Tara tells us the tale of how she came to Second Time Around, for the second time.

Did I really keep daily notes to help make sure I didn't wear the same thing twice? Yup! I know. . .compulsive. Truth be told, it was a way to help keep order in my life (like I said, a tad OCD). I did have fun thinking about what to wear, as I always do. When I get dressed I think about the mood I am in, what was the weather is going to be, and what the event or activity is. It was a challenge that actually became a bit mathematical. And, in addition to keeping my fashion calendar, I loved creating vision boards and collages of all the words and images that moved me. Often, these collages would be the inspiration I needed to put an outfit together. Sometimes, it was a great fashion moment, other times -- not so much. But who cares, I had fun with it and sometimes made mistakes.

I recently came across a great book called, I Love Your Style by Amanda Brooks. She writes about how to define and refine your personal style, and how to discover what inspires it. So, if you have the desire to spark your wardrobe, pick up the book, or, stop by the store for a visit. I would love to talk through your likes/dislikes and help you find your comfort zone. Because, let’s face it, if you aren't comfortable or happy with what you are wearing, it will show.

So here I am at Second Time Around, a second time around (talk about serendipity!). I worked for the company 10 years ago in Boston between advertising gigs. Then, two years ago, I was riding my bike ("The White Beauty!") in Nolita, and the Mott Street store caught my eye! "Holy s--t." I thought, "that's STA!" I had no idea that the company expanded their business to NYC. I was immediately back in touch with them, and was given a store to manage. The timing couldn't have been more ideal. Like many, I was affected by the economic downturn, looking for work and thinking about my next steps. I was teetering back and forth about whether or not to return to my "glamorous," high-paying advertising lifestyle. In the end I realized I needed a change. I opted for a job where I could run my own store. Now I curate for a high end consignment boutique, where I have fun with a diverse of clientele, create eye-catching window displays and trying fashionable clothes on all day long! And wow, Fashion Hunters is a show on Bravo, who could have predicted that?

Ambria and I met shortly after I rejoined STA. She too was in the midst of a transition, so it was excellent timing for us to work together -- and have fun with fashion. As you may have taken away from Episode 1, she eats, breathes, and sleeps fashion! No really, trust me. Bored on a Friday night she will most likely be shopping online and figuring out a way to make those purchases happen -- even if it means the dollar menu at McDs for a week. I, on the other hand, approach my wardrobe differently. I'm not a huge shopper. When I'm out and about things simply catch my eye and speak to me, and that's when I usually make my purchases. I've always been a thrifty gal. A favorite past time was going to yard sales with my late Nana, Millie Dunn. And, OMGoodness, I remember the days when it was time for my mom to pick up our back to school or seasonal layaway! I could not wait! Today, I love going to flea markets or sample sales where I can get the most bang for my buck! Now you can see where STA fits. There's always a deal, a new look, or something that can inspire you.

When things got busier at the store and we needed extra help, I put the intention out to the universe (no, really!) and in walked Karina. Funnily enough, I used to work with her sister Danielle in advertising -- so the serendipity continued. Karina loves to shop consignment stores and there are several on the Upper East Side where she grew up. It was a no brainer to hire her. She was looking for some independence, and we were looking for someone with her enthusiasm, love for fashion, as well as her connections to some elite closets.

Wilson is our newest addition, who, as you saw, twirled his way into the store. Hmm. . .I am a fan of speaking your mind and he certainly didn't hold back with his thoughts on the men’s section. I agree, it needs some major work, and let's see, as Ambria says, if he can "bring it."

We are a colorful group with many dimensions, so tune in next week to continue watching it unfold. It's a fun opportunity to see a slice of NY life through our eyes. There will be some real characters that visit (I like the more kooky ones!). And of course you'll see more AMAZING fashion.

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What The Water Gave Me

Ambria discusses the team's work with Generosity Water and how proud she is of Tara's progress.

I loved going to Kelly Killoren Bensimon's closet. Aside from Keni Valenti and Eva Lorenzotti's closets, Kelly's was my definite favorite. Handbags, shoes, dresses, suits, an entire Missoni shelf. . .seriously? I aspire to have that closet. On top of the clothing, the bags, the ridiculous apartment and Kelly's down-to-earth friendliness was her charitable demeanor. She knows she has been fortunate, and she makes it a point to give back in her life, which is such an admirable quality. Generosity Water is her pet charity, and I see why. You see the direct results of the funds you send, which is not always the case with charities.

I have always wanted to get involved with charities but I've never been in a position to do so. Working at Second Time Around gives me opportunities to be around clientele who have plenty of clothing and plenty of money. Linking Generosity Water with our clients to build a well in Haiti was finally my opportunity to be a hands-on part of something extremely beneficial. I knew being the one to auction everything would be a challenge -- I've never done that before in my life! I figured because I knew a lot of the women, and we had those amazing items from Peter Som, Kelly Bensimon, Rachel Roy, and Alexa Ray Joel it would be a walk in the park. I was secretly hoping to raise enough money for two or three wells. I was totally wrong. These women did not come ready to give their money away. . It was a real fight to even get a paddle raised. Luckily Wilson came to my rescue with that deep, masculine voice that commanded those women a bit more than mine. Wilson has such positive energy and he definitely added a richer dimension to the party.

Persistence pays off, though, and after a few glasses of champagne the women began bidding. It wasn't the triumphant, over-the-top success I had wanted, but that one well does give water to a thousand people. So I guess I'll just give us four a congratulations for getting that far. Water is something that we take for granted; I can't imagine taking a sip of water and worrying that it's contaminated. This was by far the most rewarding thing I've done in a long time.

I was soooo hoping that Colin's bracelet actually belonged to Coco Chanel. Obviously Coco was one of the most influential women in fashion, so I got really excited. It was a let down to find out it wasn't. Visiting the Elle accessories closet was a nice little band-aid. You didn't even really get to see how much stuff was actually in there! I only wished Karina could have been there to fulfill her fantasy of accessories.

I am proud of Tara for sharing about her alcoholism. Everyone has different past experiences which leads them into certain circumstances they would rather not have to deal with it; I definitely have my own. It hasn't always been easy to watch her go through the motions at work. It's the type of situation that there is nothing you can do but be supportive. She has handled herself with dignity and grace, and I believe her sharing is quite inspirational for others who have similar demons.

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