Luna Zhang on How to be a Good Thrifter

Thrifting? It’s easy as 1,2, only $3.00- I’ll buy it!

“Let’s go thrifting” is a daunting proposition to many. What do you buy? How do you get the cat pee smell out of the clothes? There are just a million questions. Luna Zhang, however, is one of those people that knows all the answers when it comes to buying second hand goods. With an unmatched style and a passion for fashion, Luna is a go-to when it comes to seeking advice before diving into the bargain bin. Show us the way Luna!


Tell us about you Luna!

Hi everyone! My name is Luna Zhang and I am currently a senior at Babson College. I am studying Operations/IT but looking to pursue a career in fashion. I was able to work in the fashion industry this summer through an internship with Converse/Nike, and loved every second of it. I am obsessed with all things clothes and shoes and love to express my creativity through my outfits. Some of my other hobbies besides fashion include painting, working out, and listening to music.

Why thrifting? 

 My thrifting journey started through going to Estate Sales with my parents. They are really into antiques shopping and eventually, I started going to actual thrift stores and thrifting on my own.  I would say around 80% of my clothes are thrifted.  While a lot of people find thrifting to be overwhelming, I like the treasure hunt aspect of it because you’ll never know what you’ll find! Personally, I find shopping at malls to be uninspiring because the selections are all the same and pretty bland.  However, when thrifting, you can find the most random pieces that you have to think about how to style.  It’s more work but totally worth it in the long run! The only thing I don’t thrift are shoes because I like the feeling of getting a new pair of shoes in the mail. Nothing beats the adrenaline rush of unboxing a new pair of sneakers!

Is sustainable fashion important to you?  

Sustainable fashion is definitely important to me-I have been slowly trying to make the commitment to stop buying fast fashion due to the waste impact it has to our world.  I think the biggest thing that companies need to understand is that sustainability is not a “trend”, and I hope that retail companies will start to implement more permanent sustainable practices in their business models.  As someone who is looking to pursue a career in this industry after graduation, I hope to be an advocate for sustainability and use my voice for good.

Style inspiration?

I am really vibing with vibrance at the moment-think Jaden Smith’s newest album cover. I love the way he experiments with loud colors-his style is bold and kinda funky.  I’ve definitely I love outfits that inspire me to go out of my comfort zone when it comes to styling my own clothes. My favorite moments are when I see someone’s fit and think “oh wow, I would not have thought to style that piece that way” because that different perspective inspires me to try new things too.

My current style inspiration is definitely Emma Chamberlain. She is so so underrated and I feel like people don’t take her fashion seriously because she’s “just a youtube girl”. I love how her style doesn’t necessarily fit into one category because she’s always trying out different looks. She also defies the concept of gender segmented fashion through wearing traditionally “masculine” styles. I honestly feel like she was the girl to start the sweater vest trend-people gave her so much crap when she started wearing them because they are traditionally for men, but now every girl on the street pretty much wears them now. Go figure! I remember I used to always be afraid to wear my favorite outfits out because I’d think to myself, “you could never pull that off” or “why are you trying so hard”, or “that’s not girly enough”, but I think having a role model like her pushed me to stop overthinking and have the confidence to wear what I want out. 

Favorite recently thrifted items?

 I remember I was on my way to thrift with some of my friends and I passed by this girl who had these BEAUTIFUL green pants! I thought to myself, “I need those pants”, and when I need something I usually won’t stop until I find it.  Luckily, I was actually able to find a very similar pair of pants that very day! Crazy how things work out sometimes :).

Pieces that you are on the hunt for?

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I always keep a running list of pieces I am looking to thrift/add to my closet. Some items that are on my list at the moment include: oversized thick cotton shirts with cool graphics, sweater vests, and tie dye nike socks. Keeping a list helps me stay organized and in the right headspace while thrifting-sometimes thrift shopping can get overwhelming because you have to sift through so many clothing racks, but I find that keeping a list makes things a bit easier. It also keeps me accountable because I have a bad habit of buying random things I don’t need!

Screen_Shot_2020-09-29_at_9.15.24_PM-removebg-previewHow do you get that icky thrift-shop smell out of the clothes?

Honestly, I wash them twice before wearing sometimes! You have to get a strong detergent for sure, but I generally don’t have many issues with this. I will say that leather, cashmere, and thick denim retain scent for longer so those types of pieces will need to be washed more frequently to get the smell more (not sure if you can even wash leather). My general rule of thumb is that if a piece needs more TLC than what it’s worth, I wouldn’t buy it. For example, if I saw a sweater I really wanted, but it had some holes and bad stains, I’d probably pass on it because it’d take more work to fix it than what it’s worth.

Favorite places to thrift? 

While I would absolutely loveee to share my favorite spots with everyone, a good thrifter knows to never disclose her favorite locations. If I told you all where I shopped, all the good pieces would get snatched! However, I’ll recommend savers to anyone who is looking to start thrifting, and for anyone looking for an iconic Boston shop, I’d start with The Garment District.

Who are some style icons and people you look up to?Screen_Shot_2020-09-29_at_9.15.16_PM-removebg-preview

Some of my favorite icons include: Aimee Song, Sofia Coelho, Maxine Wylde, whowhatwear, Princess Diana, and Alexis Sablone. All of these women are unapologetically themselves and it clearly shows through their fashion. Aimee Song is probably my #1 icon because of the fact that she is a huge Asian American female role model for me. She started one of the most popular fashion lines (Song of Style) that is sold on sites like Revolve. She’s basically a bad bitch who’s running her own fashion empire, and to be able to have such a solid female role model who is also Asian has been monumental for me. Seeing her success gives me hope that one day I’ll make it big in the industry too!

Sharing My Top 9 Beauty Items (Part X of the Series)

👋 The last beauty items of the series.

Friends, the time has come at last to reveal to you my nine beauty favorites! Every product that is listed is linked to a friend, the inspiration behind this series to begin with! Without my tried and true friends, I would have never found my tried and true favorite beauty products. For that- and so much more- I am forever grateful. Public Service Announcement: reach out to a friend, call a long time buddy, Facetime with a cousin, send a letter to your grandma, give an air-hug to your loved one. When the make up remover comes out and it’s just us revealed to the world, it’s our true friends that see us for who we are and love us, not in spite of our imperfections, but because of them. (So, air hug!)


#1 Favorite Beauty Product

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Gloss Bomb in Fu$$y by Fenty Beauty

How often you use it

Whenever I put on make up for a night out. 

What you like about the product

Where do I even begin! This lipgloss is light, moisturizing, and shimmery- really a trifecta. This product also smells and- dare I say- tastes amazing. It comes in a range of shades, my favorite being Fu$$y, and lasts all night long. 10/10 on this one. 

How you found it

My friend Ola’s recommendation!

#2 Favorite Beauty Product

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Stretch Concealer in G8 by Glossier

How often you use it

Every time I put on make up. 

What you like about the product

The consistency of this product is what makes it for me. The product is creamy, which is ideal for application with your fingers. The difference between my under eyes with this product versus without is night and day, the coverage being pretty remarkable. I also like to use the concealer on my trouble areas, covering up any spots to make my skin matte before I go in and apply powder. 

How you found it

After going into the Glossier store in Soho with my friend Sabrina for the first time; I bought everything in the store.

#3 Favorite Beauty Product

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Clear Brow Gel by Anastasia Beverly Hills

How often you use it

Every time I put on make up. 

What you like about the product

I really like the fact that the applicator brush is as big as a mascara brush and that there is a fair amount of gel in the tube, which means it lasts forever. The gel also doesn’t make my eyebrows super stiff, making for a more natural, yet stylized look. 

How you found it

Recommended by the Sephora queen Alana 

#4 Favorite Beauty Product

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Gifted Amazonian Clay Smart Mascara by Tarte

How often you use it

Every time I wear make up. 

What you like about the product

I love the fact that this mascara is not super clumpy, but also still adds volume. The mascara also comes off easily, doesn’t flake, and doesn’t hurt your lashes. Those babies need special care!

How you found it

Jahnvi’s recommendation

#5 Favorite Beauty Product

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Limited Edition Love, Trust, and Fairy Dust Palette by Tarte

How often you use it

On a night out

What you like about the product

I love the mix of shimmery and matte eyeshadows that this palette offers as well as the product’s range of colors. I especially like Flitter, the metallic light pink, which pairs really nicely with Twinkle, the metallic gold if you are going for a complete shimmery look. 

How you found it

A Jahnvi special again

#6 Favorite Beauty Product

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Vitamin E Moisturizer by Malin + Goetz 

How often you use it

Every day 

What you like about the product

I love that this product has a very light, fresh scent that doesn’t linger all day on your face. I also like the fact that the product isn’t very oily and absorbs super well right into the skin, almost leaving a dewy feeling. 

How you found it

My brother, the moisturizer king!

#7 Favorite Beauty Product

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Rose Water Facial Toner by Trader Joes

How often you use it

In the morning, every day right when I wake up. 

What you like about the product

The subtle rose scent is really beautiful and lingers for a little while after it is sprayed. The toner is also light and refreshing, helping to tighten your pores thanks to the witch hazel. The best part? It’s only $3.99. 

How you found it

A stocking stuffer from my best friend… my mommy.

#8 Favorite Beauty Product

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3D Hydra Clear Gloss by Kiko Milano

How often you use it

Whenever I am dressing up for a more formal outing. 

What you like about the product

This gloss really packs a punch in the glossy department, delivering on the shine it promises. What I love about the clear is that it can amplify any lipstick by being applied overtop, but it is also great on its own to highlight your natural lip color. 

How you found it

Jahnvi my beauty plug

#9 Favorite Beauty Product

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Lidstar Liquid Eyeshadow in Cub and Lily by Glossier

How often you use it

Whenever I am looking for a really concentrated eyeshadow look. 

What you like about the product

I really like the application of this product, for someone who isn’t very proficient with make up, this one is fool proof. I also really love the colors that Lidstar comes in, Cub and Lily being my favorites because they compliment my skin tone and light features the best. If you are looking for your eyes to really pop, this product might be for you.

How you found it

Walking into the Glossier store and buying up the store with Ola.


Hope you enjoyed learning about my favorite beauty products as well as my friends’. Stay tuned for more fun series in the future!

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Tom Carfora on Modern Retail Luxury

The new luxury shopping experience of 2020.

Tom Carfora has been in the luxury industry since 1990, starting off his career working at Bergdorf Goodman in New York City. Tom refers to his early career in catering to 5th Avenue’s matrons and socialites, a time when Bergdorfs was a hallmark institution for finding unique and special luxury goods for wealthy individuals. Over the course of five years, Tom would work in customer service, manage the shoe department, and work in personal shopping before he would leave Bergdorfs and transition into working at Cartier as the store manager in the Short Hills Mall for twelve years. After working in high end jewelry, Tom went to work for the luxury rifle company Beretta on Madison Avenue. At Baretta, he worked on developing a luxury clientele for their high end clothing line. Soon after, Tom would return to luxury jewelry in a new capacity at Chopard, working as the store’s assistant director. In his first two years, Tom has accumulated millions of dollars worth of sales, which he accredits to his passion for meeting new people and love for luxury jewelry. 

When asked about what he thought was the most important part of his job, Tom answers making people feel comfortable and not badgering the customer. His go to tactic is to let the customers know that if they have any questions he is there to answer them and not to be pushy or domineering. “Walking into a luxury store can be intimidating at times, but I try and not make it feel that way for my clients. I tell them all about the history of the company, offer them something to drink, and have them just look around.” For Tom, judging customers that walk through the door is off the table. A billionaire in ripped jeans could walk into any store, that’s just our culture nowadays. Casual is pretty universal, no matter what your socioeconomic status is. 

ezgif.com-video-to-gif (2)One change in the industry that Tom notes is the way in which consumers wear and purchase jewelry. In the early 90s, Tom cites that clients had extreme brand loyalty and would invest heavily in expensive, statement jewelry sets. Now, however, consumers are more willing to purchase a myriad of pieces from different companies. Tom mentions that he often sees American consumers, specifically, dawning a range of different brands on one wrist even, Cartier love bracelets and Hermés Clic H bracelets stacked side by side. That being said, Tom does mention that he has noticed more mature American buyers will tend to stick with their trusted brands and have more brand loyalty. Additionally, in the U.S., he has noticed that consumers purchase jewelry for everyday wear, the majority of it being delicate and small. Tom references how this might align with the more casual customs the U.S. has adopted over the years, where a dark denim might appear as “dressing up” and sweats are appropriate outerwear. Tom shared that the hot new jewelry designs coming from Rosanne Karmes’s company Sydney Evan are fun, edgy, and delicate, pieces that everyone is looking for nowadays. Apart from Sydney Evan, Tom has a tried and true love for Cartier and Chopard, especially Chopard’s Happy Diamonds collection. 

One of the toughest things about working in the luxury retail space now is low traffic and drawing people into stores to buy, Tom says. However, he does mention that e-commerce is blowing up. Surprisingly, many people will easily spend hundreds of thousands of dollars on jewelry online. Along with the hesitancy of going out in public spaces during the COVID-10 pandemic, Tom notes that such high levels of online jewelry buying may have something to do with the different policies companies have purchasing jewelry in-store versus online. Online at Chopard, for example, customers can get a full refund for a return, which is different from in-person store purchases. \When people do come into the Chopard store, however, Tom notes that they have already perused the company’s website, having done their research, and know exactly what they want to purchase. That being said, there is much less in-store exploration and moments of instant discovery. 

ezgif.com-crop (1)My last question for Tom was what he thought the future of the luxury industry will look like? Tom mentioned that, first and foremost, it would benefit luxury brands to stay true to themselves and what the brand’s history promises. Heavy discounting and coupon codes can dramatically hurt a brand’s image, especially a luxury one. If discounts can be avoided, they should be at all costs. Tom also notes that coupons and discounts within the luxury industry have contributed to buyers putting off their purchasing until the discounting occurs, which can have drastic implications. This is, especially, a popular practice for many department stores, like Neiman Marcus and Lord and Taylor, who are now seeing the effects of such regular product reductions- one of many factors of course. 

On the consumer side, Tom sees the modern buyer as a busy and fast-paced individual, who no longer has the time to meander into shops and browse. This consumer receives email promotions, online ads, and social media posts about products that lead the consumer into following the trail to their respective e-commerce marketplace. After a click of a button and oftentimes free shipping, in just a few days the customer finds their item right at their doorstep, never having to step foot outside their house. There just isn’t enough time in the day for most Americans to peruse, try on, feel, and experience. With fear around the pandemic contributing to the online shopping craze, it looks like this trend will follow into the future. 

Tom’s dream? To revert back to a time when there was more balance in work and life. Where people did make the time to dress up, take their time to shop, and immerse themselves in whatever they are doing. “People need to enjoy themselves more,” says Tom. To that, I couldn’t agree more. 

3 Friends Picking their Top 3 Beauty Items Part IX

The 3 beauty products 3 of my friends swear by.

Friends, friends, friends, the time has come at last to say goodbye! 27 friends and 27 products later, here we are! This will be the last traditional post of the series, which only leaves next week when, I- your friend- share 9 of my favorite products with you! Thank you so much for coming along for the ride. I hope you took away some new beauty recommendations, cracked a smile ever Friday morning, and remembered how important your friends are. Without our friends and the ones we love, what fun would this world be? Who would we share make up tips with, who would help us choose eye shadow colors, and who would lend us a make up wipe at the end of the night? Lipstick doesn’t last forever, but with enough care, time, and attention friends can.

Srishti Soni

@srishtisoni

#1 Favorite Beauty Product

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Les beiges Healthy Glow Sheer Colour Blush Stick in N°24 by Chanel

How often you use it

Everyday- the only makeup I use

What you like about the product

It looks super natural and is perfect for everyday use. Bonus it smells great!

How you found it

At the Heathrow Airport. As someone who doesn’t use / like a full face of makeup, Im always looking for a product that looks and feels natural but put together. Im also very lazy when it comes to makeup so this is perfect and I just apply by hand. 

#2 Favorite Beauty Product and company that sells it 

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Skin perfecting 2% BHA Liquid Exfoliant by Paula’s Choice

How often you use it

Twice a week

What you like about the product

Skincare is very important to me as I rarely use makeup and exfoliating is the key to having bright, fresh and clear skin. I used to use scrubs in the past which are really rough and therefore bad for your skin. Chemical exfoliants on the other hand are amazing at getting rid of dead skin and debris making my skin look clear and smooth.

How you found it

I’ve been binging skincare TikTok and came across this product a few months ago. Game changer!

#3 Favorite Beauty Product and company that sells it

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Lip Butter Balm by Summer Fridays

How often you use it

Everyday and Night

What you like about the product

Again with the no makeup look, this is a great product that doesnt make you look too dressed up but adds a glossy shine to your lips. I used to be obsessed with lip gloss growing up and Im very much going back to that look. Not to mention it keeps your lips hydrated and smells delicious.

How you found it

Browsing through Sephora


Grace Tao

@gtaotao

#1 Favorite Beauty Product

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Double Eyelid Tape by Daiso

How often you use it

Everyday

What you like about the product

I have natural double eyelids, however, I like to have it look more apparent without the surgery so I use double eyelid tape everyday. This is absolutely my number one favorite beauty product because I swear by it everyday!

How you found it

Amazon

#2 Favorite Beauty Product

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Tarte Tartelette in Bloom Clay EyeShadow Palette by Tarte Cosmetics

How often you use it

Every time I put on makeup

What you like about the product

I love the neutral/pinkish color tones. This is the only eye shadow palette I use, and I’ve already used up and repurchased 3.

How you found it

My cousin recommended to me

#3 Favorite Beauty Product

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Anessa Shiseido Sunscreen by Shiseido

How often you use it

Everyday

What you like about the product

It is a lightweight sunscreen that is SPF 50+ PA++++.  Sunscreen is an essential part of my beauty routine, and this is by far my favorite sunscreen. I can layer primer and foundation on top of it and still have a nice finish. It does its job and doesn’t make my face cakey!

How you found it

I first discovered it when I travelled to Japan, and loved it ever since.    


Bianca Phillips

@biancaavictoria

#1 Favorite Beauty Product

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Super Shock Highlighter in Flexitarian by Colourpop

How often you use it

Whenever i want a fresh, highlighted look (you only need a tiny bit) or when I am going out with full makeup

What you like about the product

It is the absolute BRIGHTEST and SPARKLIEST highlighter I’ve ever tried AND it’s only $8. It is a great dupe for the Becca highlighters but better and cheaper!

How you found it

Youtube    

#2 Favorite Beauty Product

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Glycolic Acid 7% Toning Solution by The Ordinary 

How often you use it

1-2x a week, at night

What you like about the product

It’s only $7 and it does a great job of cleaning your skin at the end of the day without stripping the skin of its natural oils. 

How you found it

TikTok

#3 Favorite Beauty Product

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Mad Hippie Vitamin C Serum

How often you use it

Once a day, in the morning

What you like about the product: it does SUCH an amazing job of brightening your skin, smoothing out the texture, and preventing fine lines. Its ingredients are all natural, and also the packaging is adorable.

How you found it

My older sister 🙂


Stay tuned for next week where I share nine of my favorites!

3 Friends Picking their Top 3 Beauty Items Part VIII

The 3 beauty products 3 of my friends swear by.

Sometimes it is good to be reminded to stick to the basics. Some of the recommendations in this post are simple and straightforward, which I love. Drink water, wear sunscreen, and just moisturize for goodness sake! We can never have too many reminders to take care of our primary needs first and foremost. In this way, beauty is just like our friends. A quick “I am thinking of you” text and a handwritten letter go a long way. A few of my best memories with friends have been a lazy Sunday brunch, a friend stopping to chat with me at the library desk, where I used to work, or a good laugh over our daily catch up. Sometimes you just have to KISS- keep it simple silly- but make sure your lips are moisturized and glossy first!

Monia Mukiza

#1 Favorite Beauty Product

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My favorite cream at the moment is the Overnight Glow Dark Spot Sleeping Cream by Ren Skincare. You can find it in Sephora or Ulta.

How often you use it

I use it every other night. Night cream

What you like about the product

I have higher pigmentation and it works wonders for my dark marks

How you found it

An influencer whose opinion that i trust was raving about the product 

#2 Favorite Beauty Product and company that sells it

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#FauxFilter Foundation by Huda Beauty

How often you use it

This foundation is my go-to foundation. I use it whenever I wear make up

What you like about the product

I love the full coverage that it gives without having to use more than two pumps. My skin observes the foundation well. Giving you the no-makeup makeup look. 

How you found it

Consulted by a beauty expert 

#3 Favorite Beauty Product

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Universal Daily Peel by Dr. Dennis Gross Alpha Beta®

How often you use it

I use it once a month

What you like about the product

Life saving! I use it once a month for hormonal breakout.

How you found it

Recommended to me by a friend


Tucker James

@tuckerjstyle

#1 Favorite Beauty Product

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My #1 favorite beauty product would have to be WATER, H2O… I know, not conventionally viewed as a “beauty product,” but honestly it’s the number one key ingredient to overall skin health. I try to drink around a gallon a day.

How often you use it

Everyday 

What you like about the product 

It’s refreshing AND it does way more than just help your skin glow-up, it also;

  • increases energy
  • helps fight bloating
  • helps digestion
  • improves joint health
  • improves eye health
  • Need I go on? The benefits are endless.

How you found it

Obviously I have always drank water, but I started challenging myself to drink a gallon a day about 3 years back when I got into working out, since then it’s been a ritual that I, my skin, my body and my brain love. I feel my best when I’m hydrated!

#2 Favorite Beauty Product

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Sunscreen for me it’s the Hydro Boost Water Gel Lotion sunscreen SPF 50 by Neutrogena with broad spectrum UVA-UVB protection

How often you use it

Every time I go outside 

What you like about the product

It’s ACTUALLY non-greasy- a lot of products claim to be and you still end up slippery.

How you found it

My friend Vanessa actually shoved her half empty one into my travel bag as we were checking out of a hotel in Scottsdale Arizona right off the tail end of and inspiring weekend of hair & creativity at the second Aiir Gathering w/ @aiirprofessional which brings me to my next must have…

#3 Favorite Beauty Product

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Amethyst Hair & Energy Refresher by Aiir Professional

How often you use it

EVERY DAY, EVERY MOMENT, EVERY TIME IT’S WITHIN REACH

What you like about the product 

It’s a refreshing mist for the hair, skin and body, it’s infused with moonstone and amethyst for the good vibes. It also has a scent like heaven that is light as air and every bottle has a mantra on it, the one I have with me right now says “I am worthy of all that I desire.”

How you found it

I’m lucky enough to call the founder Jenny Strebe my dear friend, she has created an incredible line of crystal infused professional hair products, this product was her very first , the first batch she infused and made by hand, and I’ve been hooked since then…love at first sight.


Yujia Ma 

@yujiamaa

#1 Favorite Beauty Product

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UV Shield Broad-Spectrum SPF 45 by EltaMD

How often you use it

Use a dime size every morning after moisturizer, at least 20 minutes before sun exposure 

What you like about the product

It’s oil-free and super lightweight. It’s a mineral sunblock with transparent zinc oxide, which makes it safe to use after dermatologic procedures (I get microneedling every 3 months). It’s relatively affordable and can be applied to face and body. Its SPF 45 makes it adequate for daily sun exposure. 

How you found it

My dermatologist recommended it to me. In fact, eltaMD is the #1 dermatologist-recommended professional sunscreen brand. 

#2 Favorite Beauty Product

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Daily Moisturizing Lotion by CeraVe

How often you use it

Use one pump of the lotion after washing my face with lukewarm water, and after serum at night. 

What you like about the product

It is a wonderful lotion that moisturizes and helps restore the protective skin barrier. It’s oil-free, lightweight and easily absorbed without feeling greasy. It is developed with dermatologists and has an unique formula – 3 essential ceramides and hyaluronic acid – to help with the texture and smoothness of the skin. It is also fragrance free to avoid fragrance irritation, in other words, it is gentle on the skin. 

How you found it

A number of TikTok skincare gurus are huge fans of CeraVe and swear by all their products, so I decided to give the lotion a shot. It was extremely convenient to access – I believe most Targets carry CeraVe products. Ever since I started using it, my entire skincare routine was significantly transformed and simplified. I used to use more than five products on my face at night, but with the lotion, I am now only using the CeraVe face wash, Estée Lauder Advanced Night Repair and the lotion. There hasn’t been a dramatic change on my skin, but my skin feels healthy and its condition is stable- I break out way less frequently now! 

#3 Favorite Beauty Product and company that sells it

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Backstage Glow Face Palette (001 Universal) by Dior 

How often you use it

When I do my makeup and after I apply finishing powder on my face – I apply the color “white” on the inner corners of my eyes, on my brow bone, on my nose bridge and on the tip of my nose (leaving a space in between to apply bronzer – that’s how I contour my nose); I apply the color “pink” on my cheekbones; and when I go out to say a club, I apply the color “bronze” under my cheekbones. 

What you like about the product

It’s gorgeously shimmery with the color white, gold, pink and bronze that will work on all skin tones. Pros: The shimmer makes your skin look shiny and healthy without making it look oily. The design is so beautiful that sometimes just by looking at the palette I feel content. White is suitable for daily uses, for example, on the inner corners of your eyes and other colors are perfect for when you go out at night – I sometimes use them as my eyeshadows. Cons: It can get messy. After an entire day of being outside and wearing makeup, I’d notice small glitters under my eyes that had fallen from the inner corners of my eyes. 

How you found it

At Sephora. I was attracted by its look right away and after swabbing it on the back of my hand and feeling how even the application was, I was immediately in love. It is on the pricey side but if you are looking for an effective highlight, I would still highly recommend (read the pros and cons before you buy)! 


Stay tuned for next week’s post where my friends Srishti Soni, Grace Tao, and Bianca Phillips share their three beauty favorites!

CEO Sit Down: Hayoung Park on HYP

A company revolutionizing exclusive releases: HYP, started by CEO Hayoung Park for the world.  

So, what’s all the hype about? I’ll tell you! HYP, a company started by CEO Hayoung Park, was recently unveiled to the world this summer, causing a stir among the limited collectors of all things street wear. HYP is an online bidding platform that partners with brands for exclusive release auctions. So far, the company has hosted extremely rare items, like a one of a kind pair of Nike “Stay Home” SB Dunk Low Pros in a custom hazmat box and a tie-dyed Supreme Box Logo Sample, which sold for a shocking $52,000. There are many things that are unique about the platform, one of them being your ability to see who is bidding live and their respective Instagram accounts, so you can really flex in front of the world. HYP has already been featured on Complex, Highsnobiety, Hypebeast, and Nice Kicks, making a splash right out of the gate. If this is what only a month of releases look like, we are truly in store for a wild ride. I have the privilege of knowing Hayoung personally, allowing me to get the low down on all things HYP to share with you. Let’s jump in.


So Hayoung, how did HYP first start? How did this idea grow into a business?

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It all started when I was 12- I was obsessed with basketball and thought I needed the Jordans to play better. Unfortunately, my mom wasn’t willing to pay for any of the sneakers, so I had to make my own money. A friend of mine was willing to sell me a pair of his Jordan 6 Oreos for way under retail – for $50, but before I borrowed the money from my mom, I had a buyer for that pair as well as sellers and buyers for two other pairs that I would buy that day. After my first day of reselling sneakers, I made $150 dollars in profit, paid my mom back the $50 with $1 interest, and grew my collection to a little over 300 pairs in the next four years. 

In doing this, I realized that brands have been innovating on product for as long as they’ve been around, but the way they price and sell the goods has remained stagnant since the beginning of mass production. It’s been a flat price in an attempt to capture a volatile market. It also physically was not able to capture any of the additional value created in the aftermarket because that was passed the brand’s point of capturability. I started to play around with the idea in early 2019 and officially started working on HYP in July 2019. At first, I pitch it to a couple of friends who were a bit doubtful that it was going to work, but I had the opportunity to pitch to a few major brands like Prada, Louis Vuitton, and Supreme, and got some really great feedback. I took the points of concern and the wants of the brands and formatted to what it is now, which is: HYP, the social bidding platform for exclusive releases. On HYP, users link their Instagram to compete and show off in front of the world for exclusive release auctions in fashion, collectibles, and art.

What has been your biggest challenge in starting the company?

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The biggest challenge in starting the company has been finding a way to shortcut the Catch-22 that is consumer platforms. In order to get the brands to get the cool releases, you need the consumers and you need the demand side. But in order to get the demand side, you need the cool releases and you need the cool brands. We found a way to shortcut that by finding and working with the artists who were really cool and hyping up the first release. We knew that the platform would hyper concentrate and show demand to encourage other people to bid as well, and it worked pretty well! Our biggest challenges are finding cool releases and brands to work with as we curate the next batch of HYP releases to elevate both the HYP brand as well as brand partners. 

What advice do you have for anyone looking to start a company in today’s climate?

For anyone looking to start a company today’s climate, I honestly think it’s a better time than ever to start a company because a lot of the traditional incumbent companies are short on cash and they’re not as agile as startups. I think there’s a lot of room, especially now for startups to take over different niches that the bigger brands can’t quite adapt to because of COVID-19 restrictions or because they’re really really short on cash.

What is a collaboration that you have dreamed of doing?

A collaboration that I dream of doing is with Daniel Arsham. I think he’s a great artist and I think he really understands consumer sentiment and is great at balancing the past, current, and future. 

What about today’s culture makes HYP attractive to consumers?

Humans have been showing off to other people they see during the day forever. Recently, we’ve been showing off to our friends on Instagram. I think the next logical progression is showing off in front of the world, amplifying the feeling of walking in the mall with designer shopping bags in your hands. There haven’t been any digital equivalents to that feeling, and I believe HYP provides just that on an even more elevated scale. 

You’re quite fashionable yourself, what are some of your favorite brands?

My favorite brands are Thom Browne and APC. I recently started dressing more minimalist as I stopped wearing streetwear while optimizing my wardrobe for meetings. I have to dress more mature and elevated, so I started to invest in pieces that are a bit more sophisticated than Supreme, Bape, and Off-White. I still love those brands though.

What piece of advice have you received that you would give to others?

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The piece of advice that I would give to others is just to send it. No one knows exactly what they’re doing at the end of the day, as crazy as that sounds. I realized that you can’t learn to swim without getting in the pool and that you can’t learn to swim by reading a textbook. If there’s a project that you want to work on or a question that you want to answer, just go out and try to figure it out, try to take that first step because that’s always the hardest. When you do take the first couple of steps, find more reasons and motivations to take the next few. Also – stay (mentally) young and creative. Have fun.

 I know it’s top secret, but could you give us any clues as to what future releases HYP is going to be having?

For future HYP releases, we want to do collaborations that no one saw coming that strangely make sense. I think the fun is putting shit together that isn’t meant to be together and having that work & look great. From animal plush dolls to porcelain sculptures, we’re considering all of it. 

 

3 Friends Picking their Top 3 Beauty Items Part VII

The 3 beauty products 3 of my friends swear by.

In all honesty, when I first started this series I had planned on having one post featuring six of my friends and their favorite beauty products. However, when the post got too long, I split it into two posts, but then I realized, I know so many beautiful people- inside and out- who have such incredible advice. More sharing was definitely in order! I couldn’t be more excited to share that some of these posts have become my most viewed and favorited by many! I am so happy when I am able to introduce different friends of mine, which I feel like these posts have facilitated. The more the merrier in the case of friends I always say! Oh and lipgloss. You can never apply too much of that. But you can in the case of foundation, self tanner, and lip liner, so be careful out there! (Stay tuned for next week’s 3 friends and 3 picks!)

Cristina Rojas

@cristirojas

#1 Favorite Beauty Product

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Facial Treatment Essence by SK-II

How often you use it

Everyday, morning and night right after I wash my face I put a few drops on the palm of my hands and tap it into my skin.

What you like about the product

It’s light and easy to use, my skin absorbs it in seconds and feels instantly refreshed. I’ve been using it for years now and definitely feel it keeps my skin clear and even toned.

How you found it

My grandmother has always used SK-II products so I grew up around the brand. I found it at a department store a few years ago and decided to try it, it’s been one of my skincare essentials ever since. 

#2 Favorite Beauty Product

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Active Botanical Serum by Vintner’s Daughter

How often you use it

Every night after my Treatment Essence, and sometimes in the morning as well.

What you like about the product

It’s made out of all natural ingredients and smells amazing. It really hydrates my skin and helps my complexion. 

How you found it

At The Goop pop-up shop in NYC last Christmas.

#3 Favorite Beauty Product

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Rescue Mask by Eve Lom

How often you use it

Try to use it once a week depending on how much time I have. I use it when my skin needs a little pick-me up. It makes my skin feel as if I just got out of a facial, completely bright and smooth with minimal pores.

What you like about the product

The way it really cleanses my skin, the clay mask has camphor and almond extract that help to really decongest the skin. It reduces any redness and puffiness I might have going on, and leaves my skin soft and supple.

How you found it

I’m always on the lookout for new beauty products, and a few years ago I found this one during a trip to London. 


Ashley Walters

#1 Favorite Beauty Product

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Facial Toner by Thayers

How often you use it

I use this product after I come out of the shower as an additional face cleanser. I also use this toner right before I apply makeup when I am doing a look with full coverage, which includes foundation, concealer, powder, etc. 

What you like about the product

It cleanses my face of impurities and any dirt that a normal face wash may not catch. It also tones my skin and gives my face a nice and even complexion. It is alcohol-free and has rose water and aloe vera in it, so it is basically a 2-in-1 cleansing water without the harshness of alcohol. 

How you found it

I was looking for witch hazel in Walgreens and stumbled upon it. I read the ingredients and decided to try it. It worked well and I have been using it ever since. 

#2 Favorite Beauty Product

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Colossal Mascara by Maybelline

How often you use it

I use this product when I am wearing makeup. But I also use this mascara on a bare face to give my face a light lift. Especially now that I have to wear a mask, I just put on a little mascara to enlighten my eyes and I am good to go. 

What you like about the product

This mascara lengthens and volumizes my lashes without clumping. It is not overbearing and makes my lashes look naturally beautiful. 

How you found it

I have heard about Maybelline and seen ads about how good the mascara was so I decided to test the product and I loved it.

#3 Favorite Beauty Product

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24 Hour Edge Tamer by Ebin New York 

How often you use it

I use this product everyday. 

What you like about the product

I have dreadlocks so I am unable to brush my hair back to keep it neat and sleek, so the little hairs that cannot fit into my locs will look wild if I don’t lay them down. So, by simply putting on a little edge tamer and brushing it down, my hairstyle is secure for literally the entire day. 

How you found it

My little cousin recommended this product to me because we have the same hair texture and I was struggling to find an edge control that wouldn’t leave my edges with white residue after a couple of minutes. 


Chelsea Cates-Rollins

@xoxchelsxox

#1 Favorite Beauty Product

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Drying lotion by Mario Badescu

How often you use it

This stuff makes your pimples disappear overnight! I use this product at night after my skin routine if I feel a pimple coming or have one on my face and it’s like nothing was there.

What you like about the product

I like how easy it is to use and a little goes a long way. The bottle looks small, but it can last me six months to a year depending on how frequently I use it. 

How you found it

I saw at urban outfitters one day and thought it was cute and interesting. I also liked the color, so I bought it and 2 years later here I am!

#2 Favorite Beauty Product

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Brow pomade and clear brow gel by Anastasia

How often you use it

I use both of these products any time I do my makeup for my brows and I’ve been using them since I started doing makeup. 

What you like about the product

It not only makes my eyebrows look great, but stays on all day! Sweat, water, anything your brows will stay on all day and not fade. 

How you found it

When I first started getting into makeup I watched a ton of YouTube and so many YouTubers would swear by it. I tried it and loved it and have been using both since high school. 

#3 Favorite Beauty Product

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Highlighter by Fenty

How often you use it

I live by this highlighter it will make you “shine bright like a diamond”. I use this almost every time I wear makeup because I love adding highlight and a little shimmer to my final look. 

What you like about the product

I like how pigmented it is and also how buildable it is. You can add a little to have a natural glow, but if you really want a blinding highlight you can add more and it won’t look overwhelming. They also come in so many colors, so no matter your skin tone you’ll find a highlight for you. 

How you found it

Since i follow Rihanna and Fenty Beauty on Instagram I see what new is to come, but this was one of her first beauty products so i had to get it and I keep getting more!


Stay tuned for next week’s post where my friends Tucker James, Monia Mukiza, and Yujia Ma share their three beauty favorites!

CEO Sit Down: Wes Woodson on thehidden

Read all about how Wes built his own clothing brand around inclusivity and acceptance to help inspire everyone to live life boldly uncovered.

Everyone has feels, at one point or another, that they want to hide. In high school, I wanted to hide for many reasons, one of them being my bad acne. I couldn’t look people in the eye when they spoke to me, I tried to cover my blemishes with my hair, and scratched at them, only to make things worse. For Wes, it was a skin condition and his inability to “fit in” with any circle of friends. Instead of feeling defeated, however, Wes felt inspired, creating a line of clothing that motivates everyone to live their truth, unhidden. thehidden has now grown into a full range of clothing as well as moved into the realm of content development. I sat down with Wes to get the complete run down on how his business has flourished over the years.


Wes, tell us about yourself!

Sure! My name is Wes Woodson and I’m the founder and chief storyteller of thehidden company. Recently, I have graduated from Babson College- where you and I met haha. In my free time I like to write, listen to music, and walk my malti-poo Bentley. Oh! And my favorite color is red. Always have to mention my favorite color in intros.

What was your inspiration for starting your clothing company thehidden?

 I honestly love this question! The inspiration behind the brand actually stems from my personal experiences growing up feeling too white for the black kids and too black for the white kids. It was this feeling of being misunderstood, lonely, as well as my diagnosis of my rare skin condition, which led me to “hide” the parts of myself that I was ashamed of. This included the skin condition, which caused white spots to appear on the surface of my skin. However, I wanted to build a brand that would inspire kids (like me) to never hide who they are and truly accept themselves; which defines the name “thehidden” but also explains our iconic logo. I wanted to empower those who feel hidden to never hide who they are. 

What is the mission and goal for your business?

The mission of thehidden company, which now houses our clothing label (thehidden) and our content development arm (thehidden Project), is to use the power of storytelling through merchandise and original content to empower our generation to never hide who they are. My goal with thehidden company is to empower 1,000,000 unique individuals to be their true selves unapologetically.

Why hoodies, t-shirts, and shorts to help spread the message of acceptance and inclusivity?

Back at it again with the great questions! So growing up, I always wanted to wear the streetwear brands everyone would rock- Supreme, Palace, Obey, etc.-but I couldn’t afford them. More importantly, I wanted to build a brand that not only empowered people but helped them express who they are as well. So, when thinking about these two things, making clothes with messages of acceptance and inclusion made sense because that’s how people express themselves: by the clothes they wear. 

What has been the most challenging aspect of your company’s journey?

Truthfully, the most challenging aspect of my company’s journey has been dealing with self doubt and anxiety. Every time I release something, or do interviews like this, I want the world to see thehidden company for what it is: a company started by a kid trying to help others not feel the way he once did. Of course, doing anything entrepreneurial or risky can create a level of anxiety. However, the hardest part for me has been trying to find a way to channel that anxiety into a positive force to propel the brand forward.

How has thehidden changed your perspective on life?

I used to think people fell in love with “images” or ideal lifestyles. Through thehidden I’ve found that the real beauty is becoming comfortable enough with your flaws to share them. I guess what I’m trying to say is that I’ve learned that there’s power in being authentic with yourself and with those around you.

Are there any personal testimonials from your customers that stick out to you?

Yes! I remember when I first launched the business, I had written my story through a medium blog post. Turns out, someone had shared the blog post with their mom who has the same skin condition as I do. The daughter, who shared the post, purchased two hoodies. One for herself and one for her mom. She ended up writing to me to tell that her mom had been battling depression after receiving her diagnosis, but felt less alone reading my story. 

That is what it’s all about. Those are the types of interactions I live for. 

What does the future of thehidden look like?

The future is looking bright! Like I said, I’ve always wanted to build a brand that is known for talking about real things instead of just selling clothes. Therefore, in the next few months we will be releasing new products that have never been seen before as well as other cool pieces of original content dedicated to something near and dear to my heart: mental health. No matter what, though, our mission is still the same. 

Lastly, favorite merch item?

Okay this is tricky! My favorite merch item, prior to this interview, was the Adore hoodie. It’s a black and white camouflaged hoodie that’s super comfortable. However, at this time, my favorite merch item hasn’t been released yet! (Ooo! Cue the suspense!).

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The Adore Hoodie


Where you can find thehidden:

www.thehiddenco.com

@thehiddenco

www.weswoodson.com

Running a Poshmark Empire with Tara Masjedi

I sat down with Tara to get the inside scoop on how she grew her Poshmark account into a business, racking up over 117,000 followers.

Many summers ago, when I started my Poshmark account, I had the dream of selling my entire closet and starting fresh. Little did I know exactly how hard that would be! Selling new or gently used clothing on Poshmark requires the skill and savviness that my good friend Tara Masjedi possesses. Tara and I were roommates during our BRIC study abroad program and have become close friends ever since. I vividly remember one of our first conversations together being about Tara’s Poshmark empire and how she has sold hundreds of items since signing up for the platform. I tirelessly pried her for information on how I could make my account as successful as hers- what was I doing so wrong that I couldn’t sell my middle school impulse purchases? I interviewed Tara on the blog so that you could get in on all of the advice she has given me over the years. You’re welcome in advance! Give her Poshmark-Instagram some love to keep up with her latest finds and scroll all the way to the bottom of this article for a little discount courtesy of Tara!


Hey Tara, tell us about yourself!

Hi everyone! My name is Tara Masjedi, and I run my own clothing resale business on many different platforms such as Mercari and eBay, but I primarily sell on the Poshmark platform!

Why did you start selling clothes online and how long have you been doing it for?

I started selling clothing online when I was 14 (in 9th grade) as a way to make money for myself so I could buy the things I wanted without the help of my parents. Independence has always been a big part of my identity and creating my own source of income was the best way to help me get started. Since then, it’s been 8 years that I’ve been selling clothing online!

What do you look for when you buy clothes to resell?

The first thing I typically notice or look for is brand. Once I identify a quality brand- which, in my mind, includes contemporary brands such as Vince, Rag and Bone, and All Saints-, I’ll examine the item to see if there are any signs of significant wear, stains, or holes. In addition, I try to pay a maximum of $10 per item I source. Most of the items I purchase are from the bins of consignment shops, which means they are priced by the pound, so I typically end up paying around $1-2 per garment.

Is sustainability and recycling old garments important to you?

Absolutely! With every garment I purchase secondhand, I know that I am helping to reduce the impact of the fashion industry. Fashion is the second-most polluting industry in the world and fast-fashion definitely exacerbates the environmental impact. I try to purchase as much as I can from sustainable brands such as Patagonia, but also work to repair garments that may not necessarily be as sustainable but can be given a whole new life with a little bit of TLC!

What do your margins look like?

It really depends on the type of garment that I’m selling, but I always break even with every item! I calculated a 570% average margin for the sale of all of my items. 

How have you grown your following?

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A lot of the growth I’ve experienced around my following is from consistently not only sharing my own listings but also sharing the listings of other sellers! If there are buyers who are obsessed with a specific brand- how I am with Lululemon and Tory Burch-, they will constantly be checking newly listed items under that brand. By offering low or reasonable prices for highly demanded brands, you can quickly grow your following and gain traction as more buyers develop interest in the other items you have listed. Also, specifically for Poshmark, I started selling less than a year following the inception of the app. 

How do the different sites that you use to sell your products compare to each other and which is your favorite?

The three platforms I mainly use to sell clothing are Poshmark, Mercari, and eBay. Poshmark is definitely the most fashion-focused platform, as it was created for the intent of reselling solely clothing and accessories, whereas on eBay and Mercari, you can sell anything you can think of. In terms of fees, Poshmark takes 20% of every sale, Mercari takes 10%, and eBay takes a 10% fee if your item sells plus a 3% fee from Paypal for processing the payment. I think each platform has its own pros and cons because the users on each vary. Sometimes I’ve tried to sell something on Poshmark for months, and, when I post it on Mercari, it instantly sells. I would say Poshmark and Mercari are pretty close for me as I have developed a following and have sold quite a bit on each platform, but eBay is definitely a website I am working to list more on.

What are 3 pieces of advice you would give to people interested in starting to sell clothes online?

One of the biggest things I’ve learned over the years is that, for resale, you need to remember you aren’t shopping for yourself; you’re shopping for the customer! There are times where I will look at something and think, I would never wear that, but you need to consider current trends and brands your customers are interested in. In addition, don’t feel defeated if it takes a while to make sales! There are times where I’ve gone weeks without making a sale, and then, all of a sudden, I’ll get a few orders! The key for the entire process is patience. Finally, I would recommend starting small if you’re interested in reselling. It takes a lot more patience than you think to list items, so start with a few pieces and then gradually expand- if you have the room for it!

What is your favorite brand or designer?

I have quite an obsession with Lululemon and Tory Burch! They are both such quality brands, and using these platforms also helps me find killer deals!

Where to find Tara:

Poshmark

Instagram: @tara.posh.candy114

Use code CANDY114 on Poshmark to get $10 off your first purchase!

All About Coffee with Tim Braatz

Coffee, coffee beans, coffee shops! Tim shares his knowledge on all things coffee and his future plans to open a café of his own.

Tim has been a long time friend of mine, who has been obsessed with coffee ever since I have known him. Having traveled the world to experience and taste all the coffee there is to offer, Tim has accumulated a depth of knowledge around the café experience, barista techniques, bean roasting, and coffee quality. Tim has also worked as both a dishwasher and a barista, acquiring that much needed experience “in the field,” working hard to learn about how to run a successful business. After years of exploration and long hours spent in the café, Tim is finally opening his own coffee place next year- congratulations Tim! When I return to Hamburg, I cannot wait to pop in for a delicious cup of coffee and I hope you’ll join me in supporting Tim very soon!


Hallo Tim! Tell us a little bit about yourself!

I’m 23 years old and was born and raised in Hamburg, Germany. Besides my passion for coffee, I enjoy spending time with my girlfriend and family, traveling, especially to the US, driving and reading about cars, and learning more about nutrition and the plant based lifestyle.

 How long have you been interested in coffee and what has sparked this passion?

Believe it or not, my parents always tell me that I had my first coffee at the age of five. My first job in coffee was working as a dishwasher for a bigger local roastery and café. This is where my passion for specialty coffee really took off. After graduating from school, I visited different states on the east and west coast of the United States and explored different concepts and business ideas. After many years of refining my idea of what I want to achieve with my concept and writing a business plan, I finally signed a lease for a space to open my own café in the heart of Hamburg in Spring / Summer of 2021.

 What are your favorite coffees and coffee chains or shops and why?

Funny enough, most of them are in the U.S.! Heart Coffee in Portland, Oregon is probably my favorite coffee shop because the staff is very knowledgeable and the drinks are consistently high quality. I’ve had some of my bests coffees there. I also enjoy going to the Starbucks Reserve Roasteries because the interior design and aesthetics are mind blowing and the coffee is decent too. Coffee-wise, I prefer washed coffee from Africa. Kenyan coffees are usually very sweet and juicy. 

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I know you are opening your own coffee shop next year (how exciting and congratulations). Tell us a little bit about this new venture and what will set it apart from other coffee shops?

Thank you! I have always wanted to open my own café because most of the ones I’ve been to lack the basics of what makes a good experience to me. I think if you can provide consistently great service and high quality products in a beautiful and clean environment people will come back. Every decision I have made considers all of the above and we-my father co-owns the company- have put  a lot of thought into the design process of the space. I can guarantee you it will be like nothing else in Hamburg.

To you, what makes a good coffee shop experience?

Like I said, people want a great product, served with a smile, and fast. It’s really hard to consistently achieve this level of service, but the whole concept is built around these three factors. 

How has your previous experience as a barista helped you in building your new business?

Over the years, I was fortunate enough to gain many insights relating to the processes, finances, staff, regulations and of running a coffee shop, simply by learning from others peoples’ mistakes. I wouldn’t be as confident as I’m today without my experience as a barista. I’m convinced you can only be a great entrepreneur and employer if you’ve worked through the ranks.

What is one challenge that you have faced in starting your new coffee shop?

Convincing the banks it’s not just another coffee shop. Specialty coffee is still relatively unknown in Germany and it’s hard to convince people of something they’ve never tried themselves before. Also, finding the right space that checks all the boxes. It took me four years from starting to look for a space to signing the lease.

If I have learned one thing from this process: never give up and follow your dreams!

Last question, what do you think the future of coffee consumption looks like?

Due to climate change, the world will have 50% less land available to grow coffee by 2050 than we have today. This will hopefully bring the price of commodity coffee up so farmers can make a sustainable living from their work. Also, I think the consumer will make more informed buying decisions and especially look for high quality coffee. I’m definitely excited what the future holds for specialty coffee!