DURBAN – Thrift By Flav is the brainchild of 22-year-old Flavia Minenza, who went from thrift trading on Instagram to opening her own store at the Mall of Africa in Johannesburg.
Thrifts By Flav is a curated second-hand clothing store where all of the pieces are picked by Minenza. The entrepreneur also upcycles old clothing into accessories.
She said, “My focus is on stocking the more unique pieces and stayed true to myself. I will always be on sourcing stand-out pieces, be it branded or not, that people feel proud to wear”.
Minenza started her business using Instagram page with weekly “stock-drops” in which items were sold on a first-come, first-served basis.
After continued growth the entrepreneur soon realised the potential in what she had created and decided that the step up to a store was necessary because there was still such a huge demand for the clothing.
From there, according Minenza, it’s been a bit of a roller-coaster to the opening of the store in The Mall of Africa and the support from people just keeps rolling in.
She said, “It’s been so refreshing hearing people’s reactions to seeing a thrift store in a super regional mall”.
Minenza, who started her business in 2018, said that starting Thrift by Flav was a spur of the moment decision and having been raised in a household where her mom was the breadwinner, it was clear from a young age that anything was possible.
“My late mother owned her own business and was a huge source of inspiration for me,” said the entrepreneur.
According to Minenza, thrift shopping is definitely becoming an increasingly popular way of shopping in South Africa.
She said: “We believe that there is also a massive movement towards shopping consciously, with consumers starting to ask questions about where exactly their clothing is coming from.”
In terms of the clothing that is sold by her, Minenza said that although the clothing can’t be traced back to where and how it was manufactured, all of the items are second-hand and that in itself is far more sustainable than an average clothing store.
Her efforts to expand into formal retailing were backed by commercial property brokers Rosh Pinah Properties, who raised the idea with Mall of Africa asset managers Atterbury and Attacq Limited.
Minenza’s advice to other budding entrepreneurs is to start off with an idea that they believe in.
She said: “Starting off with an idea you believe in and then taking to Instagram to build a community of people who support that idea is definitely a good start.
“Instagram also offers a number of business tools that are very helpful to a start-up. The integration with e-commerce as your small business grows is also very helpful,” concluded Minenza.
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