Finding Success, Secondhand

Between the old, new, borrowed and blue, the ‘old’ was by far Lily Swindell’s favorite. The bride’s wedding was decked in decor from across the decades, all a result of her long standing love of thrift.

From garage sales to thrift shops, Lily had long enjoyed finding treasures among the discarded items of strangers. Little did she know, her wedding day would launch this casual passtime into a career.

The Thrill of the Hunt

Lily’s love for second-hand shopping started in childhood. Along with the thrill of the hunt, she soon noted many other benefits of the hobby. Among them are originality, ethics, and a positive impact on her environment and wallet.

“Clothes don’t have to be new to look great, and I never have to worry about showing up in the same outfit as a friend,” Lily said. “Plus, I feel good about supporting local thrift stores or individuals rather than fast-fashion corporations.”

Lily appreciates the ability to stay stylish on a budget. In addition to shopping for new-to-you items, Lily encourages everyone to give their shoes and clothing second life by donating to local thrift stores.

More Than A Hobby

A student at the University of Central Oklahoma, Lily sought a part time income that would help her balance bills with schoolwork, scholarships, and newly married life. When an Instagram video of her thrifty wedding gained over a million views, Lily realized her hobby had the potential to accomplish that goal. She began sharing unique finds – Prada shoes, Gucci glasses, Chanel shorts and more – on sale sites like Poshmark and eBay. Her so-called “side-gig” took off quickly.

Along with the extra income, Lily says she enjoys giving pieces a second life rather than sending them to the trash. She is now using her platform to help her followers do the same.

“I’ve found that people are interested in buying second hand, but often don’t know where to start,” Lily said. “To help solve this, I post purchasable items on Instagram as well as tips for thrifting and saving money as a newlywed.”

Her vision for thrifting doesn’t stop there. Lily sells old, redesigned t-shirts and uses the proceeds to fund college scholarships for local high school students. The “Difference Maker” tees are available on Lily’s Instagram.

For more about Lily’s vintage finds, follow her on Instagram at @lil.bit.of.my.closet

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