Giving my own closet some loving!

Many of my clients have said to me over the years, "I'd love to see your closet. I bet it's amazing!" In my seven years of business, I've never exposed the depths of my closet/wardrobe. In Houston, I'm fortunate enough to have two walk-in closets. (To my New Yorkers, I promise I'm not bragging.) Photographed below is one of my closets, in which I store my fall/winter pieces and (all) my shoes.

Recently I noticed this closet was rapidly being taken over by over 200 items I am currently selling on Poshmark. It was getting a bit out of hand, to say the least. So what did I do? I gave myself a Closet Organization session. About two and a half hours later I felt refreshed and rejuvenated by the transformation that occurred before my eyes. I believe physical clutter is tied to mental clutter and let me tell you, it felt great to eliminate that! It even inspired me to tackle one room at a time throughout my home with the same approach. Nearly two weeks later and my home has never looked better!

The first two pictures below are the "before." (Like my wedding dress hanging in the middle of everything? it's for sale, if you're interested!) Notice that there's not much rhyme or reason as to how things are stored. Things are just stuffed in (as some of you may be able to relate to). Keep clicking for the "after." I purchased clear shoe boxes from Bed Bath & Beyond for every pair of shoes I owned without a box. This already helped it to feel more organized. i like storing my shoes in their original box, but if it's hard to tell what is inside each box i recommend switching over to clear boxes for all your shoes.

not only did I barely get rid of anything, but by simply reorganizing I was able to clear up space on the floor and even added three piles of clothes into the closet (seen on the top shelf in the last photo) that were not inside previously. I can now find and get to things more easily. Therefore, the guest closet can now actually be used for guests. (I imagine my family will be thankful for this when they visit.)

Moral of the story: If you're looking to simplify and/or organize your wardrobe contact Shop With Val to set up a consultation. I'll do all the work and you'll be left with a clean, organized closet that will make getting dressed in the morning easier. Promise.

P.S. You can shop my closet on Poshmark by following me at ShopWithValerie. #ItPaysToShopWithVal

Shop With Val offers complimentary styling in River Oaks!

I recently had the opportunity to host my first shopping and styling event in Houston. Lucky for me it was at one of my favorite stores, Theory. There are few brands I can say I have had such great success with over the years with both my male and female clients; a brand that stands for quality, versatility and timeless fashion with just the right amount of edge and attention to detail. 

In case you missed it, Shop With Val offered complimentary styling the evening of January 25 at Theory in the River Oaks District in Houston. Guests enjoyed bubbly while shopping the brand's new spring collection, plus all guests received 20% off their purchase. One lucky guest even won a two-hour shopping session with Shop With Val! Below are highlights from the event (click to scroll through the photos). Special thank you to Courtney and the team at Theory for their assistance in preparing for the event and also throughout the night.

 

Shop With Val featured in Houstonia Magazine!

As Abby Ledoux, the Lifestyle Editor of Houstonia Magazine put it,

"This Personal Shopper Specializes in Fitting Room Epiphanies.

In Houston and NYC, Shop With Val takes the legwork out of looking good."

I couldn't agree more! As many of you know I have been working hard to build my business in Houston over the past 18 months. It's never easy starting over in a new city, but I have met some wonderful people along the way and have enjoyed the journey thus far. I am honored and privileged to have the opportunity to share a piece of my story so that Houstonians can discover the services of Shop With Val.

To quote the article, 

As one might expect, a Shop With Val session takes all the legwork out of shopping—clients arrive at the fitting room to find all the pieces for full outfits pre-selected in their sizes, and sometimes specially discounted for Halfon.

Beyond personal shopping, Halfon also offers closet consultations (think a much kinder Kanye), style workshops, shopping city tours, and more. Going away? She’ll even style your vacation ensembles, photograph them for your personal look book, and pack your bags for you.

Read the full story HERE and share with anyone you know that needs some wardrobe or styling assistance! Earn a $50 credit good towards any service for each client referred that books an appointment. Special thank you to Abby and Houstonia for spreading the love ...

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Arthursday's with Shop With Val

A big thank you to Arthur for including me in their Arthursdays series as this week's featured stylist. Arthur is a platform I started using this year which allows me to provide virtual styling assistance anytime anywhere. After relocating to Houston from NYC last year it was important to me that my clients knew that I was always there to assist them. Shop With Val currently has clients in over 15 states, and nearly two dozen countries. Whether you choose to use Arthur in between appointments, or you're not local to the NYC or Houston area, Shop With Val can send virtual look-books your way. With the click of a button, you can easily purchase any of the items I have suggested for you, along with personal notes I've included on how to style the looks. 

I've put together a lookbook of Fall Essentials with 10 of my top looks for the season. Check them out HERE! To learn more about how you can work with Shop With Val anywhere, anytime email me for more information on how to get started!

Click HERE to read my full interview with Arthur. #ItPaysToShopWithVal #JoinArthur

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Shop With Val on air in Germany!

Today I received a request from a client in Germany. When asked how she heard about Shop With Val I was pretty amazed. She was listening to a podcast interview about "www.Outfittery.de" where the founder said I was her inspiration when she was in NYC a few years ago. I had worked with her male friend, who had such a great experience with me. How cool is that? After visiting their website I found this note below on how they got started. (Hint: the personal shopper they mention is me!) Outfittery is now a wildly successful company providing personal shopping services for men throughout Europe. Thank you Outfittery for the honorable mention. I am so happy to know the scope of my work truly affects people worldwide. #ItPaysToShopWithVal

If you understand German feel free to listen to the podcast HERE. Genießen! (Enjoy!)

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5 Things I Learned From My Wedding Dress Fitting

1) I need to tan my back.

2) All those classes at the Bar Method Houston are really paying off!

3) Wedding dresses have NO GIVE. How's a girl supposed to drink and chow down when she can barely sit in her dress?!

4) Bring your #GirlSquad. They'll be able to see things you wouldn't notice and ask helpful questions (i.e. details on back, how it looks while you're moving, etc.)

5) It's not official until the veil is placed on your head. (Cue waterworks.) I was going through the motions, feeling like I was simply playing dress up the whole time. The moment the veil was placed on my head it felt real.  What an incredibly emotional, overwhelming, surreal moment.

T-57 days!

Shop With Val in the Long Island Pulse!

So excited to announce that I'm featured in the May issue of Long Island Pulse magazine. The article is titled "Live Luxuriously" and discusses ways you can step up your game within your home, wardrobe and even vacations. You can pick up a copy at various locations throughout the island by clicking HERE. Enjoy the read, and don't forget to contact Shop With Val for all your wardrobe and styling needs!

My top tips for spring cleaning live on Julie Lauren's blog!

With spring just a week away it's time to start thinking about cleaning out your closet and preparing for the warm weather. My friend, Julie Weinstein, a talented writer and blogger based in Houston, contacted me to offer some of my top tips for spring cleaning on her blog, Julie Lauren. Julie got to experience a Closet Consultation first-hand reaping all the benefits my clients do - cleaning out their closet, ridding of outdated, ill-fitting pieces, finding a good home for all the items they part with, and organizing the contents of their wardrobe. This experience (which typically takes about three hours depending on the size of your wardrobe) is meant to make you feel excited about "shopping your wardrobe" before you even purchase anything.

A clean closet offers peace of mind and makes getting dressed everyday a more enjoyable experience. I hope to be able to share this gift with you. Contact me at val@shopwithval.com or call (347) SHOP787 to schedule a Closet Consultation or spring shopping session. It's a game changer. Just ask Julie. :-)

6 OF THE BEST TIPS FOR SPRING CLEANING AND ORGANIZING YOUR CLOSET

Jia Collection: reversible women's wear!

Over the last six years as a personal shopper, some of the challenges I noticed that women are facing in their daily routine are that more women are going to multiple functions each day, juggling many tasks at work and home, or traveling more frequently for work or leisure. Looking good without having to own or travel with a lot of clothing isn't always easy. In addition, with an overwhelming amount of choices and a closet that is likely already full, many women still seem to struggle to find the right things to wear that make them feel good.

A few months ago I stumbled upon Jia Collection in NYC, a compilation of pieces (both separates and dresses) that could be worn reversible -- some pieces even had 3 or 4 ways to wear them. Talk about versatile fashion for women on the go! I was instantly intrigued.  

Designer, Jia Li, is all about helping people through functional designs, productivity and efficiency. Her innovative designs have been featured in Forbes, InStyle, O, Elle, Lucky, and Travel+Leisure. It's time I pass this gem of a collection on to you. Use my referral code to receive 20% off your first purchase and code "shopwithval" thereafter, to receive 15% off future purchases. It's a win win deal. Happy hunting!

#ItPaysToShopWithVal

Get paid for cleaning your closet!

Whether you're left with a number of bags filled with things to get rid of following your Closet Consultation or you simply want to make some cash selling fashion and beauty related items you no longer use, then you should definitely sign up for Poshmark. After recently joining, I have already sold a number of items and I'll admit, I'm addicted. Sign up with code GSRGU to get $5 off your first order! Don't forget to check out my closet to see what I'm currently selling!

Sell your designer handbags!

I’m thrilled to announce my partnership with Rebagg, a company that purchases pre-owned designer handbags. The benefits of selling with them are that they generate upfront price quotes, purchase bags outright (no consignment hassles), pay via check or bank transfer in 2-3 business days and you can get paid for cleaning your closet! They even offer free pick up and shipping. Please contact me if you have a bag you would like to sell! 

Shop With Val at Theory March 16!

Theory and Shop With Val are pleased to present

an invite only VIP shopping event for you and a guest.

Enjoy champagne & hors d'oeuvres

with complimentary styling by NYC stylist, Valerie Halfon

All guests will receive 20% off their purchase

Thursday, March 16, 2017 from 6-9pm
Theory's new SoHo Flagship
47 Greene Street New York, NY 10013

Please RSVP to val@shopwithval.com

Purchases of $250+ qualify for a chance to win

a two hour personal shopping session with Valerie

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My favorite handbag

As I get older, I have learned the importance of a good handbag. In an ideal world I would be walking around with a Chanel on my arm for every occasion, but I'm still working on that one. Even if you're not ready for THAT kind of investment every woman should realize that a good handbag can make you feel more powerful and confident (in addition to more organized)! Stacia Friedman of NYCityWoman just published, A Bag For All Seasons, where she dives into what makes a great bag. Click the link to learn more about my favorite and how you can score yourself a designer handbag without breaking the bank! #Amen

Shop With Val is on Poshmark!

Although I've known about Poshmark for some time I finally decided to put it to the test. I joined just a week ago and am already addicted. If you're a fan of eBay, Poshmark is a bit more refined for the fashion forward. Check out some of the gems I'm selling by visiting  https://poshmark.com/closet/shopwithvalerie - Happy hunting!

Common Shopping Mistakes

Just recently I contributed to an article for Refinery 29 on common shopping mistakes. As a personal shopper, I see firsthand the do's and don't's my clients have made before we started working together. My goal is always to not only help them improve their wardrobe, but also to become a smarter shopper. Check out some of my top tips (slides 1, 5, 12, 20 and 26) to learn more. Happy hunting!

Not just another run to Target

You can say what you want, but upon moving to Houston, one of the things I was most excited about was having a Target just minutes away. Yes, Target, said the NYC personal stylist... because I like to think that when you have good style you can find gems anywhere. Growing up in Brooklyn I never shopped at Target, never cared to. (I clearly didn't know any better.) Then, I moved to Florida, and as a college student shopping on a budget, I quickly realized that Target was my best friend - from clothes, to shoes, to accessories (and oh, the swimwear!) I found myself scoring incredible deals on a regular basis. I'll be the first to admit it. I was a Target junkie. Fast forward four years when I moved back to NYC, where I had any shop or designer imaginable at my finger tips. Yet, somehow, I found myself missing Target. (Seems crazy, I know.) Sure there are a few locations sprinkled throughout the boroughs, but none that were conveniently located plus the selection and service truly is not the same.

Anyway, since moving to TX this past August I have made three successful runs to Target (one may have been at 10 o'clock at night with my BFF when she came to visit from NYC. Yes, a Target run was most definitely on our "to do" list!) Each time I have walked out with what are now some of my favorite pieces in my closet like this cold shoulder maxi dress and this embroidered midi dress. It's hard to find an item priced more than $30, and yet, I've gotten compliments already on every piece! So just the other day I returned (excited like a little kid the night before their birthday) and as I browsed, I started tossing a number of pieces into my cart that I was interested in. 19 items later I found myself in the fitting room. Only this time, the unthinkable happened. 

I was trying on a pleated midi skirt (which ironically enough I can't find on Target's website). I pulled it on, zipped it up and I decided I was going to pass. I went to unzip the skirt and the zipper would not budge. I tried a few more times and was getting nowhere. I called the fitting room attendant over to ask for assistance. She tried and tried. The zipper wasn't moving. Now I know what you're thinking. "She must've squeezed into a size too small." That wasn't the case here though! I had plenty of room, promise. It was a #BadZipper! She turned to me and said, "I have to get permission from my supervisor before we cut you out of this." At that moment, I knew I had a solid story to share. A few minutes later, as I patiently stood half naked in the fitting room, her boss comes over first to see if she can work her magic on the zipper. After having no luck with it she returned with a pair of scissors and started cutting along the seam. I freed myself from the skirt (took a photo of it for the evidence) and thankfully was not forced to purchase the damaged goods. 

People often ask me what is craziest thing that has ever happened when working with a client. The truth is there are not many instances that come to mind. I may have been by myself this time, but it sure makes for one hell of a story. Happy bargain hunting!

From the airport to the runway in under an hour.

Two weeks ago marked the closing night of the first annual Fashion x Houston. As soon as I heard about it I knew I had to go. It sounded like THE fashion event of the year in Houston, showcasing independent and emerging designers, including a gallery of pop up shops hosted by jewelry and accessories designer. (Sold!) There was one problem. I was flying back from NYC that evening, and the odds seemed impossible getting there on time. However, I was determined to make it work (even if I had to roll in with luggage). Here's what happened...

My flight was scheduled to land at 5:30 at Hobby. Registration for the event was from 6-7 and it had been made clear that guests would not be permitted in after 7 (so I told myself  7 was doable). Forget all the elements that were against me: possible flight delays, rush hour traffic and where/when/how would I get ready for such a big fashion event -- at the airport? Well, yes. That's exactly where I planned to glam up. 

With a crazy two weeks of work behind me, I had no time to find something fab for myself to wear! Luckily, I shop well under pressure (as all good personal shoppers should). With about an hour to spare the night before the event I made a quick run to a department store in NYC and skimmed through four floors to ensure I didn't miss a thing before heading to the fitting room. I walked in with four dresses feeling really confident and walked out with two - two very different style dresses, as I was unsure of what the dress code was going to be for such a big fashion event as this. So I decided on keeping my options open. Later that evening I sent photos of myself in each of the dresses to a few friends to get some opinions and it was instantly clear which one was the winner. So I packed it in my carry on (rolled up, of course, so that it'll come out wrinkle free) along with a pair of nude pumps (I don't travel without them) and my cosmetic bag. This was going to happen.

By the grace of G-d my flight somehow landed 30 minutes early. I called my fiancee to let him know of my early arrival and to get his butt over to me quickly! Upon exiting the plane, I immediately parked myself at the first ladies room I saw at the airport terminal and so the transformation began. From a maxi dress, denim jacket, fedora and ballet flats the bathroom attendant watched a caterpillar turn into a butterfly right before her eyes in a matter of minutes. Needless to say, we were best buds by the end of our interaction. "Bye hunnie, have fun tonight! You look beautiful," she said.

My award winning fiancee arrived shortly after with a stack of tupperware filled with a three course meal. (The man doesn't joke around when it comes to food.) He thought I had traveled all glammed up as he couldn't imagine how/when/where I would've gotten ready otherwise. (Girl's got skills.) The forces of nature had alined that evening. There was no traffic and I got to the event at 6pm - one of the first to arrive, with my guest arriving just minutes before me. He dropped me off, took my luggage home and then the night began...

The night was filled with incredible fashion, talented designers and hundreds of fashion forward men and women. The icing on the cake was having the event's Instagram page repost one of my photos from the night. I guess they liked the dress too ;-)

With Brio - Shoes from Italy

Upon my second week in Houston I met a wonderful young woman named Francesca, who is the owner of Brio & Co., a platform for sharing beautiful hand-made Italian shoes, and the story that comes with each pair.  "Brio" is a word of Italian origin, defined as "the quality of being active or spirited." It is another word for "life force." (Gotta love the Italians!) The mission of Brio & Co. is to handpick quality brands not ordinarily found in the shopping scene, visit the manufacturers in their workshops in Italy, learn about their work and bring limited quantities of selected footwear and accessories as true storytellers, preserving the artisan spirit and flair. For Francesca, "It's really about stories, passion & shoes." I couldn't agree more.

Check out some of my top picks below and be sure to use promo code "SHOPWITHVAL" (all caps) at checkout in order to receive 10% off your purchase!

Oh, and if you're wondering what to get me for the holidays this year I'll take one of these insanely adorable coin purses. That's how you make a statement with change!

Shop With Val x New York Life

On October 13 I had the honor and privilege of speaking to over 50 employees of New York Life about the importance of dressing for your best self. In this workshop I covered topics such as transitioning to a business casual environment, how to dress different body types, and even shared some of my favorite shops and designers. The event was a huge success and I hope to have the opportunity to come back and speak to them again down the road. Big thanks to PLC (Peer Leadership Circles) and TWI (The Women's Initiative) for hosting me. A special shoutout to my client, Kari, who was the recipient of the Financial Women's Association's Pacesetters Award, which recognizes women who are emerging leaders within their fields and in their companies. I enjoyed meeting all of you and look forward to connecting in the future!