Employee Spotlight: Communications Strategist Natalie’s 4 Life Hacks Are Thrifty Living Goals
Welcome to Employee Spotlight, a thrEDIT original series featuring real-life thredUP employees. Meet Natalie, our rockstar Communications Strategist! Read all about her best vintage finds, and the best life hacks we ALL need to start doing ASAP.
What do you do at thredUP?
I am thredUP’s Marketing Communications Strategist! I’m based in New York, where I help look at everything we do at thredUP through a PR lens. I work closely with the media to show the world all of the awesome things we’re up to behind the scenes. Whether it’s launching our annual Resale Report, telling trend stories based on thredUP’s troves of data, or getting an executive featured on a podcast, I’m always looking for stories to tell about thredUP and the people powering resale! I also get to work with the rest of the marketing team on brand campaigns and launches to help figure out creative ways to make them press-worthy.
What’s your favorite part of your job?
Landing press placements has always been my favorite part about working in PR. I enjoy the entire process from ideating to pitching, but the most exciting part is seeing our stories come to life in print for the world to see. Getting to see thredUP in a print magazine or making it in a headline about the future of retail is such a fun, satisfying part of this job. There’s a lot of coordination, writing, and relationship building that goes behind every story that’s told about thredUP in the press. My 90-year-old grandpa loves to call out where he’s seen thredUP in the press on a given week.
What’s your fave thredUP feature?
Saved Searches! I scored one of my best pairs of Reformation jeans, thanks to a Saved Search email and app alert I set up so I could be notified when my dream pair of jeans in my size arrived. It’s dangerously useful for scoring the most coveted styles and brands on thredUP.
Name your top 3 favorite brands.
I would have to say FRYE, rag & bone, and Reformation. FRYE and rag & bone were the first two brands I worked for before joining the team at thredUP, so on most days you’ll find me repping my alma maters. I have FRYE boots stored under my bed, in my closet, under my desk at work, and in my boyfriend’s closet! I also just love boots and wear them with almost every outfit year-round. Reformation is another favorite of mine because of their commitment to sustainability without sacrificing style.
Why do you think secondhand first?
I think secondhand first because our future depends on it. Working in the fashion industry before coming to thredUP really opened my eyes to the waste and overproduction that exists, from packaging and samples to the sheer speed at which products are made, bought, and discarded. I love working for a company that is playing a role in the solution. Shopping secondhand instead of buying something new is one of the easiest ways you can individually lower your fashion footprint and make the most of what we already have.
What percentage of your wardrobe is thrifted?
I would say about half of my entire closet is thrifted, but 80-90% of what I’ve purchased in the past year is vintage/secondhand!
What’s been your memorable thrifty find so far?
The best thing about thrifting is the story behind scoring a unique find. One of my favorite thrifting memories is when I discovered a linen, fuschia matching pant and top set that I found at a thrift store in San Francisco. Sadly, I shrunk the top so now it’s very much a crop top. My other favorite thrifty find is a pale yellow, double-breasted vest from the 1960s that I got at an Artist & Fleas vintage showcase in Brooklyn. I can’t wait to wear it as a dress this summer.
What’s your top secret tip to cleaning out your closet?
My top secret clean out tip is simple: go with your gut. Tackling a closet clean out can feel daunting, so I like to get it done fast without too much overthinking. I hold up an item and identify the emotion I immediately feel when I look at it. If it doesn’t fit, if I don’t absolutely love it, or if I don’t have a really great memory from wearing it, then it goes in my Clean Out bag.
Share your best life hack.
My home life hack: Make your own natural cleaning sprays for your countertops, yoga mat, and more. My favorite is tea tree oil, lavender essential oil, white vinegar (or alcohol), and water.
My shopping life hack: If you’re too lazy to try on jeans, wrap the waistband around your neck. If you can touch one side of the jeans to the other, then they’ll fit around your waist perfectly. Works every time.
My fitness life hack: Fit in daily movement while doing other mundane activities! My favorites include calf raises while brushing my teeth and squats while moisturizing my face. This is about as good at multitasking as I get. I prefer to focus on one thing at a time otherwise. 🙂
My general life hack: Write something down on paper every single day. Back when I rode the subway every day, I would write random thoughts in the notes section on my phone. I still do that now, but I always save some of my thoughts—whether it’s a feeling, a reminder, a to-do, or an idea—for pen and paper.
Share your best thrifty living tip.
Lately at thredUP, we’ve been exploring the meaning of the word thrift beyond the confines of shopping secondhand and looking at the broader meaning of the word: to use money and all resources carefully and less wastefully. My current thrifty living tip is to think about how you can make the most of everything you already have. For me, that means I’m getting creative in the kitchen with the ingredients in my pantry and not wasting any food. I’m also on a mission to read all of the paperback books I own before I buy any new ones for my Kindle!
What are the ways that you stay sustainable? Any tips?
Put your money where your mouth is. Support the causes you care about. Shop from brands whose values are in line with your own. Check out Good On You if you’re unsure if a brand you love is really practicing what they preach. Good on You is one of my favorite websites to scan and learn more about what’s taking place behind the scenes at different fashion companies.
One of the other ways I practice sustainable living is by eating mindfully and abstaining from meat. I’ve been a vegetarian/pescetarian/flexitarian (phases of each of these) for almost 10 years now. If you want to be swayed or just want to learn more about the environmental impacts (as well as health & ethical impacts) of factory farming, read Eating Animals by Jonathan Safran Foer.
What are you looking forward to wearing most for spring/summer?
Summer sandals! Because I have been living in my slippers for the past 5 weeks quarantined in my apartment. Coupled with being a shoe lover, I’m most excited for sneakers, heels, summer booties, etc. in the coming months. Shoes are really the only part of my wardrobe that I switch out for different seasons. I wear a lot of my favorite tops, jeans, and jackets year-round.
Name the one thing you can’t live without.
Sleep is my #1 non-negotiable.
The two other things I can’t live without are my yoga mat right at the edge of my bed and my roommates. We’re on week 5 of spending nearly every waking moment together. They are my source of daily inspiration, laughs, tears, and everything in between.
What are you currently obsessed with (could be a TV show, anything!)?
I’m currently obsessed with livestream workouts by The Class by Taryn Toomey. Her classes are a mix of yoga, HIIT, pilates, and tons of free form dancing/movement. It’s equal parts spiritual and physical, and I’m proud to say I’ve converted several friends into The Class addicts.
We’re dreaming about the outdoors right now. What are your most excited to wear for summer (or just the outside)? Let us know in the comments below.