Ladies, if you shop like it’s your job, you’re about to have a “why didn’t I think of that” moment (or an idea for a new career). Meet Heidy Best, owner of BECLOTHESMINDED, a personal shopping and style consulting service in Chicago. Heidy spends her days helping her clients organize their closets, find and fill “holes” in their wardrobe, and develop their personal style. Yes, she shops for a living. Read on to find out how she got her start, why her service is so in-demand.
YOU’RE A FULL-TIME FASHION CONSULTANT. THAT SOUNDS AWESOME! CAN YOU EXPLAIN YOUR BUSINESS A LITTLE BIT?
No two days are the same that’s for sure. On Monday I could be organizing a client’s closet and taking a client shopping for an upcoming trip. Tuesday I may be doing a TV segment about a current trend and how to make it more relatable to women. The rest of the week I will be pulling looks from local retailers for an upcoming photo shoot. I love that everyday is different and that no matter what I’m doing it involves working directly with my clients.
HOW DID YOU GET INTO YOUR FIELD?
My mom would tell you that I started shopping at a very early age. When I first moved to Chicago I was 19 and was overwhelmed with all of the amazing stores around the city. I would come home most days with a shopping bag and the women living in my building at the time noticed. On more than one occasion someone would say “I wish I had the time to shop.” Eventually I said “give me your credit card” and it just took off from there. I caught myself going into Neiman Marcus a lot and a couple of their executives took notice and offered me a job. What a lot of people don’t realize is that I started at Neiman’s when I was 22 and went to their personal shopping department when I was 23. I was told to not tell my age because my peers were 20 to 40 years older than me and wouldn’t appreciate the new kid on the block. It is a very competitive atmosphere but I was lucky to have some incredibly wonderful women to mentor and guide me during my eight years there.
WHEN DID YOU BRANCH OUT TO START YOUR OWN BUSINESS? WHAT’S IT BEEN LIKE SO FAR?
I have been organizing closets and taking clients shopping for thirteen years but finally took the plunge to do it full time last summer. It’s been amazing! My clients appreciate how much more accessible I am and yet I have a much better work life balance at the same time.
WHY DO YOU THINK THERE’S A NEED FOR WHAT YOU DO?
Some women need guidance in that part of their lives not because they aren’t fashionable but there are so many choices when it comes to getting dressed the process can be overwhelming. I truly believe that if you start your morning in a stressed state it carries with you throughout the rest of the day. Whether I’m putting outfits together or taking a client shopping, I want her to feel like she can do it on her own moving forward. WHAT IS THE BIGGEST PROBLEM MOST OF YOUR CLIENTS HAVE WHEN BUILDING THEIR WARDROBES?
When I meet a new client oftentimes she says she has a ton of clothes but nothing to wear. Sound familiar? A lot of it comes down to knowing what you have in your closet already and identifying any holes that need to be filled, i.e. the right top to go with a skirt. That’s what should be on the “grocery list” to buy first.
WHAT ARE THE KEY PIECES EVERY WOMAN SHOULD HAVE IN HER CLOSET?
Every woman should have a great fitted jacket, a few skinny belts in a variety of colors, and nude shoes. The jacket can be worn over anything and belted at the natural waist for a more finished look. Nude shoes worn with dresses and skirts make everyone’s legs look longer and leaner.
YOU’RE REALLY INTO THE CONCEPT OF “SHOPPING YOUR CLOSET.” WHAT DOES THAT MEAN?
It really starts with having an organized closet. It’s much easier to see what you have and then you can pick one item that you love, maybe it’s a shirt. Now start looking for coordinating pieces in your closet the same you would at the store only it’s free!