• Musings,  Onstyle

    My experience of running an online thrift shop!

    Hello hello! I have been wanting to make this post from a long time and unfortunately I’ve got the time to write this while we are in quarantine. I hope you guys are safe and making the most of this time.

    unnamed My experience of running an online thrift shop!

    Today, I want to take you guys through the process of my thrifting and reselling business. For those of you who don’t know what I’m talking about, so basically I’ve been running this boutique / vintage inspired store from a year and a half and it’s called Retro Days. I have been doing this on and off since 2015 but only on the weekends. I was working as a copywriter and later as a UI/UX designer full time. So, what is it that made me do this full time? Well, the design agency I was working for was shutting down and no we were not out of work, we had way too much work and between all that hustle and bustle – I think we lost some creative grounding and my boss decided to shut it down and I was really REALLY SAD! I literally cried the whole night, you can imagine how much I loved working there. After working there, I couldn’t go to any other job and work for just money because after a long time I had finally felt how it feels like working with passion. So, I decided to work on my shop full time because I was really passionate about it and really wanted to full time and suddenly I had the opportunity to do it. So that’s that about taking it full time.

    Register your business

    When I finally decided to take it full time, I knew I wanted a website – I was doing it on Instagram before but for me that wasn’t enough in in terms of a full fledged business.  So, my husband runs an IT company so he helped me with getting the website ready which was honestly not difficult as compared to what I was going to face next. Of course, I also wanted to integrate a payment gateway and for that I needed a GST number and for that I had to get my business registered which was a long process honestly and mentally tiring for me because I just don’t enjoy technical side of business as much.

    Thrifting

    So, I belong to a middle class family and therefore I have always lived on a budget and I guess self control came naturally with that. I never wanted to buy anything that I didn’t need but that was only until college – as soon as I started earning, I felt this sense of freedom to spend on whatever I want and sometimes I did but soon regretted. I remember sometimes I would buy some ten blouses in one trip to the flea market but forcefully wear a lot of them just to justify the fact that I have spent my money on them and I shouldn’t be wasting it. Soon after I stopped buying a lot of stuff and consuming consciously became my second nature and a great habit.  So I use to and still shop from only flea markets and only jeans and shoes from proper stores. When I realized I want to do a business out of this, I made contacts with flea market vendors so that it becomes easier to buy stock. These vendors have piles and piles of clothes and the I go through a selection process and pick what I like which is mostly inspired by the era of 60s, 70s and the 80s. These clothes are 95% second hand and some defected and rejected.

    Washcare

    Next step is washcare and probably one of the most important steps. First, I separate colors and later I separate fabrics. Dark ones and light ones are washed separately and that goes for different fabrics. It’s important to do this because if even one item looses its color, then it can literally ruin all the other clothes. So even if I have a small doubt a fabric losing its color, I wash it separately or just handwash it. To get rid of the smell and bacteria, I use dettol and white vinegar along with the detergent. Washcare is completely different for winter clothes ofcourse, a lot of them are sent for dry cleaning and a lot of them are handwashed which honestly is very tiring and expensive.

    Photography, Editing and Pricing

    After this, I click photos, edit them and upload them on the website. The critical point comes when I have to decide the price for every product. I’ll start with bills that I have to have to pay every month – GST, buy stock, ads, shipping (I use DTDC), Shopify charges, Razorpay charges and certain features that I have added on the website and Income Tax every year. I do realize second hand shops are suppose to be cheap, but I do put in a lot of work, time and money in it and considering all these factors – I decide my price point and I try and keep it as affordable as possible so that it reaches more people. I’d like to know what you guys have to say about this.  

    I also wanted add that I don’t have a team currently (I hope to have one some day!), but right now I can’t afford to have one. This is my full time job and it brings a lot of joy to me which I am really thankful for! It’s a great opportunity for me to combine my love for fashion and promoting sustainable lifestyle!

  • Musings

    WHAT I EAT IN A DAY

    Finally, the food post is here! I have been meaning to start a vegan/food section on my blog for a while now and I guess this is a good start.

    So a little background on my food history. I have a vegetarian all my life. I had non-veg food for a year in between (long time back), but I have always been a preferred vegetarian. Even when I was eating non-veg food, I would never order it myself or cook it because I never craved it. It was mostly peer pressure. I still remember the day I gave up on chicken. My brother and I had gone to eat out and he ordered a chicken pizza and I took a bite but I just couldn’t swallow it. That was it! Never had it again. Other than that one year in my life, I have been a vegetarian but I am not a foodie. I don’t live for food. I eat to live and I don’t really have cravings as such.  Honestly, that makes it very easy to make lifestyle changes.

    Why I turned vegan? Honestly I turned vegan for health reasons. I have had a lot of stomach issues – bloating, constipation and what not! One of my friends was already a vegan and I see wonderful health changes in his life so I decided to give it a try. After trying vegan food for a week I could feel the difference, I was not bloated, gastric or anything. It was crazy. I decided I will go ahead with this. When I started it, I got to know more about the industry and realised how crazy and inhumane it is. There are tons of videos on youtube that you watch to get familiar with it which will help you in making better life choices. This will open you to a whole different side of food and fashion industry. It has really helped in making lifestyle changes and making environmentally conscious decisions.

    Also, initially of course I did not go completely vegan.  I was a  BIG CHAI person you guys and obviously that was a huge problem.  Chai is the last thing I left, everything else I left almost instantly. I wasn’t a challenge for me at all!

    Ok enough of that rambling, I’ll get into my eating routine!

    Morning Cocktail : Around 7 am.1 WHAT I EAT IN A DAY

    This for me is a perfect start to the day. I missed a very important/ main ingredient ‘turmeric’. I like to start my day with a hot drink and this has so much goodness!!  Maple syrup is a good vegan option,  you can start having it with honey and switch to maple syrup later!

    Coming to Black Strap Molasses [tagged the one that I use] – this is what google says and its pretty self explanatory.  Blackstrap molasses is a byproduct of sugar cane’s refining process. Sugar cane is mashed to create juice, and then boiled once to create cane syrup. A second boiling creates molasses. Blackstrap molasses contains vital vitamins and minerals, such as iron, calcium, magnesium, vitamin B6, and selenium. So why I started taking BSM because of the vital minerals it has. For women it’s amazing because we loose a lot of blood every month during which also leaves a lot of women anaemic and this can help you recover really quickly. 5 tablespoons of blackstrap molasses contains 95% of your daily allowance of iron. It’s a really great natural supplement for a lot of vitamins and minerals.

    1 WHAT I EAT IN A DAY

    Coming to breakfast – I usually eat between 9 – 9:15.  Between my dinner and breakfast – I try to have a gap of at least 14 hours and 16 hours is ideal! I usually make it up to 15, so thats good to start with I guess. What I’m trying to do here is called intermittent fasting.  A lot of people do this to loose weight which is not the case with me. I’ve had indigestion issues in the past and this really helps in digesting food. I’ve started this recently and I can feel the difference!

    So for breakfast – I usually eat pratha or a vegan sandwich. I like to eat tofu pratha, broccolli pratha and gobi pratha. When I was not a vegan I use to consume butter but now I can’t and Im not a big fan of pickles so I eat pratha with some sort of sabzi, some fruit with almonds and walnuts (soaked overnight) and of course coffee! Honestly I miss chai but Im getting use to almond milk coffee. I think it works just fine!

    1 WHAT I EAT IN A DAY

    Coming to my smoothie which is the most important and beneficial thing I consume in a day. I’ve listed all the ingredients I put in my smoothie. Some ingredients like seeds, microgreens, powders, aloe vera and ginger and always there and everything else keeps changing season to season. For me, smoothie is really important because I just can’t keep eating all day and divide these things in salads and stuff. So I juice everything together and consume it and trust me its tasty! If you have any questions about the ingredients or where to get them from, please leave a comment and I shall get back to you!

    1 WHAT I EAT IN A DAY

    Lunch is usually brown rice, some sort of daal / chickpea / beans, some salad and if there is vegan pasta. I don’t consume a lot in lunch because my smoothie is pretty filling so I am not very hungry by then.

    1 WHAT I EAT IN A DAY

    So dinner time varies a lot really. Sometimes I eat at 5:30, depends how hungry I am. Because my lunch is pretty light and I dont eat anything in between, I get hungry by 5:50ish. So if I’m home I eat dinner asap but I try and not eat it after 6:30. On Fridays and weekends I sometimes eat by 7:30 because I can then push my breakfast time to whatever I want. Dinner is pretty straight forward – usually it’s yellow daal, 2 rotis and sabzi. Sometimes I make sandwiches or just soup and bread.

    So thats pretty much about it! Also, like I said I don’t have a sweet tooth so I dont really struggle with that but whenever I feel like eating something I eat gur and now Aja has some amazing bakery options which is awesome and it’s also one of my favourite places to eat!

    I also dont like to eat anything in between meals, I take green tea thats it. But in case I feel like, I usually eat roasted makhana and chana or peanuts.

    Except all this – I take b12 [ methylcobalamin b12] and D3 supplements [ NOW – vitamin d3 5000 IU].

    That’s about it guys! I hope you guys liked it.

     

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