We were so thrilled to meet this month’s “Shop with Jen and Pippa” contest winner, Michele. Michele’s contest entry really touched our hearts and we knew that we definitely couldn’t have chosen a more deserving winner once we met her and her husband, Jim. Here’s Michele’s contest entry:
“I would love to win this contest is because it would mean so much simply to meet both of you. I’ve learned so much just reading your blog and learning all your tips for thrift shopping. It has done wonders to help us with our limited income. I’m a 51 year old happily married woman for 25 years. But in 2003 my husband, Jim, was diagnosed with cerebellar ataxia, a neurological brain disorder that makes the cerebellum deteriorate over time. My husband is 57 years old and can no longer work or drive and he uses a walker, too. I have essentially become his full time caregiver. I had returned to college at the University of Houston/Clear Lake and graduated with cum laude honors in 2010 in order to increase our income. But as Jim’s illness progressed, I knew he could not be left alone. And paying for a full time caregiver would have defeated the purpose of me working, as so much of my income would go towards his caregiver’s salary. So I care for him daily and we live on his Social Security disabilty. It’s not a lot of money, but we manage, but since I’ve discovered Family Thrift Outlet, it has helped us so much to find nice, nice clothes at such reasonable prices. I would absolutely love a chance to meet you both and to shop with you, too. I love so many of the videos you both make and the clothes you find. It would be an honor and a thrill to be able to meet you both and to shop with you. Thank you so much for the time you spend in teaching others about the “art of thrifting.” For those of us on very limited incomes, you have been a God send like you will never know. I really would love the chance to do this!! Thanks so much”
Michele and Jim with her “thrift haul!”
We met Michele at a Family Thrift Center Outlet store where everything in the entire store is just $2.00 on Thursdays and drops by .25 a day until the next Wednesday, when everything is just .25. In order to get started, we talked with Michele to find out what her lifestyle is, how she perceives her “style”, and finally, what items did she consider her wardrobe to be lacking. Michele told us, “I’m pretty casual for the most part. I love, love, love skinny jeans. I love to wear them with tops/sweaters/boho tops that are longer, usually with boots or some cute flats.” Michele also sent us some photos of outfits that she was drawn to.
With a wealth of information and a good idea of Michele’s likes and wants, we got started! Here are just a few of our favorite high-end, high-quality items she picked up for just $2.00 each (BTW, Family Thrift Center donates the wardrobe to our winners. Thanks Family Thrift Center!):
- Michael Kors bag (retailed $257)
- Longchamp Le Pliage bag (retailed $145)
- Calypso St. Barth blouse (retailed $149)
- J. Crew toothpick jeans (retailed $115)
With just the first four items, we were well over a $500 retail value, plus she found so many more basic pieces that she can mix-n-match from brands such as J. Crew, Free People, David Kahn, Ann Taylor and more.
Below, we show her how versatile her chosen pieces are and how putting together an outfit is super easy!
Since there are no dressing rooms at the Family Thrift Center Outlets, we often wonder how our winners’ outfits actually worked out once they got home. Luckily, Michele wrote back and let us know! She says, “I had such an amazing time today thrift shopping with you both! It was so much fun! It was such a fun experience and I loved all the new clothes and two new bags, too! I cannot wait to wear them all! I tried them all on already and everything fit great, yeah! Thanks so much again for everything! Y’all are both so awesome! Keep up the great work with your blog and videos! Take care and thanks again.”
Michele was such a delight to shop with . . . she definitely makes our volunteer “job” rewarding!
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