Today we’d like to introduce you to Haley Greiner.
Haley, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Fashion has been a major factor in my life since I was old enough to strap on a pair of high heels, slick my hair up into a ten inch Mohawk and walk to school. Looking back I didn’t realize how these smaller bits of my identity would shape the person and business I would establish. When I moved almost 2,000 miles from my small hometown in Indiana to LA the thought of challenging the world of fast fashion was not even on my radar. About three months into this adventure I discovered not only a love for thrifting but a passion for it that lit my soul on fire. It was that feeling of scoring that perfect piece and paying next to nothing. I was hooked.
After realizing the impact it had on me I began to share my finds with others and post stylized outfits on social media platforms such as Instagram to inspire others. It wasn’t long after that I formulated my business— Black Sheep Trading Co. I chose that name specifically because I am the black sheep of my family and it stuck with me. I never had a problem standing out. However, this wasn’t just a business for me. It was a way to reach and educate individuals on fast fashion, the facts behind environmental impact and human exploitation that comes with this greedy corporate industry.
I encouraged people to take a deeper look behind retail, find out who made your clothes and who is suffering at the bottom line and making less than a $1 in a 14 hour day for a shirt that you will inevitably pay $50 for. I wanted to not only show people how much is available in these thrift stores, how to style it but also to understand the difference that thrifting even one outfit can cause a ripple effect. My business is approaching it’s one year anniversary and there is so much more work to be done and a multitude of lives to touch.
Overall, has it been relatively smooth? If not, what were some of the struggles along the way?
What separates the 99% from the 1% are challenges and how we choose to solve them— or don’t. Critical thinking is key in times of high stress. Starting from the bottom I struggled to gain what would become “my business model”. It was frustrating, and sometimes tear-filled. It felt like a child fumbling through footsteps but each step you take you to walk a little straighter. Though at times it was aggravating, I had to learn how to be my own consultant, my own brand marketer, my own accountant, and all over businesswoman.
In the beginning, I had to handwrite at least 20-30 addresses by hand for shipping labels and carry all of it to the post office on foot. It wasn’t lucrative or convenient and more often than not I would eating shipping costs by doing this. I began to dig into research and YouTube videos to teach myself how to become more acclimated on aspects of my business that were lacking. It made all the difference. I invested in a paypal business account and a professional label printer so I no longer had to stand in line for an hour at the post office. I can’t think of a more satisfying feeling that hearing your labels print and walking past a line of 30 people at the post office and just dropping your 30 packages off.
We’d love to hear more about your work.
I am a stylist who created a brand that markets second-hand clothing for sale. I hold 12-hour auctions weekly where clients can Bid. The highest bidder at the end of the countdown wins the item at stake. Yes, it’s intense but mostly fun. My customers are my backbone aside from my high driving work ethic. I let them vote on “themes” they’d like to see such as 90’s, business casual, streetwear, etc.
I set out to dig and search at least ten select stores for the perfect pieces. Before I list them I have mini photo shoots styling each piece so my customers have a visual of it for purchasing needs. To this day my company has thrifted, shipped and saved over 600 people from buying retail and contributing to fast fashion and that’s a number that I’m proud to state will only grow bigger.
What is “success” or “successful” for you?
Success is waking up every day excited. There’s a fire at your feet and you can’t wait to start running. It’s the feeling of pure joy/gratitude felt when your customer tags you in a meaningful post or reaches out to let you know the effort behind your craft as well as educating others on a lesser-known topic is felt and appreciated. It’s making a change and shifting perspectives and knowing a small voice has the ability to make that difference and touch lives.
- Website: https://www.instagram.com/haleygreiner/
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/blcksheeptradingco/