Starbucks Frappucino this year held the "Art of Spring Style" sweepstakes that included a roundtrip airfare to New York City for two, a two-night hotel stay, a $1,000 shopping spree, and a style consulation with me: Barbra Horowitz.
The lucky winner? Meet Mina Jam, 37, from Santa Rosa. Read all about her experience in this interview she did after winning:
Your style preference?
Five-foot-7, 125 very out of shape pounds. Using GAP sizing, waist size 4 Hips size 6 Top sm/med Bra 34A, classic pear shape.
What do you do for a living?
Stay-at-home mom to a 3-year-old and 1-year-old.
What kind of clothes are you most excited about?
Daytime, night time, et cetera? Everyday daytime clothes.
How did you hear about the sweepstakes?
What was your reaction when you found out that you were the winner?
Disbelief and excitement, I have NEVER won anything in my life. I would normally be very skeptical about emails claiming that I had won a prize, but I did remember entering this sweepstakes so I read the email instead of hitting the delete button.
What were you most excited about when getting ready for your shopping spree?
New clothes!! I have always been fashion conscious, but back-to-back pregnancies/nursing and being in my mid-30s, I was in a serious rut. The contest came along at the perfect time for me because my youngest just turned one and finished nursing. I knew I was done with having more children and it was time for me to get my life and my groove back. The last time I had bought non-maternity/nursing clothes was 2008.
What would you describe your style as back then?
Before children I liked very classic and feminine silhouettes with eclectic and unusual accessories. The last four years I went for practicality and basically wore whatever was being sold at the GAP and Target.
What have you learned from your experience?
Fashion is fun! I have always enjoyed it but when I started crossing over into motherhood and now middle age I started losing a bit of my fashion confidence. I felt like I was shopping for the same things over and over and didn’t know how to incorporate what was new. I was over thinking things and gave me a new set of eyes and made it fun and spontaneous again.
What were the main highlights of your trip and the stores that you visited?
The highlight was just being around the youth energy of SOHO and NYC and Barbra, she’s so much fun. I realized I’m not that old and dull and I felt my old self come back to life again.
We visited Zara and Forever 21 for clothes and Steve Madden and Nine West for shoes. A perfect mix to help $1,000 go a long way. I’m so happy to have discovered Zara. There are only a few stores in California but I’ll definitely be checking out their styles online and stopping in if I come across a store.
What is the most important piece of advice Barbra gave you?
I loved that she looked at what I was wearing, which was black leggings and a grey tunic top and didn’t want me to change that. She knows I’m a mom and there is a level of practicality I need in my daily life, that was very intuitive of her.
She really helped me take the basic outfit and focus my energies on jackets, scarves, bags, jewelry, and shoes to bring the basics to life and incorporate trendy items. I was always focused on changing the basics to create a new style but opening my eyes to all the other elements that go into completing an outfit was the big take home point for me.
What is the best piece you purchased during your shopping spree?
I would have to say a pair of Steve Madden beige/grey loafer shoes, but reworked in a feminine style. I remember seeing them on display and thinking they were the ugliest pair of shoes in the store, but Barbra picked them out and made me try them on. I put them on my feet and LOVED them, some things look totally different on than in a box.
They are so cool and outside of my comfort zone but transform a normally mundane outfit into something much more interesting. The shoes represent the many things Barbra taught me, spontaneity, always trying on something that you are not too sure about, and how much accessories can make a difference.