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Goodwill Keystone Area Fashion Blog

Introducing Hayley Linette – Goodwill Re-Design Contest Winner – Social Media Fan Favorite


Introducing 2014 Goodwill Re-Design Contest Winner of the Social Media Fan Favorite Category, Hayley Linette.

HayleyLinette - Accessories

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

Hayley Linette I have always believed in the idea of “trash to treasure”. I see potential in an item that may not be in style or what you would consider attractive. I shop at Goodwill because of the diversity in the items they display. I like knowing that every week there is going to be new product on the shelves which means new inspiration for me.

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

I shop at many Goodwill locations because they all have different items. I typically look for shoes that can be easily painted. This means no crazy textures or layers of fabric. I look for shoes that are smooth with a cotton, leather, felt or suede material.

How do you create your re-designs?

I find shoes, preferably heels that are beat up, scratched, or unattractive and I paint them.

Hayley Linette heels 4

I look at the material that the shoe is made with to see if it is “paint-able”.

Hayley Linette heels 1

The easiest heels to paint are ones made with cotton, leather, felt or suede. I use acrylic paint to bring the shoes back to life.

Hayley Linette heels 3

With my art I make the shoe feel new again.

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Every shoe I paint is unique and considered a walking work of art. Everyone wants shoes that no one else has and I give that to them.

What was your experience like at the Goodwill Runway Show?

This was my first year going to the Goodwill Runway Show. I am so grateful that I was able to participate in such a great show with great people. I loved getting to know the models, staff and people who came to watch. I will definitely be applying for the Re-Design Contest again next year!

Goodwill Keystone Area Runway Show 2014 (11)

What advice do you have for aspiring artists?

Do what you love, express yourself and be unique. Do not let others bring you down and make you feel like your work won’t get anywhere. If you keep trying then there is no doubt that you will be successful in your art.

Introducing Rebecca Botvin – Goodwill Re-Design Contest Winner – Men’s Shirt Remix


Introducing 2014 Goodwill Re-Design Contest Winner of the Men’s Shirt Remix Category, Rebecca Botvin.

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

Rebecca Botvin head shotI started redesigning clothing in college, long before Goodwill was cool! I was baby stepping into it and just learning how clothing was put together and experimenting to see what could and could not be taken apart and reconstructed. You learn a lot about sewing by taking things apart. I started “hard core” redesigning when my tween and I were having a hard time finding clothes that she liked in retail stores. The older she got, the smaller her choices were and the quality of the garments diminished in the Junior sizes. She’s learned that she can totally customize her clothing to not only her taste, but also to her size, and not spend a fortune doing it.

I shop at Goodwill because my money can go farther. Most items I buy are barely, if at all, worn. It really is my favorite store.

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

I usually shop at the Shillington Goodwill. It’s large and the closest one to my house. When I’m redesigning a piece, I start with the foundation – do I need jeans or a top? There needs to be enough material, so the first thing I look for is the size of the garment and inspect it for any holes or stains. If the garment isn’t perfect, then I need to be able to work around the problem area. I only work with natural fibers (cotton, wool, linen), so I usually pull 2-3 different options and then mix and match them to work.

How do you create your re-designs?

Redesign Mittens
Botvin-redesign mittens

The mittens are created from 100% wool sweaters, lined with 100% cashmere sweaters. I felt the wool sweaters in my washing machine and then cut out the mittens. Depending on the size of the sweater after felting, I can usually get 1-2 pairs of mittens from 1 sweater. I use the same pattern for the outside on the mittens as I do for the lining, which I cut out of the cashmere sweaters. I hand embroider a design on the mittens and use different embroidery stitches to fit the cuffs into place. I swear, putting your hands in these mittens is one of the happiest feelings in the world!

Redesign Dress

This little girl’s dress is made from a vintage Smurfs bed sheet. This was a real find!

Botvin-redesign dress

The dress is a simple shift pattern that buttons at the shoulder. Since the bed sheet is very sheer, I made the dress reversible with a heavier solid cotton on the other side. The dress can be worn in the summer, or with a shirt and tights in the winter.

Redesign Pants

My daughter is petite. Many of the jeans I found in her size at Goodwill had a design on the bottom (frolicking kittens, flowers, etc) and I guess that isn’t cool to wear in middle school. I cut the offending design off the bottom and attached a linen ruffle to make up for the length. You can do this several ways, but I decided that pinch pleating the linen had a more finished look.

Botvin-redesign pants

The entire project – start to finish took about 1/2 hour. It’s a great first project for a beginning sewer.

Redesign Coat and Stuffed Animal

The wolf coat and stuffed animal were made out of a 100% wool felt blanket and women’s wool dress skirts. I had the items dry cleaned first, so I could inspect for any thin areas that I might have to work around. I worked off a commercial pattern and mostly followed the directions. The lining and toggle buttons were purchased because I couldn’t find exactly what I wanted at Goodwill and I had an impatient seven year old.

Botvin-redesign coatstuffie

Redesign Class

I taught a beginning sewing class at the Yocum Institute for Arts Education last Spring. One of the project that the girls did was to make a skirt out of a men’s dress shirt.

Botvin-redesign class

They learned about basic cutting and fractions. They also improvised and made a few “scarf” accessories with the material they pieced together.

What was your experience like at the Goodwill Runway Show?

I had a great time at the Runway Show! I was impressed with how well-organized the entire event was – from communication to timing. The organizers made a real effort to include the redesigners in the show, and it was just thrilling to see the audience’s reactions to the items being shown. I brought a group of friends with me, and we had a fun girl’s night out – snacks, drinks, the show, and shopping…..really a fun time!

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

My main advice is to just buy something that speaks to you and take it apart. Don’t be afraid to cut or to sew. The most effective way to learn is by making mistakes and sometimes those mistakes are the most brilliant additions.

Accessorize Your Wardrobe This Spring

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

It’s spring and Goodwill Runway Show time! What a great way to inspire us to spruce up our wardrobes or get motivated to create something brand new. Here are a few items you can purchase at Goodwill to help you accessorize your spring wardrobe.

Spring Scarf
Brighten up a current outfit or tie it on a handbag to accessorize.

Fashionable Belt
Choose a belt that changes the look of a tired outfit.

Brightly Colored Handbag
Complement an outfit for a special occasion without breaking the bank.

Spring Shoes
Many of the shoes at Goodwill are gently-worn. Look for a pair to complement your spring outfits.

New Outfit
If you are feeling creative, shop the aisles and look at the fabric of the clothing instead of the style of clothing. Use that fabric to recreate a whole new piece of clothing. (I found two men’s shirts in spring colors to make the dress I’m wearing at the Runway Show!)

Designer Staple Piece
Browse the designer racks and find a staple piece to supplement your current spring wardrobe.

Remember, shopping at Goodwill is all about supporting their mission of helping people with disabilities – all while helping you watch your hard-earned dollars. Accessorizing at Goodwill: it’s a win-win! Find a store near you at www.YourGoodwill.org/shop/stores-donation-centers

This article appears in the Goodwill Runway Show Program. Join us for the fashion event of the year, the Goodwill Runway Show! See how you can be stylish without maxing out your credit cards. Models will walk the runway wearing the latest trends found at Goodwill. This is Goodwill’s largest fundraiser in Berks County!

Date: Thursday, April 24, 2014 doors open 4:30, show begins 6:30

Location: Body Zone 3013 Paper Mill Road Wyomissing, PA 19610

Tickets: $40.00 include happy hour, silent auction, runway show and Goodwill boutique.


Bell Tower stylist supports Goodwill’s mission through Runway Show


By Goodwill Keystone Area blogger Tony D.

At Goodwill, we are overwhelmed at the generosity of community members who support our mission through a variety of actions including volunteering time, donating money, donating clothing and housewares at our stores and much more.

Next Thursday April 24th, we will host our Goodwill Runway Show at Body Zone in Wyomissing, PA . This annual event is made possible by the volunteer commitment of many supporters including our Committee Members who organize the event, local businesses through sponsorship, donations and silent auction donations, stylists and models who represent the amazing looks you can find for great values at Goodwill stores and many more behind the scenes roles who come together for one night of fun, food, fashion and raising money toward the Goodwill mission.

As a tribute to our volunteers, we decided to dedicate a blog post to one of our amazing volunteers, stylist Samara Stork.

SamaraBell Tower Logo

Name and Occupation: Samara Stork, Brand Manager for Bell Tower Salon, Medi-Spa and Store in Wyomissing, PA, belltowersalonspa.com/.

Goodwill Runway Show Committee Role: Stylist, Public Relations

What was your first job?
Sales Associate at The Limited

What skills did you learn on your first job that you still use today?
I’m still dressing people today, just in different ways!

Best Goodwill find?
Vintage Christian Dior slips that I found last year. They sold at our Runway Show Launch Party in minutes!

Who is your favorite fashion designer or stylist?
Marc Jacobs. I love the versatility that he displays as a designer and the fact that he’s not afraid to take chances.

Why do you volunteer for Goodwill?
Goodwill provides opportunity for people who may be overlooked in the workforce and they give individuals a sense of purpose and accomplishment.

Join us for the fashion event of the year, the Goodwill Runway Show! See how you can be stylish without maxing out your credit cards. Models will walk the runway wearing the latest trends found at Goodwill. This is Goodwill’s largest fundraiser in Berks County!

Date: Thursday, April 24, 2014 doors open 4:30, show begins 6:30

Location: Body Zone 3013 Paper Mill Road Wyomissing, PA 19610

Tickets: $40.00 include happy hour, silent auction, runway show and Goodwill boutique.


Pennsylvania artist turns to Goodwill for inspiration and supplies.


By Goodwill Keystone Area blogger Tony D.

At Goodwill, our slogan is “More Than Just a Store.” Goodwill is many things to many people including affordable quality clothing, job training for community members with disabilities, local donation spot for clothing and household items to a non-profit making a positive difference in the local community.

Recently we were happy to learn that, for Pennsylvania artist Kathie Lister, Goodwill is a source of inspiration and her go-to spot for great deals on supplies for her creative art designs.

1. How did you get started in sculpture and why do you shop at Goodwill.DogSculpture
I was a business executive for 30 years but my undergraduate degree is in fine art. (I was a fashion design major and I too occasionally buy clothes at GW and redesign them). I always wanted to do “art” so when I retired I thought about what I really liked. My best friend dragged me to a GW in Virginia when I visited her and I was hooked. We spent hours looking and laughing. I found a ceramic poodle from the 50s that was so funny and kitschy that I bought it… 99 cents. I began seeing other ceramic dogs and an idea was hatched. My belief is that if you have enough of anything you can make something out of it. I went on to collect lots of dogs, old salt and pepper shakers, and generally anything that looked whimsical. Mind you, this is stuff I would never have looked at before. DUST collectors. I make elaborate centerpieces to hold flowers and candles but best of all are fun to look at. I shop at Goodwills because I buy this stuff in volume and frankly the prices and the surprises are terrific. It never ceases to amaze me what has been made into a ceramic object. One of my favorite ceramic planters is the back half of a horse. Too funny.

2. What Goodwill locations do you shop at and what items do you typically look for when considering a sculpture piece?
Too numerous to list. Mostly southern NJ and PA locations but I have been to stores in Virginia, Florida, Maine and Colorado where I have a second home. I look for pieces that are slightly older( doesn’t have to be vintage) and strike my fancy. It can be anything!!! Truly. My new great pleasure is going to the Goodwill outlet and buying big boxes of stuff for pennies.

3. What style of artwork do you prefer?
The pieces that I make have to have a utilitarian purpose. I cannot do Art for Art sake. That seems too pretentious for me. I admire those that can produce that way but it is not for me. I create mirrors, lamps, vases, sconces, candle holders etcetera as long as they are a bit whimsical. I have made tissue box holders completely covered in cut up ceramics just to work on technique. There is a fair amount of labor and technique involved in what do as well as toxic coatings. Plenty of power tools are used too.


4. Have you ever displayed your work in any exhibits?
I have exhibited at Brigitte Mayer Gallery in Philadelphia, Moore College of Art and a juried art show to benefit the William Penn Charter School. I have been at this for almost two years since I retired.


5. What advice do you have for aspiring artists?
Don’t worry what other people think! Do what you love. I did not pursue this with the intention of making money. When I do sell something however it provides validation of what I am doing. Had I started when I was was just out of art school I would have been too concerned with others’ opinions. Sometimes when I start a piece I will ask my husband what he thinks. I can see the wheels turning as he tries to come up with a tactful answer since he is rather conventional when it comes to “art” and heaven knows, with the work that I’d do there is a fine line between “wow that’s cool” and “what was she thinking?”

Special thanks to artist Kathie Lister for sharing her story. If you enjoy Goodwill re-design projects, be sure to check out the finalists for our Goodwill Runway Show Re-Design Contest finalists and vote for your favorite by clicking LIKE on your favorite in our Facebook photo album – CLICK HERE.

Kids Crafts: Goodwill neck ties make great snake puppets!


By Goodwill Keystone Area blogger Tony D.

Goodwill is a great place to shop when you need fun, affordable craft ideas for your children. We have seen many neat projects that transform Goodwill clothing purchases into new and improved outfits, however, with a little imagination the same clothing can be transformed into fun stuffed animals for your children.

Recently, we noticed a trend on the web: neck tie snake puppets! We enlisted a local thrift and craft enthusiast Danielle to find a tutorial and walk us through the steps to create a neck tie snake puppet using ties purchased from our Goodwill Store & Donation Center in Mechanicsburg, Pa.

Hat tip to Marie at Make and Takes for the original idea and tutorial: http://www.makeandtakes.com/crafty-snake-tie.

So here we go:

Step 1: Purchase Tie from Goodwill


Step 2: Assemble supplies

  • 1 colorful men’s tie from your local Goodwill
    (find a store near you www.YourGoodwill.org/shop/stores.php)
  • Hot glue gun & glue
  • Pillow or similar stuffing
  • 2 googley eyes
  • Pencil or long stick to push stuffing down through the tie


Step 3: Using pencil, push stuffing into the gap at the bottom backside of the tie, down the length of the tie.


Step 4: Seal the gap at the bottom of the tie with hot glue to keep stuffing inside.


Step 5: Hot glue on googley eyes.


Step 6: Hot glue on red tongue.


Step 7: Ta-da! Enjoy your new snake tie!


Spring Styling at Goodwill


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By stylist and blogger, Annette K.


3-25-24 Spring Awakening 1With temperatures nearing 60 degrees for the first time in months, customers are turning to Goodwill in search of clothes and accessories to liven up their wardrobe for spring. Things like short-sleeve shirts in cool comfortable cotton, lightweight jackets or a pair of shoes or sandals for warm breezy days are popular purchases.

Shopper Barbara Kavelines of Tobyhana visited Goodwill to find an outfit to wear in her town parade.

“I love all the colors that the store has. Everything looks so nice,” said Barbara, community theatre actress and aspiring baker.

Spring is awakening in Pennsylvania and Goodwill Keystone Area stores are stocked and ready with racks of cothing and house wares in lively spring styles and colors.

3-25-24 Spring Awakening 2Goodwill uses the revenue generated from the thrift stores to create jobs and job opportunities for folks with barriers and disabilities. Thanks to the generosity of local donors, communities and businesses, Goodwill Keystone Area provided life changing service to 3,265 people in Pennsylvania last year.

This spring, think Goodwill – where your donations and purchases make a local difference.

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Special thanks to Eliana Spaziani and Alex Rolon, sales associates who work at the Goodwill Store & Donation Center in Bethlehem, PA.

Re-Design – Your Chance to Shine


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By stylist and blogger, Annette K.


3-19-14 Re-design_Page_1Everyone has a creative side. We’ve all re-designed, re-invented or re-fabricated something – foods, drinks, mechanics, gadgets or clothes. You name it, we’ve improved it, modernized it or just plain made it look nicer.

For most of us, the image or a thought ends in our head and we don’t go to the next level. But for others who possess the skills and determination – and who toil endlessly and earnestly – they can get it “just right.”

Are you a fashion designer ready to expose what’s in your mind? Shop at Goodwill, create your vision and enter our Re-design contest. (Entry period has closed)

All finalists will receive two free tickets to Goodwill Keystone Area’s Runway show and have their designs featured in our show!

And all winners in each category will receive a $50 gift card to Goodwill Keystone Area stores, be featured in the magazine Berks County Living and have their work displayed at GoggleWorks in Reading.

There is still time to enter. Visit our website for rules and deadlines. We look forward to seeing your designs. (Entry period has closed)

“The inventor looks upon the world and is not contented with things as they are … the spirit of invention possesses him.” Alexander Graham Bell, inventor of the telephone.

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Click to see the 2013 Re-Design winners featured in Berks County Living http://www.berkscountyliving.com/December-2013/The-Future-of-Fashion/

Wear Green – or Don’t be Seen


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By stylist and blogger, Annette K.


s Day1I’m a German-Austrian-Swiss-Polish-Lithuanian American … and proud of it. But on Monday, March 17, I turn Irish for the day!

Green will be all around us on Monday. It’s a day when The Unicorn Song’s green alligators, long-necked geese, humpty-back-camels and chimpanzees dance their way over the radio waves – and clip-clopping Irish shoes stomp in cadence at every mall, restaurant and pub.

It’s a day to relax the rules, kick back and come up for air. And after the apocalyptic winter of 2014, we could all use a long, deep breath. St. Patrick’s Day is an enchanting time – a day to begin transforming winter’s dreams into summer’s magic.

So get your Irish on and don’t be seen without your green! Stop by your local Goodwill store, where a little bit of green can get for you a big “pot-o-clothes.” Our stores are stocked with green shirts, skirts, pants and accessories, and our friendly staff is on hand to help.

When choosing your green, remember, the more green the better, the more creative even better, and wearing it all with a smile … the best!

Make this St. Patrick’s Day your lucky day!

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Special thanks to Goodwill Store Manager Phil Koch and his friendly staff at the Goodwill store in Bethlehem, PA.

Red Carpet Runway – Goodwill style


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By stylist and blogger, Annette K.


Red Carpet Runway - Goodwill Style

You don’t have to be Meryl Streep or live in Hollywood to get a front-row seat at the show.

Goodwill’s best-dressed will be at The Body Zone in Wyomissing on Thursday, April 24, for a fashion experience.

Local designers, fashion consultants and hair and makeup professionals will be putting their best brush forward in showing off bold colors, solid styles and fearless fashion.

And all at thrifty prices that any budget-conscious fashionista can afford!

Get up close and personal and see local fashion and style at its best. You’ll be star-struck in your own backyard.


Doors open at 4:30 p.m.
Show begins at 6:30 p.m.

Body Zone
3103 Paper Mill Road
Wyomissing, PA 19610

Happy Hour • Silent Auction • Runway Show • Goodwill Boutique






Remember to consider Goodwill as your donation center of choice, where we create jobs for folks with barriers and disabilities.