Women Supporting Women, Featuring Chelsea Fergen
“I've always believed that one woman's success can only help another woman's success.”
Throughout this blog series, I've touched on teamwork several times. It's SO important on so many levels. I've worked in a couple of environments that would mention teamwork, but the experiences and upper level wouldn't back it up. Teamwork isn't something that just happens. It takes a lot of effort, time, belief that it's worth it and the willingness to keep at it.
3 years ago, I met Chelsea through a networking group on social media. Some months later, she talked to me about a job that I wasn't in the market for, but something about my conversations with her and the eventual interview made me jump at it. It felt right - and I'm not talking about the blowing smoke up your behind and instilling a false sense of community type of feeling. I had that gut feeling and I followed it.
Here I am, over 2 and a half years later, part of the office family that really does exist. The place where working as a team really does happen. The place where it might not be in your job description, but you help figure it out and get it done anyway. The place where you're thanked for your hard work. The type of place that everyone should get to experience working in at least once in their lives, and if they're lucky, they can stay in it as long as they want to.
The driving force behind the environment is the office manager, Chelsea. To work beside an office manager that comes to your door and says, "What can I help you with so we can both get out of here?" on a regular basis is something. And while I don't have time to go on and on, know that that's just the tip of the iceberg.
Eventually I found out Chelsea had a side-gig as a reseller and I needed to know. First, what did that even mean? But also, what's involved and how much work is it going to take? Sure, cleaning out a closet and dresser is a pain, but if I knew there was more to be gained at the end of it, well, now you're talking!
I watch her walk into the office with several packages daily to ship out. Ok, how in the world is she so good at this too!? Below she shares some tips about her reselling success so that you can be successful too! You know, more of that teamwork mentality where sharing is caring!
So many don’t even know there’s a huge resale market online. How do you know what to look for in the items you sell?
You know, I didn’t know this was a thing for a long time. I kind of stumbled on Poshmark by accident a few years ago while cleaning out my own closet. I had no idea about the ins and outs of the app at the time, and just uploaded some embarrassingly awful photos of a few things I wanted to get rid of. About 6 months later I went to a community antique sale with a friend and she mentioned she was looking for things to sell online. The light bulb went off, and it’s progressed from there. When I decided I wanted to turn this into a business, I watched a TON of YouTube videos from other resellers. There’s a whole reseller community out there helping each other, it’s really great! It was super helpful hearing what brands they were picking up, what was selling, and tips to make sales. Tip: some great key phrases to search for on youtube include “poshmark what sold,” “thrift haul,” and “poshmark tips.” I honestly had no idea what I was doing when I started, and definitely made lots of mistakes. But, as with any small business, I’ve learned it takes time to find your groove. As time has progressed, I’ve learned what brands work for me, how to spot quality, how to list items so they have a better chance of selling, and what items I feel are worth my time as far as ROI. I still listen to a handful of YouTube videos a week to stay current, usually in the car on the way to work. I feel like I still learn a few new brands a week that I’ve never heard of! I still don’t consider myself and expert. I want to learn all of the things!
You have several hundred YouTube subscribers for your channel about the resale world. What prompted you to share all of your tips and tricks? Why not keep all the secrets to yourself?
There’s a few reasons. First of all, I am so grateful that the reselling community shares with each other. I owe a lot of my success to watching other people! So, naturally, I feel it’s important to give back to the community that helped me get started. Second, I know what it’s like to be struggling financially, and I want people to know this is a viable option for income. This is a great way to make some extra money at your own pace with relatively little or even $0 startup cost – especially if you start with your own closet! I always wish I would have figured all this out years ago. Third, there’s a HUGE market for reselling, and it’s only growing. Resale currently accounts for $7 billion of the secondhand clothing market and it’s expected to grow to $23 billion by the year 2023! Even further – secondhand sales are forecasted to blow by fast fashion in the next decade, reaching 64 billion by 2028. There’s plenty of opportunity to go around.
You became fairly successful in resale in a relatively short period of time while still working a full time job. What would be your two top pieces of advice for people looking to find their own resale success?
It comes down to two things.
Patience – you may be surprised to hear that, as you’re aware that this is something I don’t actually have a lot of - HA! But, while I’m not really a patient person, I’m not a quitter. I know that building a business is a process. You have to give yourself time to learn, make mistakes, and grow. Every success story is built upon failures.
Passion. No joke. If you love something, you’ll make time for it. I feel like you’re a huge example of that with your photography business. You really do LOVE it, and it shows. To you, it probably doesn’t even feel like work. I love thrifting and deal hunting as a hobby, and look forward to it. There’s something so exciting about the whole process to me – it feels like a treasure hunt! But, it’s not for everyone. If the thought of shopping for used clothing items doesn’t appeal to you, don’t force yourself into it. Find something else you enjoy!
What is a dream you have that you’ve not yet achieved?
Time freedom. Eventually I’d like to leave the corporate world and work for myself. Think about it – being able to take off on vacation whenever you want? Working at your own pace? Having every single day to build your own future? I think that’s probably the dream of many people. But, as great as that sounds, it’s a struggle for me to think about taking that leap. While I couldn’t walk away from my full-time job financially at the moment, I do think it’s feasible in the next few years if I continue to work really hard. I have set a goal for myself - to replace my full-time income, and have one year of income in savings set aside before I even consider it. (I do have multiple income streams outside of my full-time job, so I wouldn’t be solely relying on reselling for income.) The other struggle with this dream is that I truly do love the people at my full-time job, so it’s going to be really hard to walk away from. There are so many things to think about…insurance, retirement, would I be lonely? I get overwhelmed. But people ARE doing it. So – as far as I’m concerned, it’s just something I need to figure out. One step at a time. I’ll get there.
Chelsea, thank you for being a great example as a leader, team player and sharing your experiences so that others can use that information to be successful themselves. Your no- nonsense approach and sharing to help others is truly appreciated! Thank you for making a difference - one that I personally get to experience!
Do you have a woman you'd like to nominate for a feature? Please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Stay safe and healthy,