The highs and the lows of selling preloved clothing
It’s been an interesting and exciting year for me and Trash Chic. I’ve been showcasing and selling my preloved clothes at a wide range of events to find out what works for me.
There have been highs and there have been lows. The worst event being a market where I sat in a wind tunnel all day with people strolling past completely uninterested. I sold 2 items! I wasn’t the only disappointed stallholder but it’s little compensation for being up at the crack of dawn, lugging 3 rails of heavy clothing around, putting and taking down a gazebo in high wind, and keeping a bright smiling demeanour when all around you is bleakness.
Under the trusty gazebo at an outdoor market
Most events have been enjoyable even though I often didn’t sell as many items as I would have liked. When I relaunched Trash Chic, I was under no illusion that it was going to be an easy ride and that customers would immediately come flooding to my door. But I am determined to remain positive and enjoy the ride. There are always interesting people to talk to, tips to be picked up, and contacts to be made through other traders. I’ve definitely made a few new friends along the way.
One of the highs was the Kitchen Disco at Provenance Restaurant in Whittlesford, an event organised by Alex Ruczaj of the Early Night Club. I took my sequin collection along and wasn’t expecting to sell anything to women who were ostensibly out to dance and have few drinks. But what a night of fun it was. I would have had a brilliant time if I hadn’t sold anything … dancing under the stars. But the clothes were snapped up and suddenly appearing on the dance floor. I've been invited back next year on Thursday 23 May.
Trash Chic at the Provenance Kitchen Disco: Sequins under the stars
My private pop-up ‘Fashion & Fizz’ sales are always a joy. This year I had two: in March and October. October was a smasher. I was joined by Gaby of Bubbly Bandits who brought along her delicious sparking Italian wine. I dug out the vintage glasses and served up canapes and cantuccini. It’s a tricky situation holding an event in your own home because you can’t issue a public invitation. But my friends and followers are wonderful at supporting me and bringing along new faces. Yesterday I met a friend for lunch, and she said she couldn’t believe how much she enjoyed it. She really enjoyed chatting to other interesting women in a friendly and relaxed atmosphere. Next time she’s going to bring along a load of her friends. The party grows!
Trash Chic at Grand Arcade. Photo: Method Studios Photography
Another highlight must be my preloved pop-up shop at Grand Arcade as part of the Let’s Go Circular week. An actual shop with a window display and fitting rooms! It took a phenomenal amount of organisation and promotion, but the result was spectacular. My collaborators on this venture were Fantasia Preloved Clothing, QHere upcycled bags, Mouse & Bear repair services, stylist Kath Goodwin and Bubbly Bandits. I know that my rails are filled with some wonderful quirky and affordable clothes but it’s so nice to have this confirmed by shoppers who came, tried on, and bought. A great end to the year.
So, what does 2024 hold in store? Well, one thing I’ve learned is that I am good at organising ‘shopping experiences’ and women love them. It’s a fun and inspiring way to shop. I prefer selling face to face as my carefully curated and quirky collection is a joy to behold. It’s inspiring and encourages people to step out of their comfort zone and try on things they may not usually go for. That can be a real confidence booster in itself.
Collaborations are high on the agenda for 2024. I will be linking up with Bubbly Bandits for a few ‘Fashion & Fizz’ events. I’m also on the look out for other microbusinesses that sell preloved or upcycled wares. The most important thing for me is to work with people I like and who support each other.
If you’d like an invite to my exclusive private pop ups email firstname.lastname@example.org