Thrifty Shopper Profile: Janis Isaman – “Expressing Yourself Through Fashion”

I had the pleasure of meeting Janis Isaman a few weeks ago at our Fisher Park store and was immediately struck by her confidence and warm stylish look. She made workout leggings and a hoodie look glamourous! Janis’s sense of confidence is very well earned. She has her own business, is a single mom raising a five year old son, and volunteers with Catholic Family Services with their “Motherhood Matters” program.

Janis has been a loyal WINS shopper for two and a half years and I really enjoyed our chat about fashion, giving back, and mindfulness. Enjoy Janis’s story!

How did Janis get into thrift shopping?

Janis is a farm girl, raised in Alberta, but has always been fascinated by fashion. When she got her dream job working at Harper’s BAZAAR in Toronto she needed to figure out how to put together a stylish look on a budget. She discovered second hand shopping and has been a fan ever since.

What is it about thrift or consignment shopping that inspires Janis?

In her own words, “It’s exciting! It’s fun to search for that one-of-a-kind designer or vintage piece that nobody else will have.” Janis also loves thinking about the story behind each piece she buys. She believes each piece has a soul and that by making that special piece your own you’re continuing the story.

What was one of Janis’s favourite WINS moments?

Janis believes that thrift stores can be part of some big moments in life. Her son bought his first comic at a WINS pop-up shop and the happiness she felt seeing his joy in this purchase made it a very special day.

What is Janis’s style?

Janis loves mixing and matching items that normally wouldn’t be seen together. She uses fashion as a form of self-expression and likes “doing her own thing” when it comes to trends. In Janis’s business, My Body Couture, her mission is to help her clients create confidence and she believes that fashion and how you present yourself to other people can help achieve this.

What is one piece of style advice Janis would give?

She says to buy the basics and then accessorize! Finding inexpensive jewelry, hats and scarves is easy at WINS. “You get a new look for very little money; how great is that?!”

Why Janis believes it’s important to give back.

Janis volunteers with young mothers aged 16-24 through Catholic Family Services. Being a single mother she empathizes with the young moms and the struggles they’re facing. It’s a very meaningful role for her and she finds great fulfillment in mentoring and providing support to other moms.

Final thoughts:

Janis talked to me about ‘KonMari’, a Japanese philosophy that asks us to look at something and ask “does this bring me joy?” Janis believes that this philosophy is helping her be more mindful about what she is doing with things and if something doesn’t bring her joy to recycle, donate or give it away.


Janis found this great faux fur coat at WINS Fisher Park! Also for fun she is wearing a tiara that she found at our jewelry counter.

Author: Vera Ilnyckyj

Marketing Manager, Women In Need Society