX
Bring a friend! To maximize your Goodwill shopping experience, bring a friend. While they look for clothing for themselves, they will also be looking for you (and vice-versa). Friends typically know what you look good in and are happy to make suggestions.

SEVEN
Have Fun! In the dressing room, anything goes! Try on something you typically might not wear. You could surprise yourself!

Yes, No or Go! Party

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Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 2.14.40 PM
Screen Shot 2015-02-25 at 2.16.11 PM

Story submitted by guest blogger Wendy Kerschner.

 

After having a baby and deciding to return to a professional office setting, I realized my wardrobe needed to be edited. I was ready to donate some clothes to Goodwill. As I looked through my closet and questioned what to keep and what to part with, the decisions were too hard to make on my own. What I really needed was honest advice from my friends.

I called five of my closest friends and asked them to come over to my house on a Friday evening and bring 5-7 items of clothing from their own closets. I told them to bring their own clothes that were questionable. I named it the “Yes, No or Go Party.” Each person would try on their items and the other women would give the item one of three votes: YES, NO or GO!

It was a great night! Each guest showcased her clothes by strutting in front of the friendly panel. We also enjoyed wine and ate snacks (Caution: friend’s opinions are even more honest with wine). The night was a huge hit, filled with outbursts of laughter and newly made memories. The best part was that we successfully edited our own wardrobes while gathering two huge bags of clothing to donate to Goodwill. I’ve hosted two YES, NO or GO parties since the original and encourage you to have your own party!

Goodwill Keystone Area employee Tonya Hollinger rocks her pink style during Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

 

We are proud of Tonya and women just like her for their strength and determination in being a breast cancer survivor.

Go PINK!

TonyaWithQuote

Here’s a few Q&A’s with Tonya:

Why do you think fashion and breast cancer awareness tie together? 

It’s a very easy way to show your support and is highly recognizable. I especially love all the different pieces of specialty jewelry that some stores sell and donate money to breast cancer awareness with each purchase.

Do you have a favorite statement piece that you like to wear (clothes or jewelry)?

I have a shirt that I love that says, “I Fight Like a Girl.” I bust it out every October and wear it with pride, because it states the truth! My son also has a shirt that says “Real Men Wear Pink” and he sports it during October as well!

What does PINK POWER mean to you? 

For me, it means many things, honor, unity, pride, and most importantly, it represents a commitment to saving lives!

Wear Pink, a Sign of Solidarity

Last year we ran this blog post in October and we decided to post it again, because this October is no different as our employee Tonya Hollinger rocks her pink style during Breast Cancer Awareness Month. We are proud of Tonya and women just like her for their strength and determination in being a breast cancer survivor. Go PINK!

Tonya Pink Blazer

This October, Goodwill Keystone Area employee Tonya Hollinger rocks her pink hair, pink glittery nails, pink jewelry and clothes to celebrate three years of recovering from breast cancer.

“Pink is the quintessential female color,” says Margaret Welch, director of the Color Association of the United States. And for breast cancer patients and survivors, pink is a happy place – a place of hope, healing, femininity and pride.

During National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, pink becomes a sign of solidarity for women and families fighting this terrible disease. Pink has become a sort of non-verbal signal sent out to breast cancer patients saying, “I support you, and I’ve got your back.”

Men wear pink ties, shirts or lapel pins. NFL players wear pink socks, wristbands, and shoes. Women dye their hair, paint their nails, and wear pink clothing and accessories.

It’s wearing pink with a purpose…it’s here, it’s now and it’s Goodwill!

This month, join Tonya and others in wearing pink to show your support and solidarity in the fight against breast cancer. Visit your local Goodwill store and find your pop of pink. Wear it with purpose and wear it with pride.

And one more thing, last year Tonya added a permanent accessory…a pink “Hope” tattoo.

Accessories and clothing were taken from the racks of the Goodwill stores in Bensalem, PA and Lancaster PA-Lincoln Hwy E. Thank you, managers and staff!

Special thanks to Tonya Hollinger for sharing her story with us.

Link to the History of the Pink Ribbon.