Evan Santiago

(Rock Hill, S.C.) — Between work, school and extracurricular activities, many students barely have time to make a trip to the mall or department store to do some shopping.

However, that is something many students won’t have to worry about any longer thanks to an online thrift store called Ursistersclosett (sic), which is operated entirely on Instagram by Winthrop University student Taylor Evans and her younger sister.

Evans said it all began with her sister’s idea to start making money in a quick, easy and fun way.

“I needed some extra money for study abroad,” Evans said. “Within four hours we had a name.”

The Instagram-based thrift store uses an auction style system that requires followers to comment in order to raise their bid on an item, which also helps boost the account’s social engagement statistics.

Dr. Nathaniel Frederick, associate professor of mass communication who teaches a course on the culture of media startups at Winthrop, said many college students are now savvy entrepreneurs because of social media.

“There are certain students who like to play on social media. They like to use it to chat, gossip (and) those sorts of things, but there are other students who kind of see the potential,” Frederick said.

He also credits the millennials and Generation Z with a general unwillingness to work for anyone but themselves and he thinks of online small businesses as a way for students to make money on their own terms.

“There are students who may not have a steady job, but they have these several opportunities to make money and all of this, I think, has been possible and facilitated because of the web,” said Frederick.

Using social media to buy and sell clothes is not only financially beneficial, but Taylor Evans said it’s also eco-friendly.

“Honestly you can buy a shirt from us way cheaper than you would at Forever 21 or any other store and also it’s really good for the environment to get rid of fast fashion and to recycle and reuse different things,” said Evans.

She said, since its launch in August, Ursistersclosett has already generated $1,000 in revenue.