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Making Money | Alyssa Streets

Turning a hobby into a part-time job

Welcome to Making Money, a series of conversations with entrepreneurs at all stages of their careers about what they’ve learned about starting and running their own businesses.

We start with Alyssa Streets, 25—currently a social media specialist at Vibrant but also a longtime barista and inveterate thrift shopper—whose passion for thrift shops has become a steady source of income.

When did you get interested in vintage clothing?

I grew up without a lot of money, so I’ve gone thrifting as long as I can remember. That’s just where we bought our stuff. I was very embarrassed about it in high school, but then I discovered this YouTuber—all she did was thrift, her entire closet was all vintage clothing. I was really inspired by her look and started discovering my own personal tastes and wearing really weird out-of-pocket things.

How did you start selling clothes?

I majored in fashion in college, and I definitely have an eye for cool clothes. I started reselling some of my own stuff through Poshmark in college mostly to keep my closet from getting out of control. Sometimes I might find designer brands while I was thrifting, and I’d resell those, too.

I still sell a lot of stuff on Poshmark, but I also have a lot of Instagram followers, so I sometimes sell stuff via Stories. I also do markets a few times a year.

No judgment, but what is your personal closet situation?

I have two full-sized closets plus a clothing rack in my apartment. So yeah. I have a lot of clothes.

How often do you go thrifting?

I probably go once or twice a week. I love to go through the Goodwill bins where they sell unsorted stuff by the pound, and you just have to scrounge through everything. I’ve found a lot of cool things that way, like vintage Harley-Davidson shirts. On the one hand, it’s an incredible bargain, but on the other hand, it takes a lot of time to dig through everything, you get itchy because there’s a lot of dust coming up and everyone around you is sneezing, and honestly, it’s kind of gross.

Another place I find a lot of my stuff is at estate sales. Especially when I was working in the service industry and had Friday mornings off, I would show up Friday morning at 8 a.m. and get a number and wait in line to raid the closets. Those sales are very cheap—like $2 for any item—because people need to move things out, but the quality is often really good, because someone was still wearing it.

Could you ever see yourself doing this full-time?

I've been really inspired by Becca and Red at Abernathy's and would love to have a business like theirs one day. I worked there for about a year and learned so much. (And they still lend me their tag gun for markets!) But I saw just how much work they have to put into it to make it successful. It’s hard for them to take time off. And I’m not really at a point in my life where I’m ready to sacrifice like that.

I’ve made an effort in the past to establish my own brand, like they have, with a shop website and a dedicated Instagram, but at the time, I was also working full-time and going to school full-time, and it was really hard to keep up. I think it would be really cool to open up a coffee shop/vintage resale store one day, but for now it’s more for fun. I have a good eye for thrifting and flipping and I love selling at markets and talking to people. And it’s a great way to make some extra cash when I need it.

How much extra cash are we talking about?

Definitely not enough to support myself, but enough to pay a few bills—and when I’m short on cash, I know I can go into my closet and grab a few things and make what I need.

I think I’ve probably earned about $3,000 on Poshmark since I started selling stuff there, but I have literally never cashed out my account. I just use it to buy other stuff on Poshmark. Like if I need a nice pair of boots or want a new perfume—they have a lot of stuff that you can’t find at Goodwill. But it still lets me shop for it secondhand.

Do you think you’d continue to thrift even if you landed a high-paying corporate gig one day?

I think so, because I do like the thrill of finding cool things. When I’m at the Goodwill bins and I find an awesome shirt, it makes me happy to bring it to someone in my community who’s going to love it.

Shop Alyssa’s Poshmark store or follow her on Instagram to see pop-up specials and find out about her upcoming market schedule.

When it’s time to move your money from Poshmark or Venmo and start putting it to work elsewhere, talk to us about our business checking and business savings accounts, with no monthly fees, transaction limits, or minimum balance requirements.

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