My goal to shop second hand for a year all started when I saw an Instagram post from @JesseCoulter that said:
“Just watched @theminimalists documentary on Netflix. Thinking of taking on a big challenge in 2017. In college I only bought second hand for one year, and I’m thinking of not shopping for myself all together next year. Is it possible to do as a fashion loving blogger? Of course it is, but as someone who loves getting dressed in the morning would I hate it? Yes, it would be hard, but I would love to take that $ and put towards traveling. I’m also thinking of cutting out random home decor that I buy. Anyways (nacho libre voice)…anyone want to join me in a challenge, or have any ideas of what I could do?”
I have a lot of admiration for a fashion loving blogger who can not shop for a year. I’m not that disciplined, but I did decide to try Jesse’s college experiment of shopping second hand for one year.
In addition to being a shopper of tremendous self discipline, Jesse Coulter is a brilliant blogger, YouTuber, a marketing pro as well as the mother of a toddler and boy/girl twins. She’s created a beautiful space with #thecoulterhome, hosts the ATX Blogger Mixer, and still manages to be real af on her social media. How she does it, I will never know.
Why did you decide to shop second-hand for a year?
I had always been a BIG spender when it came to shopping for clothes, so I thought it would be a fun yet difficult challenge that would push me outside my comfort zone.
Did you have rules?
I know you didn’t have as many online options at that time, so what were your go-to resources for shopping second hand?
I lived in Abilene, TX which is the BEST town for thrifiting/vintage shopping (tons of old rich people from the oil boom years ago). I hit up Goodwill, Salvation Army, estate sales and local church thrift stores weekly. I always found the most amazing things and not just clothing.
Did you ever fail and buy things brand new?
No, I stuck with it!
Did you pick up any creative tricks or strategies for shopping?
I learned that you have to have the time to hunt. Some days I would find a ton of cute things, and other days nothing. I fell in love with thrifting and vintage so much that I actually opened up my own tiny vintage clothing store inside a coffee shop that I worked at. The idea was sparked when I would walk in to a thrift store and find the most amazing pair of leather riding boots or Pendleton wool coat, but they weren’t my size. I wanted somebody to have them, so I started buying the pieces and saving them to open a shop. I even had a men’s section because I thrifted a ton of pearl snap wrangler shirts and vintage corduroy and leather jackets and vests. I closed the shop during my senior year of college because my school work + real job became too time consuming.
Today I don’t get to thrift as much because of my children, but when they’re older I would like to take them with me. I buy a lot of their clothes second hand at Once Upon a Child or Kid to Kid in Austin, and it saves our family a ton of money.
Interesting story: One time I went to an estate sale, and had no idea what I was walking in to. Turns out the woman who passed away was a true fashionista, and had hundreds of vintage designer bags, shoes and clothing. I walked out with original Lacoste dresses from the 50s and beautiful acrylic purses from the 60s.
So far this month I’ve felt tempted to buy a new pair of jeans rather than going through the rather more difficult process of finding a pair secondhand, but this pep talk from Jesse is keeping me going. Follow her No Shopping Challenge and everything else she gets up to on her blog, YouTube, or Instagram!