By Bridget Sjoberg | Staff Writer
When San Clemente, Calif., sophomore Claire Griffin went through sorority recruitment in January, she didn’t expect to walk away with a sorority “big” sister and soon-to-be business partner who shares her love for thrifting.
She especially didn’t foresee the quick success she would experience as a young entrepreneur running a small business through the reselling of unique thrifting finds.
Houston junior Jordan Shafer, a member of Alpha Chi Omega sorority, noticed Griffin’s style during recruitment and saw her as someone that she could share interests with.
“I saw Claire during recruitment and was like, ‘She’s so cool. She looks like she could be like me,’” Shafer said. “Now she’s my little, and we have a lot in common.”
The girls discovered they both love thrifting and finding unique clothes that stand out from the crowd. They particularly enjoy Dirt Cheap, a large thrift store located off Valley Mills.
“For me, thrifting is like a scavenger hunt,” Griffin said. “I would much rather wear something that took thirty minutes to find than spend $50 for a shirt I spotted at a common store.”
After thrifting together on several occasions, Griffin and Shafer had the idea to create a small business out of their passion. Their business, Bees Knees Bargains, is a way to buy thrifted clothes without going through the process of browsing racks for hours to find the perfect piece. The sorority sisters buy unique clothing at thrift shops and resell them on the Bees Knees Instagram. Customers can purchase clothes by commenting on the picture of an item or direct messaging the account.
“We basically resell thrifted clothes online so it’s at the customer’s convenience — you don’t have to search through all the racks,” Shafer said. “I remember hearing people talk about how they’ve always wanted to go thrifting, but they don’t have the time or patience to search through all the options.”
The Bees Knees Bargains Instagram account posts frequent photos of their thrifting finds, as well as which clothes are still for sale. The account also includes features of favorite items on the story and through highlights. New posts will be out this coming week showing recent thrifting discoveries, and they are excited to soon begin highlighting some winter clothes perfect for the colder-weather months.
Shafer said she enjoys taking the time to find items that others might overlook and presenting them in a way that’s appealing for other students.
“I love getting complimented on funky stuff,” Shafer said. “Seeing when people say ‘I wouldn’t think that would be cute’ and then styling it well and seeing their reactions is fun. I love finding cool and unique things and being able to stand out from everyone else — it’s nice to feel different.”
Griffin agrees, noting how wearing clothes that allow her to be herself and showcase her personality encourages her to get more done and be productive during her day.
“Being from Southern California, clothes define who a person is,” Griffin said. “People wear what they are, so for me, clothes show my personality — I like wearing things that feel like me. Getting dressed in the morning with something I like also makes me a lot more productive.”
As for their own personal styles, Griffin and Shafer note that they both enjoy clothes with a ‘90s feel, and anything high-waisted or with a unique pattern or vibe.
“Everyone always says that I wear very 70s or 90s clothes,” Griffin said. “I love weird embroidered shirts or a fun button up shirt with high waisted jeans. It’s cool to choose things that other people normally wouldn’t.”
Griffin said she enjoys being involved in and running a business for something she’s passionate about and encourages students to use their interests to make a difference or stand out from the crowd.
“If you have a passion for something, you might as well give it your all,” Griffin said. “It helped bring me and Jordan closer together and gives us something interesting to do besides school and our sorority. We get rewarded for it, but have fun doing this because it’s something we truly enjoy.”