Back when eBay first got going, everyone was convinced they were going to become accidental entrepreneurs, turning their wardrobe leftovers into piles of money. Few of us ever managed it, but a smattering of impressive success stories go to show that it is possible. Take Amber Waterfield, for example – after making more than £5,000 selling vintage clothes on shopping app Depop (under the memorable name FloralFart), she’s gone on to open her own bricks-and-mortar store.
We caught up with her to see how she did it and what tips she has for us.
Hey Amber! Please introduce yourself.
Hey my name’s Amber, I’ve just turned 28 and I’m the head of creative at a new shopping complex called The Yards. I’ve worked in retail for 10 years, most of which was spent working for Topshop and Topman. I love all things weird and wonderful and have a degree in fashion and textile apparel. Photography has been a huge passion of mine for many years and Depop has allowed me to combine all my passions perfectly.
OK, first things first: why the name FloralFart?!
It sounds silly but I was going for the idea that if a girl was to fart (which of course they don’t ?) it would smell like a flower!!
How did you get started with Depop?
I started on Depop about a year ago. I had tried other selling sites in the past but really liked the idea that Depop was like a social media page as well as a selling site. You can really build a portfolio and I love that.
What are your top tips for selling on Depop and similar platforms?
Building your portfolio is a huge help. It lets people know your personality and style and lets them feel as though they can connect with you. That’s what I think makes people want to buy. It’s certainly why I do.
You now run a bricks and mortar shop – how has that differed to selling online?
I do. I have a shop called MINK based at The Yards in Kettering. It’s an amazing department store of small independent sellers and has a great community vibe. I loved The Yards as soon as I saw it and knew I had to have a shop there. I have a business partner called Emma who runs it with me (we actually met at university but rekindled our relationship through Depop so we have a lot to thank it for).
It’s different in that on Depop you build your portfolio and brand image using individual photos but in a shop, everything has to show who you are – including the fixtures and fittings. Emma and I work hard to keep it fresh for our customers so when they return it looks different and keeps them interested in shopping our style. We want our customers to love everything about us!
What advice would you give other female entrepreneurs?
Keep pursuing your dreams and you’ll get there eventually! It takes a lot of hard work to get there and even more when you do but it’s so worth it.
What are some of your favourite pieces you’ve sold so far?
We love faux fur collars in every colour at Mink and we have some amazing vintage jumpers that are to die for!
How do you choose which pieces to buy and sell in your shop? What do you look out for?
It’s based on both of our styles really. We love it, we buy it, we sell it (if we’re not too tempted to keep it for ourselves!) our style base line will always flow through but there is also a top line that constantly changes as all fashions do. We hope that keeps our pieces continuous but unique at the same time.
Amber still sells on Depop – check out what she’s got up for grabs here.
All images courtesy of Amber Waterfield