Boise might not be known as a style Mecca, but Heather Schwabe still believes we can by stylish. Through her business, Style Therapy, Schwabe helps people create the image they want while decluttering their closets and their lives in the process.
A big supporter of local businesses, the Boise resident is focused on finding those treasures that make an outfit and keep everyone looking their best.
Where did your interest in fashion come from?
As a child I would flip through all the fashion magazines and wear all the outrageous clothes--a typical '80s child, the neon and the big hair and the crazy fashion--and I always loved it. I wanted to go to school for it, but when I graduated high school I ended up moving to Atlanta, Ga., and got a job as a flight attendant.
Did travel influence your fashion and style?
Absolutely, I think it did. Just meeting so many of the fun flight attendants and traveling the world. It just opened my eyes up to even more.
How do you describe what you do?
My tagline is "declutter, destress, redress." And so when we declutter, we're cleaning out your closet, and we're organizing your closet, we're getting rid of things you don't wear. ... We really only wear about 20 percent of 80 percent of our wardrobe, so when you think about that, how much do we really need? ... And then we redress you, so if you need new clothes, that's when we do the personal shopping.
Do you shop with or for your clients?
A little bit of both. I do get a feel for who they are, and that's the fun part, that's the psychology behind it all--really getting to understand the client and the person and dressing for them. ... When you go through someone's closet, you're going right into the heart of them and their soul, and you really get a really good idea of what they're like.
Is there a certain type of person you work with?
My clients range from the age of 7 to 72. ... Mainly it's women who have maybe gone through a divorce or just a life change and they want to feel good about themselves again. They want to bring that person back and they've kind of forgotten who they were--lost themselves.
Boise isn't exactly a fashion hub, is that fair?
I think there are tons of options in Boise, Idaho. I love Boise. I've lived in huge cities--New York, Chicago, Atlanta--and when I go back home to my hometown, Nashville, I have people stop me and ask, "Oh, where did you get that?" And a lot of times it's always things I've bought here in Boise, Idaho.
What fashion advice can you offer?
Find what fits you and looks good on you, whether it's black pants, a pair of khakis, a white T-shirt, a button-up, black blazer, your little black dress, a pair of gray pants. Just find what fits, acknowledge the shape of your body and dress accordingly. We're all going to find things that we don't like about us but find what you like. If you have great legs, show those legs off, wear a cute little black skirt. Then you have a basic, and we're going to do all sorts of fun stuff to it.
What are your 10 basics?
I named a few, but I think everybody should have a ... dark-rinse blue jean, whatever style you like. A black blazer, a white button-up, a great black dress, a trench coat, a really cool scarf, a T-shirt. ... And as you have that core and you build out, you start to add your funky little pieces that are a little more daring.
What tips might you offer someone to help them start cleaning out their own closet?
If you are not wearing it, if it does not make you feel good, get rid of it. ... Don't be afraid to edit. Edit is going to be your No. 1 thing you do. Have your pile, your donate pile, your giveaway, maybe your consignment pile. ... There are some things you've just got to get rid of.
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