When I said I wanted a business I didn’t know how many people it could effect until I went to fashion school.
I learned how much wasteful tactics were being implemented in order to remain at a status in the fashion industry and it sickened me.
I learned how a lot of the factory workers were being abused not only in this country but outside this country in order to make garments of clothing in mass production.
I learned about the fumes that came with creating our clothing were infecting our air that we all share.
I learned that the physical clothing was being placed outside of our country and being dumped in these 3rd world counties so they could deal with it.
It made me sick to think this is what I wanted, but I didn’t quit, I just learned more.
Infiltrate the system from learning from it is what I thought, then one day I saw it in my mind & it was that secondhand clothing would be the future.
It was an epiphany that our future wasn’t in the new but the old, the nostalgia of the past was what we all had together and we all could bond with one another with.
I saw secondhand shopping as the future of the fashion industry & the textile industry, I saw them both using used material to gain transaction with marketing their brands/businesses to the next generation so they could remain relevant.
So I thought what could I do to help impact the planet in my own positive way?
I created a brand based solely on secondhand.
The whole point is making the environment unlike any other thrift shop experience.
I wanted to make it cool, I wanted to make it like Urban Outfitters meets Betsey Johnson at Disneyland status so no one would doubt how cool thrifting was.
And a lot of the aesthetic was mostly inspired by growing up during the Y2K area while also attending Catholic school in uniforms, where my environment told me thrifting wasn’t cool.
Honestly, it wasn’t till I started a job in Downtown Disney in 2011 that they insisted I buy their jeans to were at work since they were the high dollar item.
They gave me 50% off one pair but the jeans cost anywhere from $100-$250 and I just didn’t see my working hours being put towards sparkly jeans I’d never where again.
This is when I started to take more time to do some thrifting and realized it was more like a treasure hunt, nothing like the stereotype I held in my head as a kid.
I started to get excited at what could be created using each reused item and who would look amazing in them!
During my time at FIDM, I collected my mental data and added up what would make me the happiest to create in this world but would also be best for the environment that I expect to be thriving in.
With some self-doubt(I'll admit it) but completely knowing I was going to sink all the ships & take the island to make sure I succeeded in this life mission I was seeking, by 2012 I had the confidence to start creating my brand right after finishing FIDM & I knew that my job was to create a beautiful self-love, self-expression & good intention environment based off of one thing, our love for clothes.
From there I knew I would attract the perfect community that was meant to help me prosper and for me to help encourage.
I know my path is not like most but my brand has been created unlike most.
I have learned & loved a lot in my 9 years of running a vintage thrift shop and I know I will only learn & love more as I grow with my prospering community of individuals who take the time to love & respect not only themselves but the beautiful environment we all share life in.
I enjoy what I do & I am grateful I get paid for it too.
TBH I'm just thankful for life!
- With Love From Friend, Crystal Rey
IG - @yourgemcrystalrey
#expressingmyself #expressingmypassion #ily