I can’t speak for the men of America but I can certainly speak for all the women when I say…sometimes we just have too much. We have too much stuff, too many clothes, and we can’t wear it all.
Or we run into another common dilemma — we have items in our closet that are just absolutely fabulous but we can’t use them. They’re too big, too tight, don’t work anymore for us or even worse, we made an impulse purchase and the price tag is still hanging on that new dress, top or pair of skinny jeans.
Ladies, y’all know what I’m talking about.
But this dilemma continues when you go to a thrift or vintage shop to attempt to consign your things and they give you 2% what it’s really worth and you know your clothes deserve a better home than somebody’s bargain bin.
So what do you do?
Well, that’s where Lerkia Lee, bridal stylist with MODAGE, comes in to save the day! She was a victim of this same fashion crisis and found a way to help solve the problem. She decided to host a ‘fashion swap.”
Now you may be wondering, what is a fashion swap? Well, it’s when a bunch of girlfriends get together with clothes, shoes, jewelry, anything they can’t use anymore and they swap with each other. It’s like shopping with no lines, no hassles and all your expert fashion advisers all in one place.
The Fashion Revisited Swap
After doing a few swaps with her own gals, Lerkia decided it was time to make this event something for all women to experience.”The price of clothing continues to rise and I have friends who are like ‘I haven’t worn it but I don’t want to give it to a thrift store,'” said Lerkia. And with this in mind, she decided to host the first of many “Fashion Revisited Swaps.” Lerkia just hosted her first swap a couple of weekends ago in Baltimore, MD but her goal is to host a swap every season in a different part of the DMV.
Some might see this as an ambitious task but for Lerkia, it’s more than that. “I feel like it’s something that needs to happen in the area” and she wanted to give women “the opportunity to trade clothing” instead of breaking the bank at the department stores.
And that’s how it all started!
So on a sunny afternoon in March, I drove to a quaint little boutique in downtown Baltimore where I found Lerkia and about twenty some other women enjoying a Saturday afternoon of pampering, girl talk and of course, swapping.
As I walked in music was playing and I was taken aback by the intimate setting. When I talked with Lerkia prior to the event, she said she didn’t want a lot of people there, just enough that you could meet someone different but you won’t be overwhelmed. And as a newbie to the city, I appreciated the small setting because I was able to meet and talk with everyone there and it wasn’t a hectic scene but a calm, relaxing environment.
All the shoes that were brought in for swapping!
Scentsy scents from Jen Herzberger, one of the vendors at the event.
And other women at the event also agreed. “Lerkia is a good friend of mine,” said Aniya Dunkely. “So I’ve been watching her as she’s been building [the event] and I love what has finally come together; the final product is amazing!”
But the event was more than just a bunch of women bringing their clothes and swapping them, it was a chance to support other women who were in the fashion business. “Not only do you have the swap but you also have other vendors — beauty, health, you know jewelry as well,” said Samara Mendoza, owner of Sugarplum Gallery Jewelry. Once the attendees finished swapping their clothes and grabbing some new threads, they could also add to their new look by getting a new bracelet or some fresh lip gloss.
Stella & Dot Jewelry.
Vendor, Samara Mendoza, talking with one of the attendees at the event.
Products by SOUL Purpose — they gave us some fabulous hand massages!
Ageli Grant, an independent stylist with Stella & Dot jewelry, said she really enjoyed the company of all the women. “I was just sitting down talking with them,” she said. “I really only know Lerkia so everyone else here I’m just meeting them and getting to know them so having a good time…not a bad way to spend a Saturday!”
The afternoon concluded with a fun and carefree fashion show where all the women who wanted to put on their new clothes or shoes and worked the catwalk! As a former model in college, I couldn’t help myself and I had to take a quick stroll down the runway too! And it was fun, funky and hilarious to see all of us “Vogue-ing,” showing off our new clothes and cheering each other on.
Danielle Lewis is a makeup artist and she was giving us tips for good lip colors that worked well with our skin complexion.
And as I was getting my things together to leave, I stopped to notice all the women. They were walking away with new clothes, new shoes, new accessories and new connections. It was such a nice moment.
One of the fashion ambassadors at the event, Afdeiwa Hayford, said this her first swap but she enjoyed it so much that she would definitely attend another. “We have things in our closet that we’ve worn once or twice or maybe never and they’re just sitting there,” she said. Afdeiwa also mentioned that it was good feeling to know that her old or barely used clothes found a new home with another woman.
Afdeiwa scored this cute new dress at the swap — bright color and a cute fit!
I also caught up with Lerkia before I left and she was just beaming — you could that she was very pleased with her first major swap. “Everything was perfect and I wouldn’t change anything! Just blessed it didn’t rain,” she exclaimed with a smile.
Please note the lack of shoes that are now there after the swapping. Yeah, the shoes went quickly!
So there you have it — my reflection of my first fashion swap and I honestly can’t wait for the next one. BUT next time, I’m bringing some stuff to swap because they are quite a few things in my closet that could use a new home.
And you would like to attend a fashion swap? Well, Lerkia said this first one was a success and her next one will be in July and in Washington, DC. So calling all DC fashionistas, start looking for items you may want to swap because July will be here before you know it!
Until next time,
Lerkia Lee, the mastermind behind this whole event and me! Don’t we look fashionable!
Special Thanks to all the vendors who participated in the Fashion Revisited Swap. Please check out their sites and support these women who are doing great things in the fashion, health and beauty businesses.