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Inspiring Conversations with Samantha Cottrell of All Things New Upscale Thrift

Today we’d like to introduce you to Samantha Cottrell.

Hi Samantha, thanks for joining us today. We’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
In 2017, I had signed up to go on a missions trip to Mexico with my church. To help raise funds for my trip, I started selling some of my clothes that I no longer wore via an Instagram account I called “Sam Mote’s Clothes”. I started growing quite the following through my closet sales, and people started to reach out asking for specific items in their size.

I had heard of people thrifting and reselling, so I decided to try it out! I started going to local thrift stores and would sift through each rack to find the very best items. I would spend about 3-4 hours each time I went thrifting. It became like a game to see what all I could find! My Instagram started really growing and I had repeat customers and it was really fun as a side hustle.

I raised all the money for my trip and then some! I absolutely fell in love with the people in Mexico on my trip. I saw such a need there and saw my little side hustle as a way to give back. I started donating a portion of each sale to the community there. When I came home, I continued selling on Instagram anytime I wasn’t working. I really developed a passion for resale and thrifting. I loved being able to provide the latest trends for people on a budget.

A few months later, I decided to take a huge leap and I quit my job so that I could fully focus on my reselling business. I gave my business a facelift and completely rebranded. Then was born “All Things New Upscale Thrift”. The name comes from Revelation 21:5, “And he who was seated on the throne said, ‘Behold, I am making all things new.’ Also he said, ‘Write this down, for these words are trustworthy and true.”

I chose this verse because God rescued us from our sin and made us new again. We were given a second chance, a new life. In the same way, the clothing that I sell has been given a second chance. Someone threw them out, but they have since been rescued and given a new life.

I’m currently just a one-woman show, working out of my small apartment, but I have so many big dreams for this business. I had planned on opening a storefront before the pandemic, but that changed everything. I still would love to have a storefront someday so that I can really create relationships with my customers. It really is so much more than a way to make money. It’s a way to connect with people.

I love the one-on-one aspect of retail because you really get a chance to empower someone and help them feel confident with a new outfit and that’s what I hope to do someday with a storefront. Until then, I will continue selling online with different selling platforms and through in-person pop-up shops in the area!

Alright, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
There definitely have been some struggles, just like all small business owners face. The pandemic really changed the way my business operated. I had every intention of opening a storefront in 2020, but obviously, that wasn’t able to happen.

Luckily, I had started selling online, so that was really helpful when the whole world resorted to online shopping last year. With Covid still lingering around, it’s been hard putting a timeline on when I’d really be able to open a store, but I’m not giving up hope!

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know?
I am a professional women’s clothing reseller. I specialize in curating a collection of clothing that is high quality, trendy, and affordable. I spend countless hours sourcing the very best secondhand clothing and shoes so that people can purchase their favorite brands at a fraction of the retail price.

Not only are people saving money when shopping with me, but they are also helping save clothing from the landfill AND a portion of their purchase goes towards women and children in need in Sonora, Mexico. I’m very proud that I have started this business from the ground up without a college degree and with really no business knowledge.

I have learned everything on my own and I’m running it successfully enough that this is my full-time job. I try to set myself apart by providing a wide range of brands, styles, and sizes so that women of all ages and sizes can feel comfortable shopping with me!

I also try to create a relationship with my customers so that they can trust me to find clothing that suits them.

Can you share something surprising about yourself?
Most people would be surprised to know that I only completed three semesters of college before dropping out to pursue my passion in retail which grew into a love for resale.

I knew absolutely nothing about running a business when I started and now I help my friends with taxes and all of the difficult parts of starting a business.

Contact Info:

Image Credits
Abbey Deerest Photography

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