ST. PETERSBURG, Fla. – At any local Goodwill, you may find Esther Bemah setting up her camera and striking a pose in an outfit she’s put together from the thrift giant. The blogger is known as a “Goodwill Huntress.”
“Goodwill’s a place to find brand deals for super cheap and affordable,” said Bemah. “I found a Ralph Lauren long sleeve dress. The price point was $100, and I got it for I believe $30 or even less than that.”
Bemah is a blogger for Goodwill Suncoast and through her Goodwill blog and Instagram, she’s shown shoppers that high fashion can come at a low cost.
“I’ve always thrifted, but I didn’t really start blogging about it until 2018,” said Bemah. “Eventually Goodwill caught my eye, I’ve been blogging for them since.”
Before Bemah shops, she said she sets a spending limit. She said she usually sets it to no more than $35 whenever she’s shopping at Goodwill.
She comes up with ideas for how to put different outfits together.
“I just say this is how I styled it, and this is how much I got it for,” said Bemah. “What I usually tell people is don’t come with an expectation because then you get disappointed.”
Bemah said she can get quite a few items for her money. Usually she can get seven or eight items but when there are coupons in Goodwill’s newsletters, those can lead to even more items.
She also said she usually avoids shopping on the weekends, and added the best days for her are usually Mondays, Tuesdays, and Wednesdays. She tries to go in the morning when Goodwill opens with full racks and there are a lot of variety and options.
Young consumers like Bemah are driving the growth of thrifting. Many prefer the secondhand market to the department stores for low cost, sustainability and unique fashion finds.
“Especially for high school girls usually in that stage you go through phases of changing your style,” said Bemah.
This bargain hunting comes with a greater purpose.
“Whenever you shop, you’re investing in the lives of others, so we’re excited for you to come shop,” said Bemah.
You can find Bemah’s Goodwill blog here. She also has tips o her Instagram account (@estherbee_) and Goodwill Suncoast’s (@goodwillsuncoast).