Profitable Niches

From Thrifting To Thriving Side Hustle

July 5, 2023

I'm AMY!

Hello! I’m Amy and I love helping ambitious people turn their big ideas into sustainable and enriching side hustles. I'm also a blogger, podcaster, food photographer, niche strategist, and business coach.


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Carmen Jones of Secondhand Shawty explains how she has taken her love for vintage clothing and created a thriving thrifting side hustle!

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She Turned Thrift Shopping For 90’s Fashion Into A Thriving Side Hustle w/ Carmen Jones

There was a time when thrifting was looked down upon or thought up as lame. However, times have changed and a new love for vintage clothing has risen. Today, we are seeing more and more people pursue a thrifting side hustle. Including Carmen Jones of Secondhand Shawty.

Carmen has a deep love for 90’s nostalgia and thrifting for vintage clothing. Today she has combined the two and created one unstoppable side hustle.

Secondhand Shawty includes unique finds from the past that Carmen reworks to complement today’s fashion trends. Her side hustle is one of a kind with many lessons for fellow side hustlers.

Carmen Jones and Secondhand Shawty

Carmen has been running her online vintage clothing business, Secondhand Shawty, since 2016. At a job she hated, Secondhand Shawty started as a trial run when she posted a few things on Etsy. Once she sold out, she kept going, and almost eight years later she’s still going strong while simultaneously working a 9-5.

She continues to make fun, thrift-related content on social media and sell vintage and reworked clothing all around the world, including her hometown of Atlanta, GA where she regularly vends at pop-ups around the city.

Clothing Rework and Up-cycling

One question that I ask Carmen during this interview is what clothing rework and up-cycling is. Carmen explains that this is when someone purchases a piece from the thrift store and moderates it slightly.

An example of this is turning a shirt found inside the thrift store into a crop top. Or sewing the clothing slightly to create a snatched waste.

Carmen reworks many of the items she finds thrifting to match today’s fashion trends. She also does an amazing job at showcasing her thrifting up-cycling on her Instagram account!

Shopping For Inventory

When you run a thrifting side hustle, one major thing to consider is inventory. Shopping for inventory never looks the same. And it’s an item that must be done in order to continue earning revenue.

Carmen explains that she visits thrift stores at least once a week to shop for inventory, usually on Saturdays or during her lunch break during the week. And this can look widely different.

Some trips to the thrift store can feel like a goldmine. And other times, you aren’t able to find pieces to flip.

Carmen states in this interview that overconsumption is still a thing. This means that if we are pursuing a thrifting side hustle, we must do it responsibly. This means not purchasing the entire store.

There are a lot of people who utilize thrift shopping as a necessity. Therefore, Carmen always ensures she never overbuys inventory. And that her pieces are more niche-focused rather than only functional.

Getting Paid For Style

A brilliant factor inside Carmen’s business model is her unique style. She doesn’t store her Etsy shop with anything thrifted. Instead, Carmen focuses on vintage looks from the 90’s.

Her curation of this collection is how Carmen can increase her profit margin. This is something wise to consider. Your curation of inventory and the theme of inventory you carry; is all value to change for.

In Person Pop Up Events

Aside from her Etsy shop, Carmen also runs her side hustle through local pop-up events in Atlanta, GA. These events allow Carmen to physically display her clothing and meet her customers 1:1.

Local events are an amazing way to grow any side hustle. They are also a great way to promote your lead magnets inside your business like free guides, first-time coupon codes, etc.

Understanding What Thrift Items Will Sell

A part of this side hustle is understanding what will sell and what will not. Carmen says this has been a learning curve for her thrifting business. And that she’s learned a lot about her customer.

For this thrifting side hustle, Carmen says her best-selling items are denim, celebrity-themed clothing, and one-piece wears like jumpsuits and dresses.

The pieces with the largest profit margin are jackets and leather items.

Tips For Creating A Thrifting Side Hustle

Creating a thrifting side hustle is becoming more and more popular. We are seeing the value in the items that are donated to the thrift store. Plus we are beginning to create value inside those items through things like vintage style, nostalgia, and a desire for a unique wardrobe.

I asked Carmen what tips she has for side hustlers looking to start their own thrifting business. She shares so many good nuggets with us!

Tips For Creating Your Thrifting Side Hustle:

  • Don’t look at others and stay true to you
  • Invest in a thermal printer for your business
  • Create good content around your side hustle (like on Instagram & TikTok!)


To find Carmen’s amazing thrift collection, shop Secondhand Shawty right here. There you can find so many unique finds that would take you hours inside the thrift store to discover. This Etsy shop has over 800 sales and over 200 glowing reviews.

You can also connect with Carmen and Secondhand Shawty on Instagram or follow her on TikTok. Carmen creates amazing content to show off her latest finds and give a behind-the-scenes glimpse into her side hustle business.

And if you’re looking to start your own thrifting side hustle, download my Side Hustle Starter Kit right here. This kit includes everything you will need to start your side hustle including a free business plan template, scheduling plans, and more.

Do you have an amazing business that's just waiting for the right audience to come along? Let me help you find them! Download my Free Lead Magnet Workbook right here!

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I'm Amy Schmidt

I’m a blogger, podcaster, food photographer, niche strategist, and expert side hustle developer. Needless to say, I walk the walk when it comes to building and scaling non-traditional businesses! 

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