Stylist Kia Marie knows fashion, and she loves to shop at Goodwill. Inside the Goodwill shop on Livingston Street in Downtown, she enthused, “This has always been my go to place for fashion, for style; when I was a broke college student, this is like what afforded me the ability to play around with my style, without breaking the bank.”
As part of a new ‘store within a store’ concept, Goodwill asked Kia to curate a special section with her favorites. She said, “I have a go-to item in my closet that’s always thrifted, which is blazers, and then I kind of wanted to curate a selection that you could pair with blazers, so that’s what you see. You have a lot of really staple pieces, but also really trendy items that are hot right now like neutrals, really bright neon colors, scarf print,e and different things like that that you see on the runway.”
Kia and I found lots of great blazer pieces that go perfectly with the blazers. She explained the new concept this way, “So if you want to come in and just shop quickly and take a look and have more of a boutique type, this is where you’re going to find it, and then we have the rest of the Goodwill store if you like the hunt if you want to go through every single piece,” said Katy Gaul-Stigge, CEO of Goodwill NY/NJ.
With secondhand being all the rage right now, and with fashion lovers buying and selling their clothes on sites like Poshmark and The Real Real, Goodwill is reminding shoppers they’ve been in the second-hand business for a century. “We were actually founded right here in Brooklyn over 104 years ago. We wanted to create a place where you could donate your goods, and we could create jobs,” says Katy.
Money raised at these shops supports extensive work training and placement programs. Goodwill also helps keep 150 million pounds of clothing out of landfills and lets people be chic for less. Cheryl Valentino has been a regular shopper at Goodwill. She visits every week.
When asked if she ever leaves empty-handed, Valentino responded, “no.” In fact, she was spotted leaving with two beautiful like-new, each under $15. Goodwill is testing out this new approach with different designers and influencers, curating various Goodwill shops for a month at a time. There are more than 30 shops in the greater NYC area.