I love organizing. It's a passion.
But I do end up in homes where some closet projects are much better suited to someone, well, better suited. That's why I was so happy to have found Closet Therapy last year, a company led by Barbra Horowitz, former top agent in the modeling industry. Barbra makes a closet call and writes a prescription: Custom tailor the things you love and get rid of the unloved through charitable donations. Her expertise will help you resell last season's almost-tired outfits, and with her exclusive resources, she'll work with you to buy key, choice pieces that will flatter your fall.
And of course when Barbra's job is complete, OrganizingLA can come in and make it all look great. Stylish hangers, see-through containers, color-coding, labels and for a splurge, a new closet system with clever space planning you would expect from an expert organizer.
Barbra let me know she was written up recently in the LA Times and will be featured in an upcoming KABC-TV news piece with Jane Monreal on September 20th.
Continue reading to see the LA Times article. Barbra has offered our readers a complimentary first hour when you book an appointment with Closet Therapy. She's bi-coastal, taking appointments here in Los Angeles and New York. Call it self-improvement for your closet. But mention OrganizingLA and John Trosko.
Closet stylist to the rescue
By Shana Ting Lipton, Special to The Times
Some hold on to childhood trauma. Others hold on to clothing. Either way, according to Los Angeles style counselor Barbra Horowitz, these folks are in need of therapy. Where the latter is concerned, she prescribes her own brand: Closet Therapy. Since January of last year, the former modeling agent-streetwear creator has been going to the homes of the wardrobe-challenged in an attempt to rearrange, edit, purge and reinvent the contents of their overstuffed closets.
A sort of home-delivered personal stylist, Horowitz starts by asking her clients to make piles of their least-worn clothes and accessories.
In the case of first-time "therapy patient" Stacey Stafford, a talent relations manager for Nike, this
consisted of about 25 handbags, 70 pairs of shoes, 60 T-shirts and the apparel contents of two large
Horowitz energetically paced around the room plucking a pair of pants here and a purse there.
"The more we accrue as we get older, the less we remember about our creativity when we were younger," she said. Within minutes she'd put together a hip casual look for Stafford: a pair of DKNY pantsuit pants (nipped and tucked in preparation for tailoring), a T-shirt, striped cardigan sweater, Nike split-toe shoes and a white classic Chanel bag.
Stafford admitted that she never would have dreamed up this combination but said, "I'm so excited right now."
"Merging things that aren't supposed to be together is what makes clothing fun," Horowitz said. But that's just one level of the process. She also comes equipped with a pair of scissors and is not afraid to snip off a stiletto strap or the hemline of a denim skirt. When necessary, she gives directions and sends clients to a tailor.
Like the Edward Scissorhands of apparel, Horowitz also creatively cuts up T-shirts — a technique that, under the name Rigged, has won her some local recognition and a celebrity clientele.
The next step for Stafford's session was to make three discard piles. The first was to go to Goodwill. The second was to be donated to Dress for Success, an organization that gives away suits to underprivileged women reentering the workforce. The third was to be resold, earning Stafford extra cash to buy trendy seasonable pieces that would accent her existing outfits.
Like any form of therapy, Closet Therapy is replete with breakthroughs, which Horowitz refers to as "aha moments," when clients realize the potential of their previously cast-off clothes. There are also those moments when it hurts to just let go. Stafford possessively cradled a shoebox of Nikes in her arms as Horowitz commanded her to discard the unwearables.
After three hours, Stafford had donated to charity, would make money from reselling and had 15 "new" outfits. She could perhaps sleep easy knowing that there were no monsters, or worse, outdated styles, in her closet.