When it comes to thrifting, it is no secret that it’s time consuming. No matter how long you plan to spend in the thrift store, there is a black hole of vintage finds that is easy to fall into. In this current style climate, online shopping is reaching a high demand and fast fashion has created an accessible way to find clothing.
While millions of women shop from brands that provide a quick lewk, these companies often face backlash and sometimes bankruptcy that correlate to its business principles. “We are driven by a greater vision to get a value,” exclaimed Shilla Kim-Parker, CEO and co-founder of Thrilling. “Thrilling is a growing technology and logistics company bringing second-hand stores online.” In other words; it’s an online thrift store.
Shilla’s mission is centered around sustainability and supporting small businesses. Thrilling curates a selection of threads from local NYC vintage shops and features brands like Louis Vuitton, Giorgio Armani, and Calvin Klein. Through vintage finds and archival pieces, Thrilling promotes an environmentally friendly approach to fashion by encouraging eco-friendly shopping.
ESSENCE got a chance to Parker about her love for sustainability, helping small businesses, and vintage fashion. Read below.
“For me, this is beyond the environmental reason but also supporting these small business owners.” – Shilla Kim-Parker
NH: What made you want to push eco-friendly clothing?
Shilla: I’m passionate about the environment. That’s also a huge reason why we got into the business. There is a garbage truck full of textiles dumped in landfills every second. So the wonderful thing about the age we’re living in is that we’re in a crisis, but we’re all in an age of agency. Where people on the shopper side and on the company side are taking responsibility over their actions and putting their money where their mouth is.
NH: Why did you choose to go the vintage e-commerce route rather than new clothes or wholesale?
Shilla: I grew up “second hand shopping” in New York City. But, for me it was not secondhand shopping, it was just shopping. I have a love for shopping and finding those one of a kind gems at great value. I became a working mother and the thing about shopping vintage secondhand is it’s a hunt and it takes time. As a working mom I just didn’t have as much time. So I wanted a way to support these stores by shopping this way. For me, this is beyond the environmental reason but also supporting these small business owners.
NH: What makes you passionate about supporting small businesses?
Shilla: I come from entrepreneurs. My grandmother ran the first black owned business in Kingston, North Carolina. She started in the forties with a dry cleaners business when no other dry cleaner in town would cater to black customers. So I come from a line of badass women entrepreneurs who are going to face the odds. You know, even today as a black woman, the average amount of funding that the black community receives from venture capital is $35,000 and the median amount is $0. 99% of the vintage stores that we partner with are owned and operated by women.
NH: What are you seeing the customer ask for when they shop vintage?
Shilla: Eighties and nineties are really hot right now. I think in general our perspective on what’s happening is that there is no longer a distinction between your work day and weekends. It’s a fearless expression of self.
NH: What is Thrilling getting into for 2020?
Shilla: Something that we’re really excited to debut is the opportunity to offer a concierge shopping services for customers. People can contact us with any specific requests or items. And even if it’s not on our site, you have access to hundreds of thousands of other pieces that are not yet online on our site, but are in the stores of our partners. And so we’re able to find the exact items that they’re saying. This concierge shopping service, which is, an informal way to shop is really fun. It’s something that we’re really excited about debuting this year.