"Do you want to go to Goodwill?" I pulled my head up from the pillow of my twin bed that I had covered in tears and looked up at my mom. "Yes," I sniffled, as I wiped at my eyes. I was a sophomore in high school and had blown my concert choir audition and wouldn't be joining the choir the following year, which was devastating to me for two reasons. First, I LIVED for music and it was a huge blow to both my spirit and my ego that I wouldn't be joining the best choir at the school. Second, this was the year they were going on a big trip to New York City, something they only did every two years, so even if I made the choir next year, my chance to go to the Big Apple was gone. Cue all of the dramatic teenage tears and my subsequently my first introduction to retail therapy.
I know what you're thinking, "Goodwill?" but I loved, and still love thrift shopping and I still remember the hot pink and bright orange '80s pumps that put a smile on my face and made me forget how upset I was about not seeing my name on that choir list. Maybe thrift shops and neon shoes aren't your thing, but chances are, there is a place you run to, credit card in hand, ready to swipe away your pain, or frustration, or unhappiness when it feels like nothing will make you smile again. Don't even get me started on how many ill-advised online purchases I've made, my heart getting a little lighter with each click until I see that, "Congrats! Your order has been submitted and will arrive in 3 to 5 business days!" Can I get an "Amen!"?
We joke about it all the time; we laughed at how endearing Isla Fischer was as she portrayed an out of control "shopaholic" in Confessions of a Shopaholic. We repost memes that say, "Retail therapy should be covered by insurance" with an added "YAAASSS!", but if you've ever found yourself with an overdraft fee from your bank or 42 pairs of Target Dollar Spot socks, you know what it's like when retail therapy is no longer a helpful form of self-care.
So often we try to fill voids in our lives with "things". We celebrate getting "good deals" and point out how much we saved on an item that was completely unnecessary to our lives but gave us that fleeting moment of happiness we were after. But let me tell you something that I know from personal experience, the 42 pairs of Valentine's Day-themed socks that you bought mid-March because they were "such a steal!" at 30 cents apiece, those socks aren't going to fill that void you're trying to fill.
Now, what kind of boutique manager would I be if I told you to give up retail therapy altogether? A terrible one! And my personal belief is that retail therapy CAN be beneficial. Those neon pumps? I rocked those on dress down days the next two years of high school and I still remember them 15 years later. That happiness wasn't fleeting, it was healing because they were something that I truly loved and made me feel more like myself than I did bawling on my bed.
Maybe you dread trying on clothes because of your multiple insecurities about your body, we all have them. Maybe you just had a baby and don't recognize your body, or lost a baby and don't recognize who you are anymore. Maybe you're battling cancer or have beat an eating disorder and don't recognize your new body. We want to help you celebrate you and your body at whatever stage of life you're in.
So here's an invitation to let me (or any of our awesome gals here at Chelsea's) be your personal retail therapist. I'm not saying we're going to fix all of your problems (I'm a huge proponent of actual therapy) but we're here with a listening ear and suggestions to fit your unique body shape and style. Stop in any time or sign yourself up for a personal styling session because you deserve two hours to spend on just YOU. Beautiful you. We may just help you find a pair of shoes you'll still be smiling about a decade and a half later.