Shanna Le, class of ‘21, pictured at Coachella 2019.
17-year old Shanna Le, class of ‘21, develops a passion for business with the power of social media. Going from just selling her own used clothing, she now sells her own vintage and thrift finds appealing to the Gen Z youth.
Shanna started her business on Instagram, named @shannathrifts, in 2017. At 500 followers, she began selling her own used clothes locally just for extra money. At the time Shanna didn’t know what the future of her business on Instagram would look like. However, it wasn’t until March 2020, the beginning of lockdown, that Shanna began to put all of her focus on the business.
Due to lockdown, Shanna began to focus a lot more on her business with the convenience of staying home. She claims that it became a regular part of her day, posting new items of clothing and keeping things up to date. Suddenly, Shanna’s account grew rapidly from 500 followers to 3000 within just 2-3 months. With this occurrence, she started to take things up a notch by getting her own business cards and taking professional photos.
“I realized that I had a knack for this and that is what helped me decide to go into business as my major. I don’t do it for the money as most people do, I do this because I truly love the business part of it,” Shanna said.
While Shanna enjoys the freedom of managing her own small business, there are a lot of downsides to it. With reselling second-hand clothing, a lot of people still criticize Shanna because it’s apparently “too easy”. However, it’s all about the concept of reusing and recycling. “All the clothes from the thrift store that don’t end up selling ends up in waste. What I do helps people find more affordable stylish clothes and helps the environment, being sustainable,” Shanna said. Many other things take account as well such as time-wasting customers and those who want free items to help promote the seller.
After the growth and success of her account, Shanna was given the opportunity to set up her shop. Last November Shanna became a vendor for “Pop-Up San Jose,” a thrifting event held at the San Jose Flea market. It required a lot of work, but Shanna was thrilled “The experience was something different than just posting clothes online, it was exhilarating and exciting to manage my own business in person,” Shanna said. As ecstatic as Shanna was about her newfound success, it all came down to her love for business including the loyal relationships built with the customers, knowing they love and support the business.
Now, Shanna updates daily on her Instagram with new themed clothing drops and set bids. She incorporates posting for her business into her daily routine, posting on platforms such as Depop and Mercari. With Shanna’s passion for entrepreneurship, the future for her account is unknown. Undecided with college, she still wants business to be a part of her life saying,“ I hope to potentially manage or run my own business in the future. I know it’s risky and I could fail but you never know what’ll happen unless you try,” she said.