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Seattle stylist finds her ‘best self’ helping others shop

Kelly Herzberg stands with her client, Jamie, at the Shoreline Goodwill. Herzberg helped her find more than $100-worth of clothing to update her wardrobe. (Colleen O'Brien/KIRO Radio)

If in this nice spring weather you find yourself wanting to update your “look” but can’t bear the thought of spending hundreds of dollars to do it then let a thrifty Seattle stylist work her magic.

Kelly Herzberg is the type of woman that gets excited about $5.99 pants.

“I actually found a pair of Ferragamo shoes. They’re $450 shoes at Goodwill for $12.99. I was so excited that day,” Herzberg said with a squeal.

Finding designer diamonds in the rough is a talent few have. But Herzberg has it and considers style thrifting her passion job. Her day job is much different.

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“My day job is at Seattle Children’s Autism Center. I do Psychometry, which means I do cognitive testing for kids who are going through a diagnosis of being evaluated for Autism,” Herzberg said.

She loves her work at the autism center but feeds her creative side at local thrift stores. A recent client, Jamie, met her at the Shoreline Goodwill. Jamie isn’t exactly a shopping enthusiast – so, she’s the perfect client.

“I’m someone who gets overwhelmed easily. So, I like to go into a store where there’s ten of this and ten of that and I can just pull a few things and be done with it,” Jamie said.

The hunt for Jamie began with pants.

“The pulling [of the clothes] is probably the quickest part,” Herzberg said. “Probably about 20 minutes. The trying on is the longest, probably about two to four hours.”

She has her clients dress in tight black yoga pants or shorts and a tight black tank top so that they can stand anywhere to try on clothes. That helps speed up the process.

Herzberg estimates thrift store shopping will run you an average of $130. You’ll walk away with 18 items, which is enough to overhaul your wardrobe. Kelly charges $25 an hour to work her styling magic.

However, she considers herself more than just a stylist. She’s not here to try and force the latest styles on everybody. She’s as much a stylist as she is a confidence coach.

“I look at someone and see beauty. I really think that everyone is so beautiful and so I think I couldn’t do this without that basic, underlying value. I seek to help people understand that, to understand their bodies and hopefully that gives them power,” Herzberg said.

Jamie ended up with 25 clothing items for $178 – an average of $7 per item. Kelly says you can’t put a dollar amount on what she gets out of afternoons like this.

“My husband says, every time I come home from a shopping trip with a client, he says ‘you are always your best self.’ And it’s true I feel like my best self. Like it’s truly a passion of mine to see people feel so good afterward. I seek to really spread self-love through this process. That’s really sort of my bottom line,” Herzberg said.

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