From thrift store shopper to thrift store owner; Taylor Drew wants to share her passion
If you walk into The Hause Collective Charlotte, you night think you’re in the 1990s. The thrift store, located in Carolina Place Mall, is filled with vintage items, from throwback jerseys and Coogi sweaters to cassette tapes and vinyl records.
Taylor Drew, the store’s owner, reflected on a time when thrift stores were the only place she and her two sisters could shop.
“[My mom] wasn’t taking us shopping nowhere expensive,” she told QCity Metro. “We came across thrift stores and realized that you could find cool stuff for cheap.”
Drew said thrifting has long brought her excitement, and she wants to generate that same experience for those who visit her store.
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The 28-year-old business owner established The Hause Collective Charlotte in July 2021 as a franchise to her family business.
Her sister, Chelsea, founded the family’s first two thrift stores (of the same name) in Colorado Springs, Colorado, in 2018 and 2019. After a brief deployment at Fort Bragg, Drew moved to Charlotte and was encouraged by her sister to open a location here.
Drew said she was reluctant at first, concerned about the challenges of being a full-time entrepreneur, but her sister’s persuasion changed her mind.
She initially stocked the store with her own collection of clothing and with purchases from Goodwill, but she later partnered to sell the products of other small, Black-owned clothing brands and designers.
“It’s a community shop…we just keep it running so we can all represent our own small business,” she said.
Drew said that while some of her older customers enjoy the clothes and nostalgia, teens make up her largest clientele base.
“It’s cool to see younger people really enjoying the aesthetic and everything in here,” she said.
Drew said her first year in business has come with ups and downs. Her motivation, she said, has comes from seeing customers enjoy her store.
“To find a piece of clothing that makes you shine on the inside and on the outside, it’s just a beautiful feeling,” she said. “And I love seeing when people get that feeling.”
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