Verona might not be the first place you think of when it comes to fashion, but a recent addition to the city’s business and arts community has added a unique set of services to Found By Flourish.
Located at 550 Jones St. and just off Allegheny River Boulevard, Found by Flourish is owned and operated by Audrey Rockett-Collins and offers a wide range of fashion-related services, including clothing consignment, fashion mentoring , personal shopping and styling, color analysis, closet alterations and touch-ups, personal branding and photo shoots.
Her signature service, however, is called sort, shop and style, in which she offers color analysis, style archetype, closet modification, personal shopping appointment and creation of outfits, all in one package. Clients often use the service when going through major life transitions, such as a career change or relationship change, and it uses a proprietary personality questionnaire similar to a Myers-Briggs test to identify the best way to help its customers.
“It’s a method to help someone track what their core personality traits are and how that aligns specifically with the types of clothing they’re likely to resonate with,” Rockett-Collins said. “It’s not an end to everything, be everything, or meant to put someone in a box. But it’s a way to learn something about yourself. It’s like a roadmap for determining your style. Style is so personal, and when we’re told what to wear by the media and by marketing, and also by our own preferences and insecurities, it’s really easy to get lost and keep buying what’s in and out. what is sold to you. But style is what’s in you.
“Helping someone rediscover their image or define their personal style involves getting to the root of what wrestling is. Where is the disconnect between who they are on the inside and how they dress on the inside? ‘exterior?’
It’s in this sense that she really gets to know her clients, honing the coaching and mentoring aspects of her service to differentiate her business from a typical fashion boutique or consignment store.
“My specific approach to personal style is based on cognitive-behavioral studies: understanding who fundamentally someone is and their main personality traits, the habits they have formed, the ideas they have integrated into who they are, both about her own image, about the way they dress and the rules about how they dress,” she said. “I take all of this information, I sort of break it down and I help them rebuild.”
Originally from Austin, Texas, Rockett-Collins has been a certified image consultant for nearly 10 years and moved to the Pittsburgh area in 2017 with her husband and then-born daughter. They started at Swissvale before moving to Verona, and she credits the move to Swissvale for encouraging her to grow her business, which at the time was limited to resale primarily through Poshmark due to time constraints for become a new mom.
“That specific community is actually part of what got me back into my business, into the style part, not just for resale. Neighbors could see my style and see me saving money around the corner at St. Vincent de Paul and asking about what I was doing. Knowing I was home with the baby, they started giving me donations, and as word of mouth spread, people started to come back. contact me to clean the cupboards. That’s how the business recovered.
“People wanted to try on the items because of the variety of sizes, styles and prices, but being home with the child, it just wasn’t possible to have people in and out. outside my house. But that’s when the light bulb went out about opening a brick and mortar.
So when her family moved from Swissvale to Verona, they quickly began looking for a storefront, finding their current location on Jones Street in the fall of 2019 and officially moving there in November. She certainly appreciates the ability to have her job so close to home and has made the most of small town life despite being from a big city.
“I never really imagined myself owning a store, but when I saw this need, I took seriously the search for a space that could accommodate the volume, but be intimate enough to form these close relationships”, she said. “It’s convenient that it’s so close to my house, but I like that it’s right next to the main street. Being an Austin city girl, it’s definitely not what I imagined, but it’s what I love and I’m proud to be part of a tight-knit community. By connecting with local boroughs and local communities, I feel we are able to be the change we wish to see. Being able to serve the people of this community has been very important.
One of her new services that has gained popularity after moving into her store in Verona and the hit of the covid-19 pandemic is a Stylebox, in which she can ship anywhere in the local area or across the country. The service is designed for customers who are less inclined to shop for themselves or who are too busy to keep up to date with their purchases, and it has remained popular even as the pandemic subsided.
Customers receive up to eight items shipped to them, with ideas based on an exclusive questionnaire, and they keep what they want and return the rest, paying only for the items the customer chooses to keep. Since 2020, Rockett-Collins has shipped over 400 boxes nationwide.
“I do a condensed quiz based on the Flourish archetype method, trying to get to know the person behind the quiz: what’s important to them, what preferences they already have, and how they spend their time,” Rockett-Collins said. . “If she’s a stay-at-home mom, we need things that are easy-care and comfortable, but if she works at an American company, we’re going to dress her a little differently. Plus what sizes feel good and what brands she already knows will tell us about her body type. We can fit almost any budget, and since all of our inventory is pre-owned, it’s fully durable.”
With that in mind, she launched a special event.
“Even in resale, I recognize that sometimes our prices can be a bit out of reach for the average person, especially someone who may be struggling with covid,” she said. “So at the beginning of this summer, we started doing a weekly $5 sale. Every Friday, everything outside is $5.
“We have never turned anyone down for inability to pay. If anyone needs clothes, I have clothes.
See the stylist
It also offers clients the possibility of making an appointment, without having to pay, to work with a stylist.
“We ask for a small deposit, but if anyone needs to waive that, we certainly do,” Rockett-Collins said. “But it’s a really good entry point for someone who isn’t sure if they can invest in a stylist, or if they aren’t sure if a stylist is right for them. Having an hour and a half reserved to find out what it might be like is like taking a car for a test drive, figuring out what the experience is like.
“I find a lot of people are intimidated by a personal stylist or the word ’boutique’, they don’t know what to expect. And having someone available to hold your hand through this experience opens the door for a lot of people.
Going forward, Found by Flourish is looking to expand its retail space by redesigning the office at the current location, as well as adding two dressing rooms.
Through it all, Rockett-Collins is committed to staying inclusive, with offerings ranging from double zero to 5X, while maintaining diverse price points for affordability and positively impacting the local community with its services.
“I feel really privileged that a lot of my work is confidential and people trust me to hear their life stories and intimate feelings about how they feel about their bodies, especially if I’m working with someone like a new mom,” she said. . “Being able to present new approaches to dressing has been a lot of fun. I think it really lifts people’s spirits. I don’t care about the clothes themselves, I care about how I can use the clothes as a tool to help another woman feel uplifted and empowered.
Darren Yuvan is a contributing writer for Trib Total Media.