My new friend, Carissa, is a beauty blogger and recently opened her own Facebook fashion boutique called Violet Joy, where she sells clothing to a closed group (go check it out and request membership – her stuff is amazing and priced so well!). I met Carissa because our children are in the same class at school; I’d chatted with her in passing and thought she was beautiful and hilarious, but I didn’t know much about her outside of pickups and dropoffs. When Carissa and I became Facebook friends and I learned about her blog and her business, I was very excited. Here was someone with my same passions who had applied an entrepreneurial spirit to beauty and fashion and was making money working with what she loved. After much deliberation, many sleepless nights and endless hours of conversation with my husband about what was best for our family, I had recently decided to not seek another job in the education field in the near future. This left me with the question: what next? I knew I loved beauty and fashion and had a lot of fun with this blog, but I was discouraged because I thought you had to move to New York or LA to work in fashion. You had to be in your twenties. I didn’t want my blog to be one big advertisement, which is why I stopped writing regularly. But here was Carissa, taking all of those things into account and working hard toward being successful in her own way. She inspired me – so I decided to start taking small steps toward figuring out my next big step.
Have you heard of Poshmark? I didn’t know much about it until my husband and I watched a CBS Sunday Morning episode about money, and the show featured a woman who made $6,000 a month on Poshmark by selling previously worn clothes (her own and lucky thrifted finds). At the risk of being incredibly tacky, I will be honest with you and tell you that $6,000 a month is more than I made working 50-60 hours a week as an Assistant Principal at an urban high school – and it is FAR more than I made as a teacher. I began to wonder: what would happen if I set as my goal to make money selling clothes equivalent to what I would make as an English teacher, should I go back to work in the fall? What if I could follow Carissa’s lead, and actually have fun with my work, and be flexible for my son, and make just as much money…without the paper grading?
Since I had just done my first massive closet clean in about four years, I decided to open a Poshmark account and list some of my pieces. I had great luck in the first week, selling 5 pieces right away. I got nervous about my privacy because my first account was linked to my Facebook; so I opened a new account a few days ago and now have to begin my “seller stats” over again, but I’ve already sold another item. The money I make from these sales will be my seed money to invest in new, wholesale clothing pieces for my own boutique, and I’m still trying to figure out what the best method of selling will be. I love Carissa’s strategy on Facebook; she learned the approach from a friend of hers who sells on both Facebook and Instagram; Poshmark provides a convenient infrastructure but takes a cut of your profits, plus it is a crowded marketplace with a lot of noise to cut through as a buyer. I hope to launch my own little business online in the fall when my son begins kindergarten.
Do I know what I’m doing? No. Do I know where it will lead? No. All I know is that fashion has long been my first love, and I’ve set it aside with the feeling that it was too superficial to be a career, that work should be noble and altruistic. But as I am getting older, I find I am tired of sitting on the sidelines, watching in fascination and amazement as other people live out their dreams and I wonder what would happen if I tried to fulfill mine. I’m not in my twenties and I can’t accept a $20,000 a year job at a magazine in New York, but that doesn’t mean I can’t jump into fashion. Since the day he was born, my top priority has been my son. Whatever I do, he will come first, and so I’ll start very small and go very gradually. But as Carissa told me, I should just start. She said I won’t know what I’m doing and I’ll change course a thousand times, but that I should just do it. You might be interested in my Poshmark page, and I’ll be adding accessories where size doesn’t matter in the coming weeks. I’ll also add some items for men and kids soon, too. Stay tuned for even more in the future.