The Elephant In My Room: I Am By Definition A Reseller


My outfit here cost $2. I realized that I never took the time to really explain what it is that I do and the financial backbone of Elephant In My Room so that's what I am here to do. Disclaimer- the comma button on my keyboard is currently sleep or something and I'm sure there are several grammatical errors but the post most go on. 

Truthfully my amazing Shaw D.C. neighbors are what sparked this desire which I will touch on later. I'm a single mom of 2 and in short version I resell used clothing that one person may not want to another person who will love and adore it. 



I started this journey last year in September with the items in my own closet. I always believed in shopping second hand and often donated clothing at a local boutique here in Washington D.C. I adored the boutique but I noticed some prices just didn't make sense based on brand or even condition. Then I began to wonder hey could you do this too? That's when I came across Poshmark one of many selling platforms that is quickly expanding way beyond clothing. 

I started doing this part-time while working a full time corporate job some may think I was dumb for quitting. The truth is it was the best decision of my life. I was suffering from anxiety where my doctor had taken me out of work and placed me on meds. I felt drained and had zero patience for my two amazing toddlers. I felt like nothing but a robot and I genuinely didn't feel I was making people happy or even helping at that job. 

I took the biggest leap of faith and quit to pursue Elephant In My Room full time and the title of my role quickly changed.



I've recently posted on the Next Door app for any clothing donations people may have and the amount of positive responses surprised me and I will forever remember this moment and be grateful. To every single person I have tried to thank you over and over but truly thank you so much. Now with anything in life there are some bad apples of the bunch and I was completely shocked by the snark comments people confidently posted. My ethics and business structure has been questioned but I boldly stand on what I am doing. I am helping lower the numbers of a world problem which is fast fashion. I hope to help people simply feel they are enough through affordable fashion finds along with health and wellness. 



Every single year  10.4 million TONS of clothing ends up in a landfill. On average 80 pounds per person in the Unites States is throwing away clothing that can be recycled or upcycled. On average thats about 100 items- per person. Over 95 % of those clothing textiles could be recycled but aren't. [ Vox Magazine 2016]

Here is one location of the recycle center where clothes in the DMV area go after not selling in the Goodwill. They try to sell them by the pound and from there it is compressed and sold for fabric or to other countries. 







Let that sit in for a second. Now I've had people question my business structure but I challenge your way of thinking. Some don't agree with the idea of receiving clothing that people do not want or find to be of use and selling it to someone else. I'm not sure why this bothers so many people because the saying "one man's trash is another treasure" is the perfect scenario. If you were going to give these clothes away or throw them in the trash why are you so mad at me for selling them at an affordable price to make a living but also lower the numbers to a worldwide issue?  

Here is a bag someone tried to sell for this price. I sold the same bag for $55 with free shipping and paid $15 for it. For me that was a good profit even though I clearly could have gotten more. 



Well why don't you give them away for free? Well I'm so excited to say sometimes I do. What I can't use I give to other organizations. I offer clothing on a regular to anyone in need and recently I have been searching for a women and children's homeless shelter to offer free clothing to those individuals. It is a project I've been working on as I pray my business expands. Here is another challenging thing to think about. Yes Goodwill does offer vouchers to some people for clothing but a large majority of their clothing is sold. That money does employee people but so does my business. It provides food and roof over my children's head and in my first year I have not hit close to 6 figures yet. 



The main part of reselling people snark about is the idea of making money off something you received free but there is so much work that goes into operating my business. Let me let you in on the day to day operations! Sourcing is the art of finding clothing or goods of cost for you to make a profit. Once these items are found I have to clean and inspect for any stains holes snags or signs of use that would not make this item beneficial to someone else. I steam my clothing so it is presentable in presentation. I look up how old it is an research comps to make sure I am offering a fair price. I market my business daily and thanks for the help of social media. Now what that means for me is coming up with content. I run sales almost daily to keep the concept of keeping things affordable. I photograph my clothing which also means editing to keep the natural appeal of the apparel. I offer customer service to each person that shows interest in items which often includes sending lower offers than what is listed answering questions and sometimes just offering a "how are you or have a nice day". I take measurements of clothing since people can't try it on or return. 



I handle logistics so that means 24 hour shipping and tracking along with making sure all packages are packaged to avoid damage. I have to restock supplies often like detergent shipping supplies my thank you cards and so much more. I also have to maintain an inventory system so that I can easily find items since I am running my business from my small 2 bedroom apartment. 



Whew! I know sounds like a lot but I am not complaining. I do this daily and I love it. I'm not someone trying to get over on anyone. The next time you question a reseller I challenge you to ask a few questions of understanding instead of words of  rudeness or sarcasm I mean after all I thought we all knew if you don't have anything nice to say don't say anything at all?  Ask Nordstrom or your favorite brand what do they do with clothing that doesn't sale. If the answer is another store go on down the line until you hit the dead end. Do you shop local thrift stores or second hand boutiques? If so what is the difference of what they are doing vs me and other online resellers who still tries to help the local community? Main difference is we probably can't afford to pay rent of a physical location or been denied a business grant even though we are an established LLC. 



I LOVE WHAT I DO! I am so willing to answer any questions. This isn't just a hobby it's my business and like a third child. I will do anything to protect my brand and business because it's something I work so hard for and sacrifice so much to have. My vision for whats to come with Elephant In My Room starts with a giveaway I will be hosting in the next month. It includes a photoshoot and styled outfit for free to 5 moms because sometimes we forget we were people before the kids. I'm going to continue to find a shelter or an organization that offers free clothing especially to women and children and donate as much as possible but definitely monthly. I want to be able to work as close as possible and more than just a drop off. I've started working on my own e-commerce site and hope to expand beyond the Poshmark platform or Instagram sales. There is so much more to come so look out for Elephant In My Room! Most of all thank you to every single person who donated or even cared to know more about what I do. The support was life changing for me and literally all I needed to keep going. No matter what remember you are enough. 







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