Our History & What's Next!

Posted by Arly Stroben on

In the days of Thriftsy, it has been many different things...


At first in late 2016, it was called Thriftsy Gypsy and was a side gig while I worked my regular job and went to school. I had just learned how to sew and decided to start an Etsy account to sell my old festival clothing and a handful of items I had upcycled. During this time Thriftsy was only available on Etsy, it mainly consisted of vintage clothing, and my sewing skills/upcycled pieces were sub-par. But after doing this for a few months and recieving a lot of positive response - Thriftsy graduated to it's next level.



In 2017, I began vending (a lot) and continued taking sewing classes at the college. The upcycles got better as I learned more about sewing. I was doing pop-ups at festivals and shows nearly every weekend...it was non-stop. The quality of the pieces were improving by the day, mainly consisting of festival inspired upcycles and funky thrifted goods. By the end of this year, I had moved myself and my business into a Commercial Live Work location in Oceanside and launched my first website. 



Once 2018 rolled around, I began classes on patternmaking which is the process of designing the blueprint of a garment from start to finish. Thriftsy began releasing simple original designs like tube tops, high waisted bottoms and kimonos. The fits honestly weren't that great but I was constantly trying to improve them with time through trial & error.

Thriftsy advanced in many ways that year, in the summer I started an event called "The Festival Market" in collaboration with Spin Nightclub. We transformed the 3 story club into a full blown Burning Man shopping mall with over 25 vendors, dressing rooms, live djs, interactive areas and a food truck. It was unbelievable and the community really loved it.

After the market, I went back to making clothes and got the unfortunate news from my landlords that the city was forcing all of us to vacate from our studios. I was panicked about where I would take myself and my business but within a few weeks I had been introduced to two investors who had a small brick & mortar location in my hometown and wanted to partner.


2018 -


In the final months of 2018, we began building out the store. "The Thriftsy Gypsy" was now becoming "Thriftsy's Unique Boutique & Alterations" in Carlsbad and opened on Feburary 1st, 2019. It was focused around thrifting, alterations, upcycles and my original designs. Having Thriftsy blossom into a brick & mortar boutique was a dream come true but it came at a cost. 

The overhead of having a store was running the biz dry and I slowly saw myself having less time to do what I truly love, designing clothing. At the end of 2019, I made the conscious decision to close the shop down and reiceved an overwhelming amount of positive support which made the process much easier.


 Thriftsy's Unique Boutique closed on Janurary 26th, 2020 - Almost a year to date from it's grand opening. The store was an amazing experience and I am eternally grateful to have had the opportunity. I learned a lot in that time and it made me realize that when you put too much on your plate, you'll get less of what you really want. And all I want for Thriftsy is to design dope and sustainable clothing.

So now that the biz is store-free, there has been a lot more time to design clothes and reorganize our structure. We will be going by "Thriftsy Clothing Designs" and be available for purchase online. The focus will be around making one-of-a-kind upcycles and offering our original designs - made to order. This will lower our output and waste, which will help us be more sustainable in the long run. 

 I am beyond excited for this new direction and can't wait to share all of the unique pieces to come. My goal for this little brand is to create awareness about the process it takes to make clothes, to inspire the community to repurpose their old clothing and when it comes to purchasing new, to support local makers vs fast fashion corporations. 


It has been quite the ride with little miss Thriftsy but each and every one of these years has built the business up to what it is today - Our location, name and concepts may change, but the one thing that will always remain is that we are here to make unforgettable clothing!


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