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Woodbury personal shopper helps clients 'make a statement'

Elise Winter is a wardrobe consultant who runs her own business with Doncaster and J.Hillburn clothing. Staff photo by Riham Feshir

After years of working in the legal world and trying out different career paths, Elise Winter found something she's passionate about.

She became a personal shopper.

In the rare profession, the Woodbury woman said she helps men and women find high quality, unique clothing that lasts for years through trunk shows out of her home and a studio in Minneapolis' International Market Square.

"I always enjoyed good, quality clothing," she said. "We've grown a really cheap mentality in the United States."

By working with two different companies, Winter helps her clients invest in their wardrobes, she said.

The Doncaster line she sells is for women and it's showcased out of the International Market Square studio. For the men's line, she works with J.Hillburn to customize shirts, pants and other accessories and sells them at the comfort of each customer's office.

Winter has also been hosting trunk shows in Woodbury at the Wildwood Lodge as well as her own house.

"I set my house up like a studio," she said, adding that clients are asked to make appointments. "It's very personalized. You spend time with your client."

As for the men, she enjoys helping them pick out high quality pieces they will wear every day, she said. Her customers can design the shirts how they want with different styles, pockets or cuffs.

"It's an amazing opportunity to be able to find a shirt that fits him at an affordable price," Winter said.

She usually brings along fabric swatches and shirt samples to men's offices to make it even more convenient for them.

"A guy shops different," Winter said. "For the most part he knows he needs things and he wants to make that as easy and convenient."

Winter began selling the women's line about a year ago and got started with the men's five months ago.

Working as a legal assistant and then in a number of other jobs following that was a "lot of pressure," she said.

So she decided to pursue the two companies for direct sales opportunities because it allows her to spend more time with her children and grandchildren and be flexible, she said.

It's also an enjoyable business that she hopes to grow in the Woodbury area, she added.

Winter said she is hoping to connect with Woodbury women who work in downtown Minneapolis so they can either visit the studio there or make appointments with her at her home.

"We're not on TV and we're not on radio," she said, so most of her business has been coming from referrals by others. "I make my income by how hard I work."

She said the women's line is "upscale and couture" and with her experience, she puts things together that fit each woman's needs, body type and style.

"For me it's not about quantity, it's about quality. I look at our world, we just consume so much," she said. "I love to see people make a personal statement by what they wear."

Not that a good bargain is bad, but those items are not usually long-lasting, she added.

Winter's next trunk show will be held at her home starting Aug. 24 and ending Sept. 11. For more information, contact her at

Riham Feshir
Riham Feshir is a reporter and photographer for the Woodbury Bulletin. Her coverage includes Woodbury City Hall, Washington County Board of Commissioners and business news.  Follow Riham on Twitter @RihamFeshir for the latest updates.