Over quarantine, junior Amanda Crain opened up her small business to share her fashion creations with others.
At the beginning of March, Crain opened her Depop, a place to sell used clothes or clothes a person has made, and her Instagram, where she sells items that she has either customized or made herself. Although she only opened her business this year, her love for fashion and design started well before quarantine.
For the past three years, Crain has been sewing and tailoring clothes she has thrifted from various places. Her personal favorite place to thrift is Savers, where she shops frequently. She also restarted the fashion club.
“During quarantine, I decided to start my business by selling them [customized clothing items] because I was happy with what I made, but it was a lot for just myself so I thought I would share it with others,” Crain said.
Crain comes from a fashion-oriented family, so it was no surprise when she took it up as well.
Along with the family influence, Crain also enjoys watching runway fashion shows on YouTube to get inspiration on what to wear or make next.
“I love to watch the upcoming season fashion shows, and I noticed a lot of zebra print for this fall and also a lot of stripes, so I think those are very fun to incorporate in different outfits,” Crain said.
Her process usually starts at a thrift store. There, she picks out items she sees potential in to design or personalize.
“I like to thrift because you can find one-of-a-kind stuff and second-hand shopping is better for the environment rather than fast fashion,” Crain said. “I try to stay away from fast fashion.”
About 50% of Crain’s wardrobe is either thrifted or designed by her.
“I love being able to be unique and to create something new and personalize it to myself,” Crain said. “I get to express my creative side through fashion.”
Yet it isn’t always easy for Crain, especially while being a high school student and not having a lot of connections.
“It’s hard to start from the beginning and to get a good following and my name out there,” Crain said.
Another challenge Crain faces while shopping is actually finding clothing items that she will be able to customize.
“I find many pieces during a shopping trip that catch my eye and can have more than 10 hangers on my arm at a time, but usually only leave the store with two or three items,” Crain said. “It’s hard to find pieces that I’ll be able to tailor or personalize for others to wear and enjoy.”
But to Crain, the whole process of producing the finished product is totally rewarding.
“It’s all worth it in the end when I finally find a piece I like and turn it into something completely new that is trendy and others would like to wear,” Crain said. “It’s even more exciting to see that item being worn by others around school or on Instagram.”
She plans to continue her business at least throughout high school and possibly college.
“If it gets big enough it could be my full-time job when I’m older, but I’d love to be at least in the same field when I’m older, not so much the business side of it but creating clothing and designing things,” Crain said. “It would be fun to see my clothes out there and to see other people modeling them.”