Employee Spotlight: Art Director Brandy Koeninger’s Tips and Tricks to Thrifting Like a Boss
Welcome to Employee Spotlight, a thrEDIT original series featuring real-life thredUP employees. Brandy is a new Art Director on our creative team and it already feels like she’s been here forever. Read on to find out everything about her from her dislike of coffee (what?!) to her best life hack that has us seriously inspired.
P.S. We’ve hidden a chance to win $100 to shop somewhere in this post! Tag. You’re it!
Tell us what you do at thredUP.
I am an Art Director at thredUP, which means I get to collaborate with everyone on the creative team and cross-functionally to develop fun and innovative ways to inspire our current customer and attract and inform new customers to want to shop and sell with us. We have a lean creative team with lots of awesome projects going on all the time, so I am able to wear multiple hats, and I love that!
What do you love most about working at thredUP?
Besides being surrounded by incredibly smart and talented people every day, I love the tremendous amount of passion each and every person here has for thredUP. Everyone works really hard and honestly does it with a smile. The creative team is very supportive of each other, and we are constantly sharing tips, tricks, and ideas with each other to keep us all inspired and motivated. I also love how excited everyone gets when someone on the team receives a thredUP Goody Box. We all stop what we are doing and gather round for an un-boxing and to ooh and ahh over all the scores. So fun!
How would you describe thredUP in 5 words or less:
Inspiring, freaking smart, globally aware.
What’s your top secret tip to shopping on thredUP?
Auto-Buy and Saved Searches should be your best friends. Saved Searches saves you time, by narrowing down your search to items you really want to see and Auto-Buy helps you shop even in your sleep! The best feeling is waking up in the morning to an email letting you know you scored the item you were eyeing that someone else had in their cart but then released.
What’s your top secret tip to cleaning out your closet?
Keeping a Clean Out bag in your closet open and ready for when you are no longer wearing something is the most convenient way to clean out and make room for new items. I live in San Francisco with little closet space. Closet real estate is a premium in my home. I currently share my closet with my 1.5 year old daughter, so I have to be creative with my side of the closet. As she is getting older, I’m losing even more space, but because I have the Clean Out bag ready, I can throw the items I am no longer wearing and all the items she is quickly growing out of right in the bag to make room for new items for both of us. It has been a total life-saver for keeping me more organized.
How would you describe your style?
My style is definitely a mix. A bit of an edge mixed with some sequins and sparkle from time to time. I love mixing hard and soft looks together. I feel like I am always running around: dropping my daughter off at school; commuting to work; checking out live music; wine-tasting with friends. So my style is also flexible and I like to feel comfortable whether I am dressing up for a date night with my husband or chasing my daughter and dog around the park, therefore heels or super tricky clothing silhouettes are not an option for me. I’m a boots kinda girl and try to pair them with everything all season long. Because I have a young daughter, I have to be ready for plans to change and sometimes there’s just no time to get ready. This forces my style to often be: what-can-I-throw-on-and-still-look-cute-and-feel-like-me. Which ends up being a cute dress or long shirt over leggings with boots while I am out and about, and as soon as I get home from a day at the office or night out, my style switches to a perfectly worn-in Thrasher sweatshirt and comfy jeans.
What percentage of your wardrobe is thrifted?
I would say about 10-15%.
Why do you think secondhand first?
I LOVE a good deal, and it really makes me feel good to know that when I shop secondhand, I am doing my part in helping to reduce, reuse, recycle. With a young toddler in the house (growing like a weed), it makes so much sense for my family to think secondhand first. As soon as she wears something a week or two later she’s out of it. By doing a lot of our shopping for her at thredUP, I am able to dress her in super cute clothing and in some really awesome brands without spending a fortune.
Where do you get your coffee?
Well I am part of the 2% of the population that hates coffee. I just never acquired a taste for it, but I do drink A LOT of hot tea. My tea drinks of choice are a hot Earl Grey and Chai Latte. There are soooo many coffee shops in the Bay Area. My on-the-go tea brand for Earl Grey is Teavana. When I have more time, I like to experiment with loose teas from DAVIDs TEAS. I have recently discovered Coffee Cultures by the thredUP office has a yummy Chai Latte with just the right amount of spice.
Best life hack:
Visit the ocean (as often as possible!). When you get there, close your eyes, take a deep breath, and breathe in the salty air. I find a sense of calm in the sound of the crashing waves and am instantly in a more relaxed frame of mind. What’s even better is to take it a step further and jump into the water! The water in SF is freezing year round, so you will probably want to wear a wetsuit if you take the extra step. I find that no matter what is going on in my life, if I visit the ocean (to surf or simply dip my toes in), I am able to recharge. The salt water is a natural cleanse for the mind and body.
What was the best deal you scored on thredUP?
I’ve loved so many of my thredUP purchases, but my faves are a David Bowie tank dress and my “New with Tags” velvet dress from Zara.
Best thrifty living tip:
I have been using Johnson and Johnson’s baby shampoo to wash off mascara and clean my face forever. Seriously, since middle school! It’s cheap, easy, effective, doesn’t burn if you get it in your eyes. I love it. It’s saved me so much $$$ over the years by not having to buy expensive face products.
Tell us what you love about cleaning out at thredUP.
I love how easy it is. From first requesting a Clean Out bag, to filling that bag up, to having your bag picked up or dropping it off to USPS to the actual shopping. I do not have a ton of time to go shopping these days, so thredUP has provided me with a perfect outlet to shop from my couch or in between errands, as well as has helped me to clear out some space in my closet for “new to me” items. I also get to try new styles I may have not considered trying in the past because of price. I really love the warm and fuzzy feeling you get knowing an item you no longer wear could make someone else’s shopping day. Not to mention, doing any part I can to help keep this planet sustainable is very important to me.
What styles are you looking forward to wearing most for summer?
I love wearing sleeveless little dresses in the summer paired back to a cool pair of summer boots or booties. The best is when we get a random hot summer day in SF, and I do not have to wear a pair of leggings or jacket with my dress. Even on a hot day, I am always prepared with a fun jacket, leggings and a beanie in my bag for when the SF fog does roll in (because we all know, it will!).
What do you keep buying over and over?
BOOTS!! Motorcycle boots, cowboy boots, combat boots, booties. I never have enough. Oh and jackets and hooded sweatshirts.
Leave a comment here and tell us about your favorite secondhand find of all time. On June 8th, 2018, we’ll randomly select one (1) commenter on this blog post to win $100.00 to shop at thredUP.com.