You’ve heard of Take Your Daughter to Work Day?
Recently, I flipped the script and asked my daughter if she was up for Take Your Mother to Work Day. She was!
But before we go to work, a story. Once upon a time there was a girl who loved to shop for clothes with her mother. Barbara Ann was the only daughter of Anna Mary, also an only daughter. So mother-daughter shopping was a way of bonding and exploring creativity.
Many years later another little girl, my only daughter Kate, started to display the same interest in clothing that at least four generations of women before her exhibited. From the age of 18 months, Kate insisted on selecting her own clothes. She loved dresses, especially very fancy ones. Fortunately, by then the second-hand stores in our area made it possible to find fancy dresses at the prices an assistant professor (me) could afford. Buying a quality outfit that fit well, looked good, and cost little was like finding a treasure. We enjoyed the hunt as much as the catch. Here’s Kate’s on Easter Sunday 1988.
Throughout her childhood and adolescence Kate continued to love fashion, color, and bargains. One of her jobs in college was to work at Twice As Nice, a second-hand store in Goshen, IN. As an art major and business minor, Kate was able to combine her talents during her two years of volunteer work 2005-6 with the PULSE program by working at Ambiance, a high-end thrift store with mission to help women in shelters. Following her volunteer years, she became an entrepreneur. Like many Millennials, she loves to structure her own time and seeks creative outlets that have social missions.
She started a blog called Yinzpiration where she reached her goal of interviewing 100 creative young Pittsburghers; she was the first host of Creative Mornings/Pittsburgh; she partnered with Emily Levinson and Carrie Nardini to create Propelle, a coaching and mastermind group for women entrepreneurs; and she and her husband Nik have been AirBnB super hosts since 2012. All of these endeavors allowed her to grow her artistic and business skills while she continued to apply her thrift shopping skills on the side.
Since moving from Pittsburgh to Lancaster, PA, in 2021 , Kate has started a new business. This time she is drawing on her previous experiences but also applying them in a targeted way to her original love of clothing. The name of this new career? Personal thrifting, reseller, sustainable shopper. I had never heard of these names before. All I knew is that she had a new Instagram account and an account on a website called Poshmark.
How did she find the clothes? Where did she store the clothes? How did she sell the clothes? My inquiring mind wanted to know.
So I asked my daughter to take me to work for a day. Below you can see us in our Covid shopping gear and thrifted coats, ready for the hunt. Next week I’ll return to tell you what I learned and what I still want to know.
In the meantime, please tell me what your daughter does for a living and how you learn about it. Or tell your own shopping story. Would you like a personal thrifter to do your hunting, or do you want the pleasure yourself? What’s the best “find” you have made in a thrift store?