When the Coronavirus pandemic resulted in lockdown, quarantine and shutting down of schools, what would a 17-year-old girl have done? Sit back, enjoy the unexpected holidays and chill?
But, Trisha Reddy, an 11th grader girl then (currently in 12th grade) studying at Oakridge International School in the city conceptualized and founded 'ThriftChicByTrish’, an online Thrift Store. Three months into it, she shares her success as one of the earliest entrants into the online thrifting business.
With the increased conversation about repurposing pre-loved fashion and sustainability, thrift stores are growing in popularity particularly those with an online presence, says Trisha Reddy.
Thrifting is an age-old practice in India. In the days of 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 CoronaStudentPreneur. Her thrift store started just a few months ago in January, presently has almost 1000 followers.
I began with a sum of Rs 35,000/- loaned by my parents. The investment has gone basically into the packaging material for the store, she adds.
I have done a business of INR 70,000/-(Seventy Thousand), 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.
Trisha is the proud founder of one of the earliest Thrift Stores in South India, She is a trendsetter and achieved fast success.
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. It is an online sale of pre-used items at discounted prices. Thrifting is 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? So, I introduced- “ThriftChicByTrish.”
“When I had a little 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 want to encourage the reuse and repurchase of pre-loved, pre-cared, unused and less used clothes. And, I wanted to give a fresh lease of life to them. 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. So on this occasion, I wanted to reach out to people through the media to create more awareness for thrifting.
The new 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. I have got customers from Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata, Chennai but most of them are from Hyderabad. My sister Anoushka Reddy helps me with the photography aspect and conceptualising the brand name, logo, packaging etc. All my pictures are taken on either an Android Samsung phone or an iPhone-11.
Currently, it carries only female clothes. Soon she is planning to add male clothing as well as Indian wear. She doesn't rule out expanding further. Trisha, now 17 years old and studying 12th grade is multifaceted and wears many hats. She is into fitness, fashion, classical dance, entrepreneurship, content creation, and writes a fashion blog titled 'TresChicByTrish".
All the clothes are sold at a very affordable cost. They are door delivered through sustainable, germ-free packaging. Towards our services, a small portion of the price is kept as our fee for the same, she informs.
We buy pre-used automobiles (cars and bikes), pre-owned houses and much more. So why not buy pre-loved clothes, StudentPreneur Trisha questions? Some people may find it absurd to wear clothes worn by someone else before, says Trisha and adds, even in shops that sell new clothes, you buy clothes that are tried by other people in trial rooms. Through my thrift store, one can find beautiful pre-loved clothes faster and from the comfort of one’s home, she explains
When the whole world is sailing through 'touchless', 'contactless' products and environment, didn't she find it challenging to market the pre-used clothes? Being asked this she replies “We dry clean the garments twice, once after I wear and showcase for a photograph and second before delivery.
The first few orders I received were from my close friends who wanted to support my endeavour and this boosted my morale. Some well-wishers initially doubted that who would be interested in buying second-hand clothes? But, after I started running the thrift store, they now realise that there is a huge market available to be explored, says Trisha.
Trisha is a multi-talented girl. 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”, says she.
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 the 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.
Trisha's goal is to make online thrifting a culture. The production of new clothing uses a lot of natural resources and produces a lot of waste. Shopping through online thrifting stores is a sustainable way as it doesn't need a resource to produce, as the products already exist. That is why more and more people are giving pre-loved clothing a second chance to live and regard it as a good way of giving back to society, the passionate Trisha says.
Naturally, people are more inclined to give their old clothes a second life. Price is now an additional incentive for them to give clothes to thrifting stores says the teenage entrepreneur. No one expects any money for the discarded clothes. But, my venture adds monetization, which is now encouraging more and more people to explore this. Trisha is confident of doing well. She is not in a hurry. She wanted to go slow but leave her mark.