Getting Thrifty in the D: Detroit’s Resale Revolution

This post is the first in a series written in partnership with The Detroit News’ DVoice Blog, it first appeared there.

A thrifty revolution is starting right here in our own backyard. Your “trash” could soon become someone else’s treasure as thrift, vintage, and consignment stores continue to sprout up around Detroit. THRIFT on the AVE, Eldorado General Store, Savvy Gents, and Detroit Clothing Circles are a few of the most recent. All of them with their own unique take on resale.

THRIFT keeps it modern and upscale, while Savvy Gents focuses on re-purposing, and mixing the old with new. Detroit Clothing Circles combines vintage with high end, while Eldorado’s keen on found objects and decor. But why the sudden interest in thrift?

“We wanted to offer the market an enhanced version of resale,” said R. Christopher Prater of THRIFT on the AVE. “We saw that thrift and resale stores weren’t always befitting and reflect the appointments that the new thrifter and resale shopper expect.”

Erin Gavle, founder of Eldorado, was inspired by her love for travel and her knack for finding unique curiosities. She left her New York City advertising job to move back home to Michigan to pursue her passion.

“My expertise is in treasure hunting, or as I’ve labeled it ­’trinketeering’. I figured out how to combine the things I’ve always loved doing to create a job that fit around the lifestyle, priorities and structure that are important to me.”

It doesn’t look like the trend is ending anytime soon. Young, aspiring Detroit entrepreneurs like Denice Burnett see an opportunity in “thrifty business”, with low startup costs and the promise of turning a favorite pastime into a career. “My grandmother collected antiques…she definitely played a huge part in my love for vintage,” she explains. “I’m starting a vintage store because I already have one in my closet!”

The 24 year old works as a part-time natural hair stylist, but has been working on launching an online and pop-up vintage clothing business from her Midtown apartment. “I’ve been working on my business for about a year now,” she explains. “So far I have inventory, and I have my LLC–it’s not much but I’m still building the foundation while working to support myself.”

Denice plans on becoming a member of I Am Young Detroit, and taking online classes to jump start her business. “There’s tons to do–marketing stuff, photo-shoots, booking models, and developing a solid business plan. I have my work cut out for me. I hope to find mentors who can help give me some guidance.”

Launching your own passion-fueled business begins with discovering your entrepreneurial passion and finding a need in an existing area of business, like resale, or creating a new one. Visit I Am Young Detroit to find these and other inspiring stories, resources, and tools for discovering and igniting your entrepreneurial passion.

Pictured: THRIFT on the AVE’s R. Christopher & TaNisha Prater

Photography by Khaaliq Thomas

About the author

Margarita Barry

I Am Young America Founder & Publisher. Artist, Designer, Blogger & Entrepreneur Margarita Barry's dream is to amplify the success of I Am Young Detroit with I Am Young America, highlighting how teens, 20 somethings, and 30 somethings all over the country are making their mark on their communities through entrepreneurship, creativity and innovation. She lives in Detroit with her five year old daughter Posey, watching unseemly amounts of television and plotting her next retail venture.

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