Brooke Huebner is the face behind the Instagram account and shop, Them Gurls Shop, which features a wide range of styles from the ’70s to the early 2000s women’s pieces. Having fashion as her creative outlet from the very start, it’s clear to see why opening her own vintage stop was fitting.
Huebner has always used social media and apps to sell her product and run her business, which continues to be a pattern with a lot of entrepreneurs and fashion-based entrepreneurs today. Talking with Huebner, we discussed what it’s like to run an online fashion store and how she got here.
303 Magazine: What is your background in fashion and what made you want to get involved with fashion?
Brook Huebner: I have been a thrift store junkie since middle school. I grew up in a small town in North Platte, Nebraska and there were only a couple stores in the mall to go to and the nearest cool stores were over 300 miles away. So, I took it upon myself to find clothing at the community thrift stores and made up my own unique styles with my finds. Everyone my whole life has said, “Only you could pull that off,” about my outfits and sense of style. My little sister, Lindsey Pillow, followed right along with me and we’ve been known as “Them Gurls” ever since.
303: More specifically, what made you want to start your own business within fashion? Tell us a little bit about how Them Gurls Shop started.
BH: Fashion has always been my passion and my creative outlet since I’ve been alive and breathing. My sister and I were spoiled with Barbies and Barbie clothes galore — 135 barbies and 4 to 5-gallon tubs of Barbie clothes and accessories, no joke. We would also distress and repurpose the clothing we would find to make them “cool.”
I would always still shop at thrift stores and garage sales for my own clothes and my styles and what I look for changes all the time. It wasn’t until about a year ago that I found out about a cool app called Depop, a way cooler Poshmark that’s designed to mimic an Instagram feed — very user-friendly and highly addictive. I just shopped on there at first, then started selling my own clothes on there, and then started going out to search for certain styles I knew were highly sought after. And, if I could make money while fulfilling my passion to sort through racks and racks of clothing to finally come across a treasure, I knew this was perfect for me. It’s a complete high to find the quirky, unique, one-of-a-kind pieces.
303: Can you describe Them Gurls Shop to someone who may have never heard of it before? What’s its style? What do you sell?
BH: Them Gurls is a shop full of ’70s-early 2000s women’s pieces. I love silky and sheer textiles, laying pieces, streetwear, ruffles, trousers, crops, vintage lingerie, oversized everything, chunky shoes and very feminine, unexpected pieces. I’m even trying to get my boyfriend on the train with me and get him into it to incorporate men’s clothing. We’d call his line “That Guy.”
So, it’s been a little over a year since I started selling online at Depop, Etsy and eBay. A few months ago I signed up to do Thriftopia at the Dairy Block in downtown Denver for three Friday nights in a row. It was a hit! I love selling my clothing in a public setting. I want to do much more. I did a lot of networking there and met a lot of like-minded peeps and have been learning lots. I’m now trying to do a few markets a month and might even get my own festival together soon.
303: What’s the process of finding and selling clothes? Where do you typically find clothes that you intend on selling?
BH: I find my clothing mostly at thrift stores. I travel around everywhere — garage sales, estate sales, and people that know what I do donate to me. I want people to step out of their box and try to wear unique pieces that may not normally go for and feel amazing and empowered. I love to make suggestions and personally pick out pieces for everybody. I’m very good at it and what’s better than having one-of-a-kind pieces that no one else will have? And if you get sick of it, sell it again. I love recycling clothing.
303: What do you hope for the future of Them Gurls Shop?
BH: My near-future goal is to eventually have a mobile boutique and set up at markets and events.
All photography by Adrienne Thomas.