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Meet Ashley Wang and Robin Chen of Lineage Trading in Chino Hills

Today we’d like to introduce you to Ashley Wang and Robin Chen.

Ashley and Robin, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
We are two entrepreneurs in our twenties from the LA/OC area that co-own a buy/sell/trade consignment thrift store in Chino Hills called Lineage Trading. We have been open for two years now and have a selection that ranges from contemporary labels to curated vintage.

The idea of Lineage began when we were just two poor college students attending UC Irvine (Ashley) and UC Riverside (Robin) with an unhealthy addiction to thrift shopping. When we weren’t in class, we were out thrifting and selling clothes online. Being undergraduates at the time, our futures always felt uncertain. The one thing we did know was that we wanted make a career out of something we were passionate about. It didn’t take long for us to recognize that the answer was right in front of us. As two people that always looked at fashion as a creative outlet, opening an environmentally friendly retail thrift store only felt natural.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
We have never used the words “business” and “smooth” in the same sentence. We definitely had our fair share of struggles. To name just a few- financial instability, separating our business vs. personal relationship, working 24/7, dealing with people (it may sound simple but you’d be surprised). We were a young couple shelling out large amounts of money from our own pocket while trying to simultaneously grow together and grow with the company. We had no guidance, therefore, we were only able to learn from experience. It took a while to grasp how to handle customers, employees, city restrictions, landlords, etc., but thankfully we had each other.

Please tell us about Lineage Trading.
Lineage Trading is a buy/sell/trade consignment thrift store that provides recycled fashion at an affordable price. We buy new and gently used in-trend clothing for both men and women. We offer 30% cash or 50% store credit of our selling price- on the spot. We also offer consignment for higher-end items where we just keep a 20% fee. You can sell with us seven days a week during store hours, no appointment necessary.

Our specialty is our curated selection. Before our grand opening, we handpicked every single item instead of wholesaling. This took us two years. By doing so, we were able to give our customers a small taste of what was to come. We are not like your ordinary local thrift store. Unfortunately, we can’t buy everything so we are only able to choose items that we feel are most sought out for. By not limiting our store to one specific style, we are able to separate ourselves from our competitors. Whether it’s streetwear, contemporary, vintage, or luxury you’re looking for, you will be able to find it while browsing our racks. Our ultimate goal is to make Lineage feel like a place where all fashion lovers can shop.

What we’re most proud of is our customer shopping experience. Because we were customers at other buy/sell/trades before, it gave us a clear depiction to what we felt like we could improve on with Lineage. For example, we want Lineage to be a place where both girlfriend and boyfriend can shop. Often times we feel like there isn’t much of a selection for men. Therefore, we constantly make sure that both the men and women’s sides are equally maintained. We also heavily focus on customer service. We understand that the selling process is a very personal experience, therefore, the encounter may be different for everyone. We train our employees to not only stay knowledgeable on what to buy but to also make sure the selling process is as easy going as possible for the customer. We are young owners who are very hands on with our business and are always ready to adapt to our customers’ needs.

Do you look back particularly fondly on any memories from childhood?
Hunting for treasures at our local thrift stores of course!

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