From eBay to Eastern Market: my fashion experience

Madison VanEyken

I’m 10 years old and I’m a successful vendor at a local community flea market, where I just made $98. My grandmother rented me a table where I’m selling my old books, toys, and sneakers. At that point, I realized there is money to be made by selling my almost new and gently used items to members of my community. This money from the resale of my items allows me to purchase new clothes, sneakers, and books.

My experience at the flea market propelled my passion for fashion, especially the resale of clothes on eBay and at thrift stores or consignment shops. I have enjoyed rummaging through the racks of jeans and retro fashions at my favorite thrift store or consignment shop for years. My discovery of clothes and accessories by high-end designers at affordable prices has allowed me to become a self-stylist and a fashion trendsetter. Compliments and reactions from peers about my attire and their reactions inspired me to pursue a career in the fashion industry. By sharing information about my outfits, I am creating an opportunity for a new and supportive customer base for resale shopping.

I’ve always wanted a career in fashion and would like to own a consignment shop.

Initially, I thought that a career in fashion meant modeling, designing, or selling clothes. However, I have learned there are many aspects of the fashion industry that include marketing and merchandising, such as being a buyer for a particular store. Knowledge and experience in all of these areas are requirements for ownership of a successful consignment shop. A major part of the fashion business is the trend in resale of clothes, which, over the years, has become a multibillion-dollar industry.

At the beginning of this school year, I found my dream job for my high school career. I began working part-time at a consignment shop located at Eastern Market called Clothes Encounter. This not your ordinary consignment shop; Clothes Encounter provides a mixture of luxury brands and regular brands, including Gucci, Fendi, Prada, Louis Vuitton, Chanel, Michael Kors, Ralph Lauren, and Zara. Luxury high-end clothes being sold at a discount is a major part of the resale fashion industry. It is my appreciation of clothes, shoes, accessories, and style that has fueled my thoughts of fashion as an art form. Working at Clothes Encounter has been the best experience for my first job. I am surrounded by great vibes and wonderful colleagues and customers. It gives me great joy when I can assist a customer with putting together a look for a special occasion. More importantly, they feel good about their purchase and are saving a lot of money.

Working at Clothes Encounter has also expanded my knowledge in various areas such as the business, customer service, and merchandising display parts of the fashion industry. I encourage students who seek a career in the fashion industry, or any other art, to get an internship or job relating to their career; they will help build your resume and portfolio for college and potential careers. The fashion industry is a very competitive field that everyone wants to get in, so it’s very important you gain the knowledge and exposure to stand out.