“A lot of people don’t understand that how you portray yourself on the outside is ultimately how you’re feeling on the inside.” - Iva Elliott
You wouldn’t think that there’s a lot of overlap between social work and fashion consulting. But as Iva Elliott, the founder and owner of Girl Goodies—when she’s not at work as a medical social worker, that is—has found, sorting through one’s emotions and sorting through one’s clothing can sometimes both be therapeutic.
“A lot of people don’t understand that how you portray yourself on the outside is ultimately how you’re feeling on the inside. I want to bridge that connection,” Iva said, describing a situation in which she was helping a divorced client go through her wardrobe containing clothes her ex-husband had given her.
Girl Goodies is more than just cleaning closets, though; Iva provides a range of services including personal shopping, personal styling, and selling vintage clothing at events catering to women. She also organizes a closet swap event about twice a year where she essentially sets a pop-up boutique with the attendees’ unwanted clothing. Guests can bring the items of clothing they want to exchange, and in return they can pick out some new pieces of their own. Her most recent closet swap hosted over 75 women.
Iva launched Girl Goodies in 2012 at the encouragement of her family and friends after the first, unofficial closet swap in her mom’s attic. She realized that she could these informal events she enjoyed hosting into a business of fashion consulting. “My friends call me the hostess that does the mostest,” she said with a laugh. She started taking classes in entrepreneurship and participated in Sunshine’s Community Business Academy last fall, which helped her better organize and plan her business’s finances.
“I’m a hard worker, but I’m not a business-savvy person,” she said. “You definitely have to be disciplined. I’ve been able to save, save, save which is not common for me because I’m used to shop, shop, shop.”
The shopping will definitely continue for Iva and her clients, though; since the CBA she has branched out into selling the vintage clothing at various events in the area, which has helped her expand her business. Girl Goodies has made appearances at four events in the last two months, which is not easy when Iva already fills her free time with client consultations, closet organizations, and personal shopping. She’s built her customer base into 30 women across the country and is looking forward to someday opening her own showroom—where she can provide both emotional and fashion counseling.
Photos below provided by Dana Patmon.