Meet Anna! – Guest Blogger.

February 15, 2011

Filed Under: Style


Hi, my name is Anna Gretz, and I have been wearing clothes from Goodwill ever since
I started wearing clothes.

It has not always been easy, but I grew up with a thrifty and creative mom who didn’t
care whether or not I had friends in 6th grade (ha). That said, I am now 24 and working
at a Non-Profit organization in Grand Rapids, and I am so thankful for the skill set given
to me by my mother.

Thanks to her, the outfit pictured above is almost completely hand-made or thrifted. The
coat, scarf, sweater, cords, shoes, and gloves cost a total $20. You just can’t beat that
(well, maybe my mom could.)

Yes, the outfit set me back $20, but it also set me back about 10 hours. Buying second
hand, and making things by hand, are pretty time-consuming. If I would have been waiting
tables for that many hours instead of knitting and searching through clothing racks, I
would have had enough cash to buy it all new. It’s a choice, but it’s a satisfying one. For
now, as I have more time than money, I’m sticking with it. Knitting and thrifting
are pretty marketable skills, and you can also come up with some really unique items
that fit any fashion palate. If you’re really creative (not to mention talented and determined),
you can take it a step further and try your hand at “Upcycling”. This brings me to a very
important introduction:

Presenting (ba-bada!): My good friend and hero, Rachel Roff.

Rachel’s been upcycling since before the term “Upcycling” was invented.
(Upcycling is the process of converting waste materials or useless products into new
materials or products of better quality or a higher environmental value.)

In college, Rachel and I prided ourselves (and frightened our parents) with our vintage
bedsheet dresses and re-sewn t-shirts. Nowadays, Rachel has taken her sewing machine
a bit further, and has her own fashion line currently dubbed “j-fi”. She’s in the process of
re-branding at the moment, but she is re-making some totally original stuff.

Allow me to highlight a few of my favorites:

1. The Sleeping Bag Coat

I am blown away by this idea. Cute, warm, and conveniently lined in flannel. Genius.

2. The Life Jacket Dresses

No, I’m not kidding. Winning the People’s Choice Award at their debut at the UICA in
Grand Rapids, these pieces are truly flambuoyant (pun credit: Patsy deLange).

3. The Historical Wedding Dress

Rachel made her own wedding dress out of both her mom’s wedding dress, and material
from mine! I was honored to be part of Rachel’s completely unique and stylin’ wedding. Oh,
did I not mention she made all of her bridesmaids’ dresses as well? And the flower girl’s?
That must have slipped my mind. Check them out. Really amazing.

Rachel has a lot of other, more recent designs as well. If you want to check them out,
visit (and stay tuned for her new re-branding!)

For all other items featured in this post (or at least items equally unique and low-priced),
Goodwill and Good Luck.

Thanks for reading!
Anna Gretz

Don’t forget to enter the CAROLEE bracelet giveaway!

6 Responses to “Meet Anna! – Guest Blogger.”

  1. anna says:

    Okay, Kayley. But I really liked my title, “Goodwill Hunting”.

  2. Kate says:

    this is so inspiring! awesome. :)

  3. ok. First Allie, then Anna. My friends keep popping up as your guest bloggers! It keeps taking me by surprise in my google reader.

    I’ve been following your blog for a bit and loving it!

    GR love. <3

  4. Kyle says:

    Wow, that wedding dress is unbelievable!

  5. Jorie says:

    Anna, you are adorable.

  6. Kristina Y says:

    Wow! That is interesting! The upcycling. It would take a lot of talent though & ability to use a sewing machine

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