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Goodwill 2.0: Get Hip or Die Trying

The Goodwills of Washington, D.C., were bordering on bankruptcy until they embraced the Internet and re-invented themselves as fashion tastemakers.

Pairing powerful name recognition and thrift-store hipness, they've seen sales surge and a new online market emerge. The stores have hired Em Hall, a stylish 20-something blogger who posts about trendy Goodwill bargains in an effort to draw people to their stores. They've also redoubled efforts to get people to understand what the core mission of Goodwill is...here's a hint: It's not about their stores.

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Hey, Rach... Since you're from Idaho, the DI -- which Napoleon Dynamite frequents -- probably came to your mind while doing this story.

By the way, great story Rachel and Win!

Sent by Steve Petersen | 11:59 AM | 12-21-2007

i thought goodwill was originally set up for folks who could not afford the regular stores...and not the middle class or off beat designers looking for something of nuanced interest...so i guess as all things do, this noble idea is changing and transforming for the benefit of the have mores...!?

Sent by jan | 7:28 PM | 12-21-2007

Well Jan, it's a good thing then, that Rachel and Win did this piece because, as reported, Goodwill is about providing training for jobs. The store is a way to make the money to fund the training.

Sent by Charlie | 7:05 AM | 12-22-2007

hey steve - yeah the DI (Desert Industries for those of you not from the Intermountain West) definitely came to mind. we had that or Salvation Army to choose from. The Idaho Falls Salvation Army had better t-shirts. Glad you liked the story!

Sent by Rachel | 9:24 AM | 12-24-2007

I'm what friends and family call "picky" with my taste in fashion. I just see it as knowing what I like (and don't like) on how I choose to express myself. But they saw another side of me day after this past thanksgiving. Until then I've never shopped at Goodwill. I've dropped off clothes at their centers but never took time to look at what they had to offer.

Well, on that Friday spending time with a couple of my family members, my great aunt said she needed to check out Goodwill as we walked around the strip mall. I was pleasantly surprised of what I saw in there. I ended up buying two scarfs and one knit hat for a total of $12; the hat has become a favorite with its vintage look. Once, I paired an "INC" trench coat with the hat and one of the scarves I got from Goodwill last month. I got various compliments.

Sent by Moji | 3:18 PM | 12-26-2007

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