In Seattle, a personal shopper and stylist who only shops at thrift stores

Jan 10, 2019, 3:29 PM
Kelly Herzberg in her natural habitat. (Photo by Rachel Belle)
(Photo by Rachel Belle)

Until last May, Kelly Herzberg worked at Seattle Children’s Hospital.

“I was a psychometrist. I did IQ testing for kids who were doing through the diagnostic process for autism.”

Herzberg’s coworkers would often compliment her on her style.

“When people would ask to shop with me I’d say, ‘I prefer shopping at Goodwill.’ So we’d go through their closet and sort through their clothes, we’d make different outfits together and then I’d write some thing down like, ‘If you had a pair of black jeans, I think this could work better for you.’ or ‘What if you had a pair of black booties? I think you’d get more out of your wardrobe.’ So we would shop together and I’d pull some things. But eventually, it kind of caught on at work, like wildfire. And I realized: there’s a niche for this!”

So Herzberg started Sweet Kelly Anne Styling, her personal stylist business. But she exclusively shops for her clients at thrift stores.

Herzberg gave me a mini session so I could understand how it works. First, we emailed back and forth and I answered her questions. I described my style, what I was looking for, what my budget was and I sent a few photos of outfits I already own that I love.

“I really don’t have to meet somebody in order to get a sense for their style,” said Herzberg. “I do it sort of intuitively.”

Herzberg goes to a thrift store and spends about an hour pulling clothes into a shopping cart. Then the client will meet her there to try things on.

“Usually it takes about three hours to try on. A lot of that is the styling pieces of that. Somebody is pulling on a pair of pants and then we’re changing out shirts. You can wear this! Or lets try on a jacket or lets add a scarf or what about this pair of shoes? Even if people aren’t interested in buying shoes or buying hats at Goodwill, it’s still nice to see completed outfits. That’s what I try and give people, this idea of completed outfits.”

Herzberg makes personal styling affordable. There’s also the environmental element of reusing clothing and not succumbing to fast fashion. And if you’re someone who gets overwhelmed pawing through the racks at thrift stores, Herzberg’s love for finding treasures is insatiable.

“Usually, at the end of each session I’ll go and thrift myself. So I have so many clothes! Now I feel like I need to stop buying at thrift stores,” she laughs.

Having someone else pick out your clothes is an interesting experience. There were many items that Herzberg chose for me that I would have never selected for myself. But once I tried them on and she cuffed the jeans and paired the shoes with the right top, I liked how I looked in these new styles.

“Typically, at the end of it all, my clients spend anywhere from $250 to $350. It’s about $10 an item so you’re getting anywhere from 25 to 35 pieces of clothing. It’s quite a lot. It’s a really nice way to experiment with new styles that you might not be comfortable with. Like a pair of wide legged crop pants or a crop top and high waisted pants. When you spend $8 to $12 an item it’s a lot easier to swallow that.”

After trying on a shopping cart full of tops, dresses, jackets and shoes, I was ready to check out.

“Ok, so you got two pairs of shoes, one hat, one coat, three shirts, one pair of pants,” Herzberg tallied. “The number of items totals eight and you paid $64.87 cents. Eight dollars an item?”

The next day, Herzberg sends an email with price comparisons, showing what the items you bought would have cost if you bought them new. The Steve by Searle coat puffy jacket I bought for $12.50 at Goodwill sold for $450 brand new. And the Banana Republic jeans I bought for $8 are on sale online for $88. She also sends photos of you in the outfits, so you can look back and see how she paired things.

Herzberg charges $50 an hour for her services. You can connect with her at Sweet Kelly Anne Styling.

  • listen to rachel belleTune in to KIRO Radio on weekdays to hear Rachel Belle.
Who is Rachel Belle?

Your Last Meal

Ron and Don

KIRO Radio Newsdesk

Ron and Don’s last show on KIRO Radio

Last night was Ron and Don’s last show on KIRO Radio.
3 years ago
Viaduct waterfront...
Ron Upshaw

What do we do with the waterfront after the viaduct is gone?

After the viaduct is taken down, we'll be left with a choice: What do we do with one of the most beautiful waterfronts in the country?
3 years ago
Ron Upshaw

Shower Thoughts: Ichiro can give Mariners fans something to root for

Rumor has it that Ichiro might make a comeback next year, and I for one welcome it.
3 years ago
Border wall...
Ron Upshaw

Trying to figure out why people want Trump’s border wall

A little over 40 percent of Americans now support the idea of a border wall, but what is it about it that seems so attractive?
3 years ago
Dan McCartney, Pierce County Sheriff...
Don O'Neill

Why you could hear kids’ voices on Pierce County Sheriff radios Monday night

Sometimes, "gone but not forgotten" isn't always how slain officers are remembered. But in Pierce County, a special effort is being made to commemorate a fallen deputy.
3 years ago
Ron meets his birth father...
Ron Upshaw

A first-time meeting with my father 50 years in the making

I want to tell you a true story today almost 50 years in the making, as I meet my birth father for the first time ever over the holidays.
3 years ago

Sponsored Articles


Medicare open enrollment for 2022 starts Oct. 15 and SHIBA can help!

Washington State Office of the Insurance Commissioner SPONSORED — Medicare’s Open Enrollment Period, also called the Annual Election Period, is Oct. 15 to Dec. 7. During this time, people enrolled in Medicare can: Switch from Original Medicare to a Medicare Advantage plan and vice versa. Join, drop or switch a Part D prescription drug plan, […]

How to Have a Stress-Free Real Estate Experience

The real estate industry has adapted and sellers are taking full advantage of new real estate models. One of which is Every Door Real Estate.
IQ Air

How Poor Air Quality Is Affecting Our Future Athletes

You cannot control your child’s breathing environment 100% of the time, but you can make a huge impact.
Swedish Health Services

Special Coverage: National Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

There are a wide variety of treatment options available for men with prostate cancer. The most technologically advanced treatment option in the Northwest is Stereotactic Body Radiation Therapy using the CyberKnife platform.
Marysville Police Department

Police Opportunities in a Growing, Supportive Washington Community

Marysville PD is looking for both lateral and entry level officers. Begin or continue your career in law enforcement for a growing, supportive community.

Small, Minority-Owned Businesses in King County and Pierce County Can Now Apply For $10,000 Relief Grants Through Comcast RISE

Businesses in King County and Pierce County can apply beginning on October 1, 2021, at for a chance to receive a $10,000 relief grant.
In Seattle, a personal shopper and stylist who only shops at thrift stores