Local Company Helps Others Find Inner and Outer Beauty

Hana Designs is a studio in Littleton, Colorado where people come for all reasons to get a wig personally cut and styled from Hana herself. Hana works with people suffering from chronic hair loss from chemotherapy cancer treatments, alopecia, trichotillomania, and for many other reasons.

Hana began working in the hair care industry in 1978 and never imagined it would take her to where she is today. She worked styling, cutting, and wigs for years before ever taking the step toward styling wigs for hair loss treatments as a full time business.

Before Hana ever began Hana Designs, a social worker had asked her to come to Children’s Hospital to see a patient. Not knowing what she was in for, Hana met a 9-year-old suffering from liver cancer, who was wearing a wig to cover her hair loss. Hana immediately knew she had to help her get the right wig for her hair and skin type, and give her back the confidence she had in herself. After treating her, Hana called weeks later to find the heart breaking news that the girl had passed, but only after being able to really enjoy herself with friends because of the confidence from her new hair and looking like she had before the cancer.

From this experience, Hana learned that quality of time is more important than the quantity of time. Hana’s mission is “quality over quantity” when it comes to being able to give someone back their quality of life during hair loss and other treatments. Her mission behind the nonprofit, Hana’s Hope has always been to inspire inclusion of everyone regardless of gender, sex, or disability.

Hana herself suffered from breast cancer and hair loss, after having worked in the hair care industry for years, and she found support from her local community, her customers, and the LGBTQ+ community. During this time, she began receiving many wigs and donations from people who no longer needed their wigs. Inspired by the support she had received during her cancer treatments, Hana knew there was a need for wigs in the community, and she began giving back and donating to those who now needed the same help she had received. She understood how important hair is to a person’s confidence and self-identity when going through so much already. She wanted to help give back in all the ways she could, and continues to do so.

Hana’s nonprofit, Hana’s Hope, has been her dream that turned reality with the help of the donations and sponsors around her. This September, Hana is hosting her Whxyte Wedding Fashion Show at History Colorado. The fashion show is inspired by helping many trans men and women see themselves the way they feel, and giving them a better quality of life. Hana’s Hope has worked on this event for the past two years, making sure everything is exactly as she has imagined, especially the wedding dresses to be modeled. Some of the dresses are made from scratch by a team of designers, some are repurposed to fit the exact personality and build of the model, and some are kept exactly the way they were found from arc Thrift Store donations. The models will be wearing wigs in colors of light pink, blue, and purple from Hana Designs and wearing dresses from arc Thrift as well as originals from Hana’s Hope’s team of designers.

Hana’s Whxyte Wedding fashion show is fundraising to support LGBTQ+ communities, and seeks to educate and advocate for all of those who have felt their self-esteem taken away. The event takes place September 7, 2019 at History Colorado. Find out more about Hana’s Hope at http://hanashope.org and information on the Whxyte Wedding Fashion Show at http://www.whxytewedding.com

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Ambassador Spotlight: Lisa

Lisa is an arc Ambassador who has been with the company for about ten years. She works in the corporate office, organizing and sorting vouchers to be donated all around the state. Lisa organizes each large stack of vouchers into piles of 20 to make handing them out much more efficient. One of Lisa’s main responsibilities, and her favorite, is answering the phone and dealing with all the “crazy conversations” she has had over the years.

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Because Lisa has been with arc for so long, she has seen many changes. But, she loves it just as much today as she did on her first day.

When asked to name her favorite things about arc, Lisa said, “This is seriously the best job I have ever had, and if I could work longer hours, I would. I absolutely love it here.”

When Lisa isn’t working at arc she is skiing at Winter Park with her girlfriends, or making crafts. Her favorite crafts to make are handmade scarves and hats. She makes her hats for babies and for adults.

Lisa’s bright and friendly energy makes it no surprise she has many best friends throughout the company and stores. In fact, she has “too many to count, but Lorrie at JCRS is just awesome.”

Lisa has a strong passion for arc Thrift and loves being able to work with some of her greatest friends each day.

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Blocks of Holiday Cheer from arc

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My very favorite time of year to thrift is Christmas time, and my very favorite place to thrift is arc. There are always tons of ornaments and decorations to find in boxes and in tiny hanging bags. I love these little treasure bags and have had lots of luck finding fun holiday treasures.

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My latest treasure bag find was these vintage Gurley candles. They are fun, figural, Christmas shapes and little guys. The price was right at arc with one bag at $.99 and one at $1.29. I wasn’t sure how to best display these so I wandered around arc for inspiration.

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I spotted this giant box of blocks over in the toy section for only $2.99 and decided to use them to spell out holiday words as a base for the candles.

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I chose to start with “noel” but it was such a big box that I was also able to find letters for “joy,” “merry xmas,” and “fa la la” for my next round of creating. A good bargain at arc for such a big box.

 

After finding the letters that I wanted, I started by hot-gluing them together.

I decided on my placement of the candles and then hot-glued them on the top. Looking back, I wish I had painted the top of the blocks white before gluing on the candles. I did it afterwards and it doesn’t look quite as neat as it could have. Oh well, learning is part of crafting, and it is very no-pressure when all of the supplies cost only about $5 total from arc.

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I painted around the bases of the candles with white acrylic paint and then shook on some fake snow. This was a crazy simple craft but I love how it turned out. It’s a cute holiday project for very little cost thanks to arc thrift.

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Deck the Halls with Thrifted Fashion Finds!

Emily Karbach // December 3, 2018

It’s here!!

The Holiday season is finally upon us, and the only thing more stressful than trying to find the perfect gift for your “less than favorite” coworker at the company Christmas party is trying to find an even more perfect outfit. Every year, the holiday fashion game becomes more complex and it can be easy to feel lost amongst the stuffed clothing racks and anxious shoppers at your local mall. This year skip the lines, crowds, and accidentally wearing the exact same dress as your cousin to Christmas dinner: Shop at arc Thrift Stores!

Admittedly, when thinking about holiday attire at arc you probably think of “ugly sweater party” before “New Year’s Eve dress.” Although everyone loves a good Christmas sweater, they are only a tiny part of holiday fashion you can find while thrifting. Arc has everything from a showstopping dress for Christmas Eve to cozy knits you end up living in all winter long.

Finding the perfect holiday dress is an absolute essential, and the thrift store can be a great place to find one that is beautiful and unique. Here are some of my tried and true dress shopping tips: Focus on the colors that are popular that season, such as reds, greens, blues, silvers, and golds. If you’re feeling daring, experiment with patterns and textures, or keep it more classic with a monochromatic piece. Also, maintaining a modern silhouette helps prevent your dress from looking outdated while still showcasing the unique elements of thrifted pieces. A classic silhouette that flatters your figure will elevate your look.

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This blue velour wrap dress gives me a classic, sophisticated look…even when standing in a bathroom 😉

Arc is perfect for finding everyday seasonal pieces as well. Cozy turtlenecks and chunky knits are at the top of everyone’s style board this winter, and they’re easy to find at arc. When buying sweaters, it can be helpful to look a size above what you normally wear for that extra cozy and oversized feel. While you’re there, check out the jeans and pick up some straight-leg, high-waisted denim to complete the look with one of this season’s hottest pieces.

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This modern take on the classic jeans and sweater look has been my go-to all winter, keeping me cozy and cute!

I love thrifting year-round but there’s something special about shopping at arc during the holiday season. There’s not much is better than giving back to your community while finding something new to love, and I can’t wait to fill my closet with all my favorite fashion finds this winter. Whether it’s for the perfect outfit, decorations to fill your home with festive spirit, or a gift for that special someone, shop arc Thrift!

Happy Thrifting,

Emily

Instagram: @emily_karbach

arcs and Crafts: Holiday Edition

It’s Christmas crafting time! Which means an immediate trip to arc thrift stores. I bought a lot of supplies for a lot of different Christmas crafts. There are already so many holiday items out at the store!

I spotted this interesting glass globe for only $3.49 and immediately thought of a snow globe. I’ve used jars from arc for globes in the past and wanted to try again with this cool piece. The base unscrews from the glass dome, allowing me to get fun, winter decorations inside.

Among all of the Christmas decorations and bags that I purchased, one was this big bag of tiny trees for $2.99. I knew these would be perfect inside the snow globe plus many more of my other planned holiday crafts. Buying craft supplies at arc thrift is a great money-saver. I always get much more for my money than I do at the large craft stores.

I started by hot-gluing two trees from my arc bag onto the base of the globe: a silver glitter tree and a green tree. Glitter is a mainstay all over my house during holiday craft season.

I found a little gnome to go with the trees in my random bits of crafting supplies at home, most of which have been purchased from arc thrift stores in the past.

One of the other winter crafting mainstays that I bought at arc was fake snow, another source of Christmas glitter. Check out that $1.29 price tag next to the original craft store price of $6.99. Arc prices for the win!

I poured some of the snow into the base and then screwed the glass globe on tight.

Flipping this guy over distributes the snow and then it’s good to go. The easiest Christmas craft on earth, the gnome snow globe. Thanks to arc thrift this was a one-stop, low-budget project.

How Shopping Secondhand Helped me Discover my Style – and Myself.

Emily Karbach || 10/28/18

“Where’d you buy that?”

This is both my favorite and least favorite question when someone comments on one of my outfits. I love it because I love to engage with people about fashion and, of course, I appreciate the compliment! The less fun part is that if someone loves one of my pieces enough to buy it, they may be out of luck. Why? Because my answer to “where’d you buy that?” is almost always “it’s thrifted!”

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A shot from a photo shoot I did last winter. My entire outfit (excluding the shoes) was thrifted at an arc in Fort Collins, CO.

Although I just recently became passionate about it, I’ve been thrifting clothes for as long as I can remember. Growing up, my family had to be frugal with the ways we spent money, so almost all my clothes were hand-me-downs from friends or had been found at our local thrift store. Even as a kid, I loved to go to the thrift store and pick out a bright floral top or some fun patterned pants, and I never minded that my clothes had been used before. To me, it just meant that some other little girl who loved the same things I did was giving me a chance to express myself just like she had been able to. Nowadays, I thrift for a lot of reasons. Sustainability is hugely important to me, so I appreciate the ability to take part in the “reduce, reuse, recycle” movement. Plus, thrifting gives me the ability to experiment with fashion and unique ways to express myself. Also, I’m currently a college student so I always appreciate easy ways to save money! The core of my passion for thrifting, though, will always be the admiration I have for the story behind each piece of clothing, and the excitement being able to give these pieces new life creates in me.

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One of my favorite outfits at Pier 39 in SF, CA. The complete outfit (including accessories) was thrifted from arc Thrift Stores in Denver, CO.

Arc Thrift has always been my favorite thrift store for a myriad of reasons (mostly because of their 50%-off everything Saturday sales!), and the more I learn about their stores and their cause, the prouder I am to support them not only with my business (I try to donate a piece of clothing for every piece I buy) but also with the creation of this blog. Arc creates value in our communities within every part of their business model, and to be able to educate people about that positive impact is an immense honor.

My goal with this blog – which I will be posting once a month – is both to share my passion for thrifted fashion and how I stay true to my style while shopping thrift, and to inspire people so the next time they walk into an Arc Thrift Store they are excited by opportunity instead of overwhelmed by possibility. And of course, I’ll be sharing my favorite thrifted pieces and looks, giving helpful tips for how to find unique and fashionable pieces while thrifting, and the nearly endless benefits that shopping at Arc provide not only to us, but also to our communities, our environment, and our world. I’m so excited to join you on this journey, and I can’t wait to see where it takes us!

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Couldn’t get enough of this San Francisco look! I love wearing thrifted looks when I travel, it allows me to look unique and fashionable while staying on budget.

Happy Thrifting,

Emily

Instagram: @emily_karbach

Wood you like to go to arc?

There are always tons of beautiful furniture pieces when you walk into an arc thrift store. If there are imperfections or cosmetic issues you might wonder whether or not you should buy a piece. I’m a big believer that as long as you have a great piece of furniture to start with, you can always paint/fix/tweak whatever is needed.

Wood furniture can be the easiest to spruce up. A lot of times all a piece needs is a bit of a restoration or minor repair around the edges.  When I get a new piece of wood furniture from arc, my first step is always to clean it. I use a special soap made just for wood that won’t dry it out.

The next product I use is Restor-A-Finish. It comes in different stains and it’s like a refresh for your wood.

You rub it onto the furniture like you would a stain and it helps darken any light spots that have occurred because of bumps or scrapes. There are a variety of tints based on the kind of wood you are working with.

It doesn’t make them invisible but it definitely makes them far less noticeable.

The final product that I use is Feed-N-Wax. It’s by the same makers as the Restor-A-Finish and the two are meant to be used together. The Feed-N-Wax moisturizes the wood and shines it up so that it glows. You buff it on and wait a bit and then wipe off any remainder with a rag.

You can see in the pictures below how the scratches are less noticeable from left to right, in the wood that’s gone through all three steps.

It really helps with wear along the edges of a piece of furniture due to normal use and transport.

Needless to say, you should not let a few scratches or a little bit of damage deter you from buying a great piece of furniture from arc thrift. I found my favorite piece at an arc thrift store and it cleaned up beautifully for my home.