Three and a half years ago, Maddy Clements launched Junk Gold, an online thrifting boutique. At the time, Maddy’s intention was to share her passion for thrifting with others at an affordable price point. But, life got busy and as a result, Junk Gold was put on hiatus.
At the beginning of the year, when stay-at-home orders were at their strictest, Maddy used her free time to rebrand the passion project. On July 1, she took to TikTok to show off some of her recent thrift finds and the video quickly went viral. Since then, Junk Gold has gained 23.7 thousand followers and Maddy’s most-viewed TikTok is currently at 1.1 million.
“I was just kind of making videos and they weren’t that well done,” Maddy says. “I don’t know how I had one video go viral, but it’s been such a good platform and has given me a lot of brand awareness.”
Junk Gold is now most recognizable by the Thrift Bundles that are available for purchase, in addition to the resale pieces. Thrift Bundles are sold at two different price points: $100 and $200. After a customer purchases a bundle, they fill out a style quiz and Maddy hits all of her favorite thrift stores to find pieces specifically for that customer.
“When I’m not in school, I probably go shopping every other day,” she says. “A lot of thrift stores will pull out new racks every hour because there’s so much stuff. I try to look through the new racks so I’m not looking at stuff I’ve already gone through.”
Despite the growing success of Junk Gold, Maddy is still pursuing her business as a side hustle while she completes her fashion design degree at Belmont University. Although she has had an interest in fashion and thrifting most of her life, the 27-year-old didn’t initially plan to work in the fashion industry. She earned her undergraduate degree in English, but landed a job in fashion merchandising soon after graduation, which inspired her to work toward a design degree.
“I’ve always liked to be a trendsetter and find unique pieces that can’t be easily replicated,” Maddy says. “I was really lucky that I grew up in Atlanta and we had some really awesome curated stores.”
In addition to her love of thrifting, Maddy is also passionate about sustainability and the negative effects fast fashion has on the environment. Now, Maddy hopes to instill this same passion within her customers.
“For me, [Junk Gold] is extending the life cycles of these clothes, but still making it at a price where it competes with fast fashion,” she says. “I want to offer people a sustainable alternative.”