Welcome! In this part of the story you will learn all about how I became a luxury reseller. At this point, you should already know about my experience in the fashion and cpg marketing industries. If you somehow skipped that step, click here to read the first part of my story The Top 5 Business Lessons Learned in Fashion that will Transform any Business. You need to know where I have been so you know the tools I used to start The Global Collective Co.
The first part of the story ends as I quit what I thought would be my dream job; a high-ranking, well paid, brand management job for one of America’s oldest beer brands. The resale journey begins the exact day I left my corporate job, but I would not create The Global Collective Co. until almost 10 months later.
I had been reselling for a while at this point, mostly for fun, as a hobby. I hadn’t really thought about building a brand back then. I was just flipping items for profit. I didn’t even think of it as a store, every item was its own business deal. I didn’t care if the items went together, if there was cohesiveness throughout my closet, I just wanted to keep flipping money around.
I did this, quite successfully, for 10 months! I will admit I had a lot of money I had saved up in the bank, and reselling was paying for my bills so I was sitting pretty. (Click the title if you would like to read about My $15,000 Mistake during this time). I admit that I still treated reselling as a hobby. There was no real organization of my days, I worked as much as I felt like working and stopped when I wasn’t feeling inspired. (To be honest, I would later realize how much potential I had then and how I kind of wasted my time but, you live, you learn).
After 10 months, my boyfriend had to go back to Germany for some personal things and he wanted to spend time with his family after 4 years of being gone, so we decided to move to Germany for a bit. I had no idea how I would continue reselling, it is a jealous job. There was no way,in my mind, to continue my store from abroad. I sold off all my inventory and moved to Germany to find my next adventure.
STARTING FROM ZERO
I got to Germany and for the first time in my life… I had NOTHING to do. No bills, no responsibilities. We had moved into his house, so I really didn’t have a care in the world. I have worked very hard my whole life. I have taken care of myself since I moved out at 18.
I thought this was every person’s dream! I would finally own all of my time! I would learn languages, cook amazing meals, finally get a six-pack because I had the time! Maybe I will go into detail on another post, but all I will say about this is… those 6 months were THE hardest months of my entire life.
I learned a lot about myself, mostly that I was not the kind of person that could sit around without a purpose. I used to joke that maybe I just wanted to be a housewife. First of all, being a housewife is the hardest job on Earth. I can’t even imagine the women that are housewife, mother, and employee/business owner. Those are the real MVP’s.
It is a blessing to know that you have a roof over your head and food, I know I was very lucky, but I was so lost. I had been used to having goals, getting promotions, and having a purpose my whole life (I would later learn it was the wrong purpose, but still, it had gotten me to this point in my life). I have an entrepreneurial spirit, and it was slowly dying.
My boyfriend is the kindest and wisest person I know. He had a talk with me and told me that I needed to be thankful for this time I was given. That nothing is forever and that I should appreciate this time and use it on myself. He always uses the Warren Buffet quote “the best investment you can make is in yourself”.
He said I should learn anything I have always wanted to. I had been talking about wanting to learn photoshop for years, but I never had the time. He helped me look for a program and some free online courses. Within 2 months, I had learned photoshop and illustrator. I was back!
To be honest, I think part of my depression came from not being able to run my resale business. I had always known I loved doing it, but it was during this time that I realized that it was my passion. I knew I wanted to do it again, I just didn’t know how.
THE BIG IDEA
…Until one night, in the middle of the night, I got an idea! I would source items online and ask one of my best friends if she wanted a job processing and shipping my items! I talked to her the next day and the rest is history!
My boyfriend and I went on an amazing trip to China and Southeast Asia for a month and when we came back…. I started sourcing like a wild woman. I reached out to wealthy friends, told them about my project and asked if they would want to consign their preloved luxury. They were all onboard! I had a concept and logistics. I had a store! And the best thing was that I would be able to run it from around the world, basically anywhere with wifi.
I decided I didn’t just want to flip this time around. I wanted to build a brand. I wanted to take all the lessons I had learned from my career in fashion and marketing and build something to last. I envisioned a preloved and holistic online concept store that would carry things from all over the world. A few weeks and 10 logo designs later, The Global Collective Co. was born.
I would travel every few months to Los Angeles to help with sourcing, new consignment clients and big buys. The rest of the time I would edit and list from wherever I was. It was worked! I sold $6,000 the first month up and running! I couldn’t believe it! I had found a way to make my dream work! So, March 2018 was the first month of The Global Collective Co.
BUILDING A BUSINESS IN BUDAPEST
I ran my new business without a website for 6 months and a very simple, low maintenance Instagram for a year. In August of 2019, five months since I had started my business, we were in Budapest, one of my favorite cities in the world. My boyfriend asked me why I didn’t have my own website. I told him the business worked the way it did without it and I was fine.
Exactly one second after I said that, I realized it was because I had no idea where to start with a website and it was my fear of failure was telling me to just make it easy. I had watched a couple Youtube videos back home about Shopify, but I had not really focused or paid much attention.
The next day he had some appointments, and I had a lot of product to edit so and I sat at the Mcdonalds in the old train station for 5 hours. This is THE nicest McDonalds your eyes have ever seen. It was like sitting in a palace. By the time I stood up, I had almost built my full website.
I couldn’t believe it. A year before, I had no idea how to edit a picture in any way, I could barely even open up my Facebook page, and now I had just built my own website, created my company logos and professionally edited all of our product pictures. Who the hell was I?
The “AHA” Moment came later that week, on a Thursday morning when we were having brunch at the cutest little Café in Budaest called Stika. We had a great breakfast, chatted for a bit, and then we both took out our laptops and started to work.
I was putting the last touches on the website when I got this sudden sense of overwhelming gratitude. I looked around, and I realized, I had done it. I had built myself a life where I could run a business I love, while traveling the world, with the love of my life.
As cheesy as that sounds, that was my movie moment. I remember clicking the final save. My business was up and running, my website was live, I was in my favorite city in the world. I had accomplished what I had always dreamed of.
So, that’s the jist of it. That is a short summary of how The Global Collective Co. came to be (I have conveniently left out the multiple breakdowns, the rookie editing mistakes that would cause me to lose entire batches, and the 12 hour days to get this going. Those will be part of another story).
What I want you to take from this is that, while I did have a lot of tools I learned from my previous life in fashion and marketing, a lot of what it took to build my business, I learned online. I had thought it was impossible to have a store and make money from far away… and that was my first mistake. Nothing is impossible. It’s just a matter of how you look at things. I am proof that where there is a will, there is a way.
If you had told me a 10 years ago, while I was standing around in a retail store, straightening hangers, hating my life, that I was going to be able to run an online luxury goods store, while traveling the world, I would have laughed in your face. With all the ups and downs, guess who isn’t laughing now.
If there is something you want to achieve, do it! If you know what you want but have no idea how to start, google it. If you want to build an empire but you are unsure of how you would do that, watch videos! Take an online course! Dream big ladies. Invest in yourselves. And work smart and hard to make your dreams come true.
I had the help and support of an amazing person, but the truth is, I could have convinced myself that there was no way to build my business back, bigger and better than before. I could have quit the second I was down in the dumps, but I didn’t. I invested in myself, I acquired necessary skills, and I built my dream.
Don't go! Are you ready to learn about Luxury Resale? Click here to watch a video about how I do what I do. Designer Resale 101: How to Get in The Game
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