Students Become Entrepreneurs with Instagram Businesses

Junior Bailey Cooper and senior Isabella Green base their businesses in makeshift-workshops at their own homes. Self-management requires them to organize, photograph, package and handle pickups and deliveries themselves.

Kelthie Truong, Back Page Editor

Unique from the ubiquity of teenagers purging hoarded items from their closets to earn quick cash, junior Bailey Cooper and senior Isabella Green look to their campus for serious clientele. Cooper and Green, known on Instagram as @fresh.garb and @evasive.styles respectively, began selling their old clothing before turning to curating pieces from thrift stores.

Both utilize the polling function of Instagram stories to navigate their searches based on the tastes of followers and observe the ever-changing trends specific to Portola High.

“Back [before thrifting was popular] it was like, ‘Oh she’s thrifting because she has to,’” Green said. “But now [you thrift] because you want vintage pieces, and you want clothes that no one else has.”

Since launching their businesses in the summer of 2019, their quick rise to popularity accounts for the labor and patience required for “thrifting,” which increases the physical and intrinsic values of the pieces they sell.

“It’s definitely a lot more work,” Cooper said. “You might like a shirt 20 sizes too small or a pair of jeans that are way too huge. You really have to dig. You don’t always have the option, so you find ways to make things work for you.”

The sudden affinity for secondhand-shopping parallels the widespread consumer shift toward environmentally-conscious lifestyles, which includes more sustainable practices in the fashion industry.

“Some clothing… can last you decades, whereas buying fast-fashion-produced clothes — like some pair of jeans from Forever 21 — you’re going to keep for a year or two before you throw it away,” Green said. “Buying from thrift stores, it’s stuff that’s lasted a long time, so obviously it’s going to last you a long time.”

While Cooper and Green derive inspiration directly from those who buy from them, they expressed hopes to revolutionize the community and its social scene with their accounts.

“A lot of people aren’t really lucky enough to have the confidence that I do,” Cooper said. “Especially selling unique pieces that do require a lot of confidence to wear sometimes, I think it’ll help girls and guys be able to wear what they want to wear and be able to think they look good in it without caring what people think.”

The defiance against rigidity defines the love of fashion from which both accounts stem. Distinct from the pursuit of traditional careers that academic competition enters around, both said they hope to expand their accounts into a future in fashion.

“There’s always gonna be people that are skeptical of it and won’t think it can get anywhere,” Cooper said, “but if you love what you do, everyone knows that you’ll find a way to make money off of it.”

Have you ever bought clothes from Izzy Green (@evasive.styles) or Bailey Cooper (@fresh.garb)?

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