Y’all know I’m a huge fan of buying consignment, for many reasons! Today, I’m doing a Q&A with a consignment queen. She has been selling on eBay for over 15 years and now sells on four different e-commerce sites! She’s a total girl boss, creating her own mailer company after discovering a gap in the packaging materials market. And, she once gave me my favorite fashion advice: “Some people aren’t meant to fit in.” Meet Holly Taylor!
Holly, tell us a little about yourself!
I’m someone who is passionate about reusing fashion, empowering women and defeating self doubt. My fashion passion is anything pre-2000’s. If I could spend all day working with animal rescue, I would, and supporting rescue is one of my life goals.
Tell us about your resale business!
I started reselling in 4th grade with bulk purchased lollipops. They were $0.05 a unit and brought an easy $0.25 on the playground. I had my market cornered, and the pocket change was easy for my target audience to come up with. I thought 5 times my money was genius.
Cut to 2003: eBay was still newish, and I despised throwing away money and things. The first thing I remember selling there was sorority swag. It was not cheap, and I was 100% not letting it go to waste. My parents were a product of the Great Depression, so letting things go to waste in our house was a no-go. It’s one of those things that’s annoying but becomes ingrained in who you are. (Am I my mother yet? Please say no.)
I have continued to “flip” clothing, jewelry, furniture, and one home up to now. I make my favorite pastime, shopping, make money for me. Currently I sell on Poshmark, eBay, Etsy, and Depop.
Why did you decide to go into the reselling business?
First and foremost, I love it. Secondly, I think too many things are wasted. I want to be part of the solution in a way that gives me life. Reusing fashion and bringing new people into this way of life is never boring to me. If people can devote hours to social media or reality TV, they can be coaxed into devoting time to doing things like buying and selling secondhand that benefit our planet. I’m about that life.
What is your favorite thing about being a reseller?
VARIETY. I love being surrounded by eclectic style and the craftsmanship of the past. I can buy basically anything pre-90s and it will last years longer than something cheap in a current store from an overseas factory. Don’t even get me started on the human rights aspect of those factories. Some people say shopping secondhand adds complexity to shopping that they don’t have time for, and maybe for some it’s true. For me, the quality of older clothes and the fact that I’m lessening my impact on the planet while curating my unique style is all the motivation I need. Occasionally, I will wear something current, but it was probably purchased from another reseller. I never forget every purchase I make supports a U.S.-based small business, almost always a family.
Tell us about your packaging business!
As a reseller, I noticed the packaging options we had weren’t cute or durable. There were some cute-ish options, but they were dangerously thin, and everything else was white, black, or an aggressive color like hot pink or yellow. So in 2017 I launched à la mode Mailers, which is the only shipping supply company for resellers by resellers. We serve small business owners and offer custom options for large orders. I especially want to mention this because we’re about to roll out our philanthropy strategy, where we’ll support animal rescue/rehabilitation and share the impact we make with our customers.
What is one piece of advice you’d give to someone interested in becoming a reseller?
Don’t be afraid of shipping. This is the most frequent fear barrier I hear. People are intimidated by the post office. It’s not hard, Poshmark makes it foolproof, and if you’re selling on eBay all you need is a $10 food scale. Upgrade to a heavier duty one if you’re selling outside of fashion (aka hard goods).
Tell me about your personal style when it comes to fashion!
13 going on 30. I buy most things for me on Poshmark now. I’m a chronic bundler. I’m currently into Levis, basics, and comfy shoes, though my heart belongs to the one of a kind (OOAK) items in each category of my wardrobe. I don’t get to wear these as much, because a double breasted green silk leopard 80s blouse doesn’t do so well in our southern summer.
And finally, you know we have to talk about the South here on Fairly Southern! What are your favorite and least favorite parts of living in the South?
So sorry to say, but I didn’t enjoy living in the south until I found Raleigh. I spent my life before Raleigh in rural NC and never felt truly connected, so I always planned to move away. School kept me in state, then I found Raleigh with all the food, art, activities, growth, education, volunteerism, community foundations, and of course, secondhand shopping. My favorite part of living in the south is how leafy and green it is. I’ve done brief stints in the midwest and abroad, and the lushness of the south is venerable. My least favorite part is how conservative it is. I would advocate for more #freefashionexpression.
Holly, thank you for sharing your heart for reselling, sustainability, and vintage fashion with us! I love your confidence in your own personal style and your commitment to reusing fashion.
Go follow Holly on Instagram here.
Click here to read other Southerner Spotlight posts!
(All photos courtesy of Holly Taylor.)