College Student Turns Old Clothing into Cash

That's Hot Thrift logo

Sarah Williams

SAU senior communications major Elizabeth Pruitt’s love of thrift shopping made her 2020 less boring when she opened her own thrift store on the app Depop.

Photo of Elizabeth Pruitt via Eliabeth Pruitt.

Pruitt’s store is named that’s hot thrift. The name was inspired by Paris Hilton’s catchphrase ‘that’s hot’. Pruitt said she wanted the name to have an early 2000’s feel since she sells mainly vintage and early 2000’s clothing. She has sold hair accessories, purses, and shoes, but mainly clothing.

Her items come from her own closet, garage sales, her friends, and thrift stores. She then lists the items on her Depop and adds a description that covers the basics, like size and condition. Pruitt also uses her Instagram account to boost her sales. She posts pictures of the clothing on her account and Instagram Stories to tease what she will list later. She offers any of her Instagram followers 10 percent off any item in her store.

Logo made by @vagabond_voyages_ on Instagram, Pruitt’s brother’s girlfriend Tiara. Picture and description provided by Elizabeth.

She was inspired to open her thrift store after a friend told her own experiences selling on Depop. The friend did not make a business out of it and supported Pruitt when she did. Another friend models the clothes for Pruitt’s pictures. She also gets support from her brother who reposts her Instagram posts. Her brother’s girlfriend, an artist, drew a logo for the shop. Pruitt hopes to make stickers out of the logo one day to either sell or include in orders as a source of advertising.

As a communication major seeking employment in social media marketing, the thrift store has given Pruitt much practice in that field. It has also taught her about the fashion industry.

“Some of the items I list I think, ‘this will never sell’ and it sells right away. Other things I think, ‘this is going to sell immediately’ and they either still haven’t sold yet or took a long time to sell. It has been interesting to see what people want in the fashion industry,” said Pruitt.

Pruitt has received many positive reviews due to her shipping and customer service. She said she tries to get the items shipped the day they sell to give her customers an easier experience. She also tries to be upfront and honest about the conditions of the item and people have appreciated that.

When shipping, she tries to use packaging that is made out of recycled materials and can be reused or recycled. She believes thrift stores are a great alternative to fast fashion.

“…It’s just a way to help the environment because the clothing industry wreaks a lot of havoc on the environment, so I am just trying to do my part,” said Pruitt. “I am pretty environmentally friendly.”

The vintage Calvin Klein leather coat that was sold. Picture was provided by Elizabeth.

The price of the items depends on the brand. The price range is around $10 to $20. She usually sells the stuff cheaply because they are secondhand goods, but occasionally there is an exception. One of her sales involved a vintage Calvin Klein 100% leather jacket. Since the brand, style, and materials were in style, it was one of her most expensive items.

Since Pruitt sources her items quite cheaply, she makes enough money to turn a profit. She has made around $500.

When asked if she recommend others opening a thrift store, Pruitt responded:

“Oh, yeah. I would recommend this to anyone, especially college students. Not only is it a good way to sell your own old clothes…it is a fun way to make extra money and I know us college kids are always looking for that so I do recommend it.”