I had the slightly surreal experience this week of being recognized in public as a thriftstagrammer.
Here’s how it happened.
(Prepare for a short story to be made long.)
I’d figured out rather recently that I should be tagging not the brand of my clothes in Instagram posts, but the store where I thrifted them.
I started off tagging brands because I thought people would be inspired to thrift by seeing the great brands that can be found secondhand. This was…pretty pointless. If people search IG for, say, Banana Republic or Vince Camuto, they’re likely looking for retail looks they can buy now, not thrifted looks they’d have to scour online secondhand stores to find.
BUT. Thrifters want to know where they can find great stuff, regardless of whether they nab a specific item I showcase (which, after all, is pretty unlikely). And for people who do want to search for one of my finds, they can ask me for the brand in the comments.
Plus, it’s more fun to be connected with the people behind store brand accounts – they’re more likely to leave comments and to invite you to special events, and if you develop a relationship with them, they might be willing to hold an awesome find from their IG feed for you.
And as I discovered last Friday, they might even recognize you when you patronize their store:
I was browsing the racks at Sister Thrift in Watertown when an energetic blonde woman came up to me and asked, “Are you Leah?” As a pastor I run into people I know every time I get groceries, but I had no idea who this woman was. “I’m Tiffany, one of the co-founders. I saw you shopping and thought, I recognize her from Instagram!” She proceeded to thank me for mentioning Sister Thrift whenever I sport items from their stores.
“You’re welcome,” I said. “Thank YOU for having such awesome stuff at really good prices.” (True. I visited another store after them and was not impressed, price-wise.)
Well that had already made my day – how delightfully unexpected! And then Tiffany asked the cashier to give me 20% off my purchases. Uh, yes please! The thrifter’s dream.
So if you’ve ever wondered whether it’s worth it to post all those outfit pics on Instagram – it could earn you celebrity status and a discount. Just be sure to tag those hard-working thrift store IG accounts!
The end. :)