Q+A with KOMO 4's Denise Whitaker
Denise Whitaker is a reporter and KOMO 4 Anchor that an avid Goodwill shopper. She has also been the emcee for Seattle Goodwill’s Annual Goodwill Glitter Gala. This event will be held on October 20 at the Bell Habor International Conference Center and benefits Goodwill’s job training and education programs. Many of the items on the runway and at the pop-up shop will feature items from the famous Glitter Sale which takes place on November 10 and 11. We asked Denise about some of her favorite parts about working with Goodwill.
You have been the emcee of the annual Glitter Gala fundraiser. What is your favorite part of the event?
I love seeing all of the creations the students come up with. They are so creative! One year, one of the designers cut apart a child’s play tent and made it into a skirt! I also love the mixed use of materials and items that they mash-up for their outfits!
What would you tell people who are thinking about attending?
If nothing else, come to the gala so you can get dressed up! Either create your own fashion statement to attend, or use it as an excuse to wear a party dress or suit that’s just been collecting dust in the closet.
And come to be inspired for your next season of dressing up!
How did you start thrift shopping?
Back when I was competing in the Miss America Pageant system, the reigning state winner at a pageant I was competing in, had the same gown I did! So we had to coordinate which night she wore her gown so we were not on stage the same night in the same gown. From that point on, my mom and I would sew my talent outfits, so that I would not risk wearing something “off the rack”! Then when I started working on television, in front of the camera every day, I just didn’t want to be wearing the same outfits as others, so I never followed trends. I wanted to look great and stand out in some way, so I started thrifting! This way, I could buy more individual pieces and put outfits together that would not be found in the retail stores.
What is your favorite thrift find?
Honestly, there are too many for me to choose just one! I love my Monday deals! I scored a gorgeous cashmere scarf in my favorite color, purple, on a $1.79 Monday! I also found a great Rian, leather messenger bag on a $1.79 Monday!
Do you have a favorite Goodwill to shop?
I really don’t. I’m very frugal and practical, so I don’t go out of my way. I hit the stores that are on my way home from work, or near where I’m running errands.
You have gotten up early the last few years to shop the annual Glitter Sale and some of the items at the Gala fashion show are sold at the Glitter Sale. Do you have any tips for someone that is new to shopping the sale?
Definitely get there early. I love that you give out wrist bands now, so my friends and I get in line before those wrist bands go out and then once we’ve got ours, we walk to find coffee or breakfast and then come back when we’re told to be there to get in the door.
Be sure to wear slip on shoes, leggings and a camisole. This makes it easy and quick to try things on. One of my friends brilliantly wore a black bathing suit!
Don’t bring a big heavy purse, or any purse at all. This helps you move quickly and easily through the aisles.
And write down a list of things you’re looking for, before you go. This helped me last year. I was feeling a bit overwhelmed and a little frustrated that I could not get through a crowd to see shoes, so I quickly looked at my list and then just headed to the next section where I might find one of the things I wanted to look for.
What is your favorite Glitter Sale purchase?
Last year, I ended up with an amazing evening gown, thanks to my brilliant, bathing suit-wearing friend! She spotted and made it me try it on! I also found an amazing statement necklace that gets me so many compliments, every time I wear it.
Who or what inspires you?
I am inspired by bright colors and patterns! I love color! And when I shop, I always go in with a list. This week, I might be looking for a blouse to go with a bright pink skirt, or a pair of slacks or a skirt to match a green sweater.