Pre-owned clothes, new biz idea. Why not!

17 yr old Hyderabadi girl’s ‘Insta’ success

ThriftChicByTrish is about thrifting and giving life to clothes lying unused in wardrobes, writes D RAMCHANDRAM

When the pandemic triggered the lockdown, quarantine and shutting down of schools and colleges, what would a 17 year old girl have done? Sit back, enjoy the unexpected holidays and chill? 

But, Trisha Reddy, then a 11th grader girl from studying at Oakridge International School in Hyderabad conceptualized ThriftChicByTrish, an online Thrift Store. Three months into it, she shares her success as one of the earliest entrants into online thrifting business. 

With the increased conversation about repurposing pre-loved fashion and sustainability, thrift stores’ popularity  growing.

“Thrifting is an age-old practice in India. During my parents’ childhood, unused clothes were always given to the younger siblings in the family. It was a well-accepted practice and nobody minded it. But, somehow the present generation lost the practice. I wanted to revive that age-old practice very unique to our country but add a business element to it. Thus, my online thrifting store ThriftChicByTrish was conceived on Instagram,” she informs.

So, she became a Corona studentpreneur.  Her thrift store, started just a few months ago presently has almost a thousand followers. 

“I began with a precious amount of Rs 35,000 loaned by my parents. The investment has gone basically into the packaging material for the store,” she says

She has done a business of INR 70,000, having sold 75 pieces of garments out of 87 on display.” Most of those clothes are mine and a few of the people I know,” Trisha adds.

ThriftChicByTrish, uses Instagram as a platform and offers carefully curated, pre-loved, trendy, affordable, pre-owned clothing pieces for sale on a particular day of the week and at a given time that are just a phone click away, and encourages thrifting to become more than just a passing trend, a trend here to stay. 

The good thing about thrifting is giving life to clothes lying unused in wardrobes. Thrifting is also a new way of selling high-end clothing well below retail prices.

When asked about her inspiration for the idea she said “Since I’ve always had a passion to start something of my own in the field of fashion and have already gained an insight into it through blogging, I thought why not combine my love for fashion, contemporary and high street trends and turn it into a business that enables a sustainable life?”

“When I had some free time last November,  on my search I found the 'idea of thrifting', 'thrift shopping', 'thrift stores'.  'Thrifting culture' was not very popular in this part of the country.

“I explored,” says Trisha, “thrift shops which are widely prevalent in the west.” They are also better known in Indian cities like Kolkata, Delhi and Mumbai. But, the awareness is not much in South India and more so in Telugu states. “So, I researched sustainable shopping and why it matters, and understood the importance of curation. And now a few months down the lane I have my thrift store with reasonable success,” she says.

The trend in the fashion industry today is 'Sustainable Fashion".  Socially conscious and responsible fashion is more important today than ever before. Eco-friendly fashion, ethical clothing, affordable luxury, clothing rental, buying second-hand clothing are the trends the industry is witnessing, says entrepreneur Trisha.  

“I have curated the collection of clothes I sell, style them for the picture and sport as a model wearing those clothes to showcase them to customers, Trisha explains how a thrift store works.  “I promote them through my store on Instagram. If there is any defect on the clothes it is mentioned in the description. Apart from Hyderabad, I have buyers from Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai. My sister Anoushka Reddy helps me with the photography and conceptualising the brand name, logo, packaging etc. All my pictures are taken on our vcell phones” she narrates.

Currently, she online shop carries only female clothes. Soon she is planning to add male clothing as well as Indian wear.  

Some people may find it absurd to wear clothes worn by someone else before, says Trisha and points out, “even in shops that sell new clothes, you buy clothes that are tried by other people in trial rooms.”

“We buy pre-used cars and bikes, pre-owned houses and much more. So why not buy pre-loved clothes, StudentPreneur Trisha asks.

Through my thrift store one can find beautiful pre-loved clothes faster and from the comfort of one’s home, she explains

Her fashion blog “TresChicByTrish” has been running for almost 4 years now and she uses it as a platform to write about her love for fashion and voice her opinions on the subject. “Tres and Chi are two french words meaning very stylish or chic. I am in love with the language, so name it accordingly”, she says. 

She herself designed the logo for the store and the sustainable packaging which is free from plastic. It includes a box, butter paper to wrap the clothes, stickers and a well-designed thank you card. 

 She is also a winner of the 2019 TiE Young Entrepreneurs Summer Business Pitchfest and was the leader of Hyderabad Student Team Mr. Pill Minder. 

Studies-work life balance is very challenging. But, I can manage well by prioritizing things. My parents had adequately cautioned me about possible risks and failures. I was prepared sufficiently for such outcomes well before I embarked on this entrepreneurial journey, she informs. 

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