Arc’s Value Village is a chain of thrift stores that help fund The Arc Greater Twin Cities; both are great organizations that do fantastic work. SOL fully supports these organizations and we are excited to introduce a fashionable woman who is making a meaningful difference within both parties.
ABOUT AVV & The Arc: (from the website)
I encourage you to learn more about the great work that The Arc Greater Twin Cities does.
Michelle Dustin is innovative: she is employed by Arc Value Village as a personal shopper (plus much more). Her clients come to one of the four different AVV locations and she does the hard labor of ‘thrifting’ and sifting through the store in order to find outfits they might not have come up with on their own. Sol Inspirations gives her huge kudos for taking an amazing idea and turning it into a job that she is passionate about. Michelle takes pride in her fulfilling work because she is directly helping people take control of their wardrobe. Every day she works hands on with people and markets a socially responsible product, she not only increases sales for a non-profit but it also turns shopping into a positive experience for people that might otherwise find clothes shopping, particularly in a thrift store, overwhelming.
People have to put clothes on every day, and it can be a negative experience if the outfit doesn’t help a person to feel their best. Michelle takes the pressure off of her clients by making the process stress free. By catering to each person’s individual needs, she helps people to shop for their body types and to construct full outfits that can mix and match.
From a business perspective Arc Value Village is lucky to have someone so savvy and ambitious on their team. In 2011 she started as a contractor with the non-profit after pointing out this niche opportunity to them. It was not long after that she was hired on full-time and has had a full schedule of styling fun ever since. Michelle’s clients on average spend nearly $100 more than the average AVV sale and most of her clients book repeat appointments with Michelle and bring friends along for the fun. Dual appointments, where your stylist will shop for both you and your guest, are a great way to spend quality time with a friend while expanding your wardrobe.
After I approached Michelle about being featured on our blog she invited me to a client appointment so that I could get a feel for how the whole process really works. Prior to the appointed slot Michelle learns about her client from a survey that they fill out at the time when they make the appointment, and then she starts shopping at the store. The clients come in and have an hour and 15 minutes in which they basically just try things on, because when they arrive Michelle has a dressing room filled with accessories and she hands in different outfits in and discusses the functionality and versatility of different garments. When you book an appointment you can do single or do a ‘dual’ appointment so you can bring a friend. As of July 2013, personal shopping clients also get a complimentary Village Rewards card, which normally costs $10. Michelle has also started building a team of guest stylists in an effort to service more clients. If you are interested in scheduling an appointment, Michelle strongly encourages individuals to ‘like’ the Facebook page (Arc’s Value Village Personal Shopper) to be alerted about appointment cancelations and new openings with all of her stylists as they become available. Her appointments book out months at a time. I had a great time sitting in on the appointment slot and I really got a good understanding of how passionate Michelle is about making this experience super positive for her clients. Michelle works extremely hard to make sure her client’s leave with all the different pieces they need to put together several outfits, but more importantly, she wants them to be excited about their purchases because they feel confident in the clothes.
Dawn was such a fun client to watch, because she would try on anything and loved hearing outside perspectives.
Dawn is one of Michelle’s repeat clients, the day I had the pleasure of meeting her Dawn even brought her mother along for a dual appointment. It was so sweet, they got dressing rooms next to one another and the duo had a great time giving opinions about the clothes and just spending quality time doing something fun. You really can’t go wrong with these appointments they are free and the money you spend on great new wardrobe pieces is not only supporting your fashion habit in an eco-friendly manner but a great a non-profit as well.
An adorable outfit Michelle picked out for a 9 year old client.
Michelle will be doing a presentation in the Eco Experience Building at the Minnesota State Fair on August 31st at noon and at two pm, there will be models wearing looks that she has styled and she will be speaking about the ethical fashion services offered at Arc Value Village. The state fair is all about taking pride in what our state has to offer and we are so excited that Michelle and AVV will be a part of the event this year.
Michelle does a really nice job of updating the social media pages with fresh, exciting content, so we really enjoy following her on all the different platforms from Facebook to Instagram (search: Thriftstylist / Value Village Stylist Michelle).
We are so excited to help spread the word about Michelle and her services, we love her work and also love that it supports the Arc Greater Twin Cities and we hope that you will do the same and spread this blog like wild fire.