While putting our chic geek skills to the test at WordCamp Phx last weekend, Jennifer and I had the good fortune of meeting fellow Phoenician Kelsey Wong, who was finalizing the details for her first Clothing Swap Co-OPhx. She explained to us the simple but pretty brilliant concept: each swapper brings a bag of swag (clothing, shoes, accessories) to share and leaves with a bag of entirely new (to them) swag. Anything not swapped would be donated to a local charity.
Kelsey’s hope was that the event would celebrate the power of personal style and give swappers the opportunity to revitalize their wardrobes with items once loved by others. And unlike at a secondhand or resale store, the Clothing Swap Co-OPhx would connect shoppers to fellow fashion-lovers, local artists and creative types showcasing their wares. As the event grows, she said, she envisions an event that celebrates the thriving creative community that truly does exist in Phoenix.
Jennifer and I were excited to attend the first Swap, in our first issue official public outing as Style Tutors. Kelsey hosted the event at her home, an adorable place in central Phoenix, along with her roommate Jake and friend Sydney. A cheery band of volunteers and a small but enthusiastic crowd of swappers got the afternoon started with a champagne toast, and then it was time to shop! Carbon Magazine, a local independent fashion magazine, sponsored the event and gave away some cool metallic hair cuffs to attendees. Local photographers and jewelry makers Jordan Degnan and Kristalyn Digioia took photos of the event. Jake’s artwork was displayed around the house — I look forward to working with him to add some color to my empty walls; he had some really great stuff.
Admittedly, Jennifer and I were at least 10 years older than the rest of the crowd, but we both still walked away with a couple of adorable swapped items. I am especially over the moon about a fun navy giraffe-print skirt I picked up. I can’t wait to wear it with a striped top for a little pattern mixing. And we definitely enjoyed fielding some Style Tutor questions and helping steer some swappers in the direction of a few must-have items. Most importantly, we donated our services to one lucky swapper who will be receiving a free closet restyling. We’ll be spending time with the winner in her closet, as we identify the marquee pieces of her wardrobe and reorganize the space to make the most of the items already in there. Of course we’ll be posting the outcome of the closet visit soon.
I was impressed with the event. It was inspiring to meet a group of creative young Phoenicians with varied talents, from artists to journalists to photographers to jewelry makers to shoppers, all coming together to help support an effort to make their city feel a little more like other urban metropolises. Kelsey is a delightfully passionate and intelligent young woman who believes in her idea; I think as the word gets out, future Clothing Swap Co-OPhx events will be packed with people. I know I’m looking forward to going back to score some more swapped goodies.