The dream has come true for shoppers at the Arc's Value Village Thrift Stores and Donation Centers in Brooklyn Center, New Hope, Richfield and St. Paul.
People are surprised that the service is free, Dustin said.
Their purchases included clothing for work and casual wear, as well as shoes and purses, Stadther said.
A resident of Hopkins now, Dustin offered her services to Arc on a trial, part time basis beginning in August 2011. She was working at another full time job then, and doing personal shopping part time.
"That was very important to me," Dustin said. "I did a lot of research before I launched this, and I couldn't find anything like it in the country. I'm very proud of it."
"I book dual clients, too," Dustin said. "You can come with your friend, mother, sister or spouse."
She books up to 15 appointments a week three clients (or duos) per day Monday through Friday and alternate Saturdays and Sundays. She is at each of the four stores one day a week.
The information sheets filled out ahead of time, Dustin said, "help to paint a picture in my head while I'm on the sales floor."
"I had lost weight and wanted to get things that fit," Stadther said. "My friend was newly pregnant and was looking at clothes to grow into. It was perfect for both of us. We had a lot of fun; we giggled a lot, and between the two of us we bought $320 worth of clothes."
Katie Nike Sneakers Images
Persons interested in the service are asked to book an appointment online or on the in store computer, and then to complete a client image profile describing themselves and what they want their image to say, what they would like to change and information about their sizes and preferences for color and style.
Since August 2011, Michelle Dustin, a personal shopper and thrift stylist, has been scheduling free, 75 minute appointments for anyone who would like help in choosing clothing at the store.
By Sue Webber SUN NEWSPAPERS
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her passion into a career.
"There's no pressure to buy," she said. "You only leave with what you love."
Dustin said she'd always frequented thrift shops for her own clothing. She began working as a cashier in the New Hope Arc store while she was a student at Maple Grove Senior High School.
Arc offering free personal shopper service
She has done personal shopping for men, as well, Dustin said. She's had three appointments with a married couple from Golden Valley.
on her own and went home and put on a fashion show for her hubby," Dustin said. "Then they both came back for a second visit and they have another one scheduled. He is just as impressed as she is."
"People always complimented me on what I wore," Dustin said. "It is rare to find me shopping for clothing or accessories outside of a thrift store. That got me to thinking.
At the end of the 75 minute appointment, she said, many clients are able to leave the store with a whole new wardrobe.
Stadther of Golden Valley and her friend, Stacey Nelson, took advantage of the service in October 2011.
"I approached Arc and they were interested and open to offering a personal shopper service. They were already familiar with me, so they trusted me to run with this."
Now she's been able to turn Nike Shoes Red White And Blue
"The service fits a wide array of needs," Dustin said. "You may be starting a new job, or going to a job interview. Some people have lost weight or are gaining weight, but Nike Sneakers For Ladies 2017 don't want to spend a lot of money to restock their entire wardrobe."
Ahead of each appointment, Dustin spends 90 minutes shopping the store for the customer, selecting items she believes might fit their needs.
Michelle Dustin (left) first helped Katie Stadther of Golden Valley (right) choose clothing in October 2011 at the Arc Value Village Thrift Store in New Hope. The two have had several clothes shopping appointments since then. (Photo by Sue Webber Sun Newspapers)
By the time the customer arrives, Dustin has filled a 5 foot rack with dresses, pants, tops and shirts, reserved a fitting room and is on hand to offer help and feedback as needed or suggestions on putting together outfits. She might also select shoes and purses, if requested.
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