Nashville picker Lauren Archibald began her reselling business back in March of 2021 after her Instagram page devoted to sharing thrifted finds began to surge with engagement. Like many around that time, she was holed up inside looking for a connection to the outside world and found a bunch of it through her social media accounts.
Two years later and her shop Ragz and Relics is thriving in its own little corner of the Internet. And it’s not because she came into the game knowing everything all at once, but because she spends her time growing with her audience and cataloging the journey along the way. It’s a smart strategy to not only build a community around her but to grow sales organically through trust and admiration.
That natural ability to engage with the people watching through their phones puts Lauren in a unique group of online resellers — one part entertainer, several parts vintage hustler.
“I find the creative process very enjoyable and appreciate the opportunity to share my passion for this space in a fun way that resonates with people,” Lauren says. “As a small business owner, I also recognize the importance and sense of responsibility that comes with posting on social media to establish and grow my brand.”
In doing so, social media personalities are often having to navigate several different forks in the road, which are about as consistent as the clothes they find. With a massive horizon of topics to cover in front of them, predictability in content is rare. Her latest multi-part installment literally fell into her cart when she thrifted a crazy looking denim jacket not thinking anything of it. As she researched it online for the listing, she found the brand to be even nuttier than the patchwork it had sewn onto it. Turns out it was designed by a famous cult leader named Tony Alamo. This forced Lauren (and by proxy her audience) down an Internet rabbithole she never knew she needed.
With over 20,000 followers between her brand’s Instagram and TikTok pages, Lauren has a ton of room to grow — but it also positions her in the top 90% of creators online. Having that big of an audience isn’t something that just happens, however. Even though the AI running the algorithms are sometimes impossible to work around, she says with social media there are always tricks to make it benefit businesses more times than not.
“It’s crucial to understand and utilize the algorithms to your advantage,” adds Lauren. “Establish a clear focus, maintain consistency, and always be authentic.”
“My first piece of advice would be to establish a specific niche, or subject matter for your content. Having a clear focus not only helps you determine what to post, but it also makes it easier to effectively reach your target audience and tailor your content to that group.”
TikTok itself has even come out and pressed hard on creators to be unique and thoughtful. At least for now, it favors creativity, humility and reality (beautifying filters being the obvious exceptions here) over awkward cons and haphazardly created clout for likes. Its mission statement literally tells people to go inspire and spark joy.
For Lauren, that's exactly what her shop has come to be. She and her team will be making the trip from Nashville to Atlanta this year to vend at ThriftCon.
“When people see a real person with real life experiences just like them on the other side of the screen, it’s comforting and builds trust.”
Adds Lauren: “Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there, get on camera, be goofy, and share different parts of your life!”