"I quit my shop job to sell second-hand clothes and make $5k-a-month"

  • last month
A shop manager quit her job to resell second-hand clothing - and now makes up to $5k-a-month.

Stephanie Thornsburg, 43, ran a thrift shop for 16 years - before turning her side hustle of selling her old clothes online into a full-time career.

She started off listing the clothes in her wardrobe - but now makes a living buying and selling second-hand items.

As well as being able to pay herself a salary, Stephanie also uses it to support her two children, 23 and 18, with her husband, Luke, 44, a configuration lead.

Stephanie, from Cincinnati, Ohio, US, said: “I make money by spending time digging and finding the treasures - then putting them on the second-hand market.

“I was ready to be my own boss, too - really take the leap.

“I managed other people for 16 years, after a while, it gets a little overwhelming.

“Now, I’ve never been happier - I’m helping promote slow fashion and I have so much free time on my hands.”

The mum-of-two has always worked in the second-hand industry.

She was the first person to open up a “bricks-and-mortar buy-and-sell store” in her area.

Stephanie managed the shop for 16 years and often felt she had to give up her free time to help out.

“My kids were eight months and five years old at the time,” she said.

“I started out as a store manager - and ended up working my way to district manager.

“When you’re manager, you’re the one who has to end up going in and taking care of things.

“I had to come in on so many of my days off, and work lots of overtime.

“Even if I wasn’t at work, you still get phone calls, and you’re still needed.

“You’d be getting questions at any time of the day.

“I also had some crazy emergencies - like a kid once accidentally crashing his car into the front of our store.”

Other full-time clothing resellers would often come to Stephanie’s shop for “inventory” - which inspired her to make the transition.

She said: “Resellers would particularly come to our women’s and designer stores.

“People bought our stuff to try and sell it on and make some money.

“It piqued my interest that people can do this all by themselves - they don’t have to work for someone.”

In 2020, Stephanie started selling the clothes in her wardrobe as a side hustle - before branching out to other products bought at second-hand shops.

It took her four years to make enough money to replace her nine-to-five income.

She initially started out making $1k profit per month, and now has a turnover of $60k-a-year.

“The trick is to learn which brands sell well,” she said.

“The money comes in when you figure out what those pieces are.

“Size is a huge component for me.

“The average size of a woman in the US is a 16, so I often find sizes 10 and up perform the best.

“It took me a full year to profit $1k to $2k-a-month doing this as a side-hustle - now, it’s $4k to $5k.

“I’ve been able to make what I was making at my old job - but I’m my own boss, and continuing to grow.”