Sacha the “label snob” makes $10,000 buying and selling secondhand items

-a profile story I wrote for my journalism class-

Sacha talks about secondhand clothing the way a mother talks about her baby. She cradles the vintage Coach bag she bought for a fraction of its original price, and gently handles a $140 J. Crew coyote fur jacket, a piece she bought for just $4.

She calls herself a “label snob” and a “selective shopper,” but she’s made about $10,000 in high school buying and selling secondhand items like vintage clothes and thrift shop furniture.

Today, she’s wearing a fuzzy black sweater, black leggings, gray socks and moccasins, most of which were bought secondhand.

“I don’t normally wear leggings or sweatpants unless it’s a weekend and I’m just lounging around in my room,” she says.

But no matter the occasion, Sacha still prefers wearing neutral and earth tones like black, white, gray and brown and would be satisfied with five pieces of simple clothing and two pairs of sturdy shoes than a closetful of low-quality, trendy clothes.

She revisits her childhood through fashion, raving about a garage sale as if it were a fashion show or a wedding. She rummages through her closet, pulling out thick fur coats and designer handbags, rattling off the materials.

“This one’s vintage, and the lining is older, so it’s not a new piece,” she explains, running her fingers lightly along the inside seam of a $495 leather jacket she bought for $70 from Madewell. “It’s got the older leather look, with brass hardware.”

While she’s still undecided about her major, she expresses an interest in studying business, an enthusiasm that doesn’t go unnoticed.

Jayleen, a freshman who often goes shopping with Sacha, said that her friend has a great sense of business and is always on a mission, looking strategically for the best deal.

“She has a good eye for things that other people will want,” James said.

In high school back in California, Sacha began re-selling her textbooks as a side business. Not long after, her schoolmates began seeking her help, and from the small venture, she made between $500 and $1,000.

When her closet needed to be cleaned out, she started doing the same with her clothes.

Sacha says that after accompanying her mother and brother to thrift shops as they resold items, she came to learn what buyers commonly look for in secondhand pieces. So not only does she know the details about the pieces themselves, but she also knows how to sweet talk her buyers.

“If you’re not enjoying it, why keep it?” she asks.

“You don’t need to fill your closet up with clothes if you’re not going to wear it, because then you miss pieces that you actually like to wear.”

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