Banana Leaves

The Hippy Blog

  • Katie Flynn

Being Honest About My Experiences

Running a reselling business can be one of the most rewarding career paths out there in my opinion. You get to shop for a living, make your own schedule, help the planet, and so much more, just by selling used clothing!


I spend a lot of time talking about how much fun it is, and it is so much fun doing what I do, but with so many people considering starting their own amazing reselling companies, I think it's important to chat a little about some of the not-so-fun parts. We see so much on social media about massive stacks of sales or six-figure resellers, but not much about the realities behind those social media posts. So let's start again from the top, with a little more honesty...


Running a reselling business can be one of the most exhausting career paths out there in my opinion. Customers won't read the detailed descriptions you write, you'll have to deal with lowball offers, and sometimes you'll be so tired that you don't write a blog article for a month at a time.


Oh, and taxes.


Negative Experiences With Customers Will Happen


Unfortunately, it comes with the territory. Whether it's asking questions about something you've already taken the time to answer in the description, sending lowball offers, lying about an item's condition to win a return, or just being plain old rude, customers won't always treat you the way you'd hope.

Most people I've dealt with are wonderful, understanding, and so sweet, but every once in a while, someone gets a little confidence behind their keyboard and computer screen. Remaining professional will get you a long way, but that doesn't always work to diffuse the situation or cause it to go in your favor. Just remember, it's usually not you, and try not to take it personally. Don't be afraid to use that block button either. It's there for a reason!



The Routine Can Become Exhausting


There's a lot of fun in reselling but there are also a lot of little details that need to be taken care of every day that can get monotonous. There'll be late nights and early mornings and last-minute runs to the post office before the last pick-up. Relisting and sharing can become incredibly repetitive and tiring day after day, and creating content every day for social media can quickly lead to burnout if you're not pacing yourself.

Sometimes, you'll be so tired you won't have the energy to write a blog article for a whole month after posting consistently for several months. Your office space (if you're lucky to have one) will probably get messy pretty often and will probably very rarely look like those Pinterest offices of those work-at-home influencers.


And all of that is okay!!! Being your own boss is HARD! It's tough to wake up every day and tackle your to-do list with no one checking in to make sure you get it all done. Take time off from creating content or sharing when you need to and remember that your business can only thrive if you're thriving!


Taxes...

This one is self-explanatory. Filing taxes or any legal paperwork as a small business owner can be scary and overwhelming. It feels like the government is trying to make it harder by making those forms look so complicated too! I mean why can't they just ask the questions in simple terms?? I'm not a lawyer!!


Luckily, I have awesome parents who help me out with understanding most of what I need to get taken care of and when they can't help me, the internet fills in for them! It's important to remember that you aren't alone in this and you aren't the only reseller out there that's had to deal with taxes and legal paperwork. Do a quick google search for a blog or even post your questions on social media! Part of what I love so much about this community is that it's actually a community and everyone is willing to lend a helping hand or give advice!



I love reselling because of the highs and lows. Those irritating customers help you really appreciate every customer that leaves a sweet review. My routine gives me structure and something to look forward to every day, even if it's the same thing as the day before. And yes, even taxes can have a positive spin when you think of them as a way of making your business legitimate!


Overall reselling is a dream career! I love the thrill of scoring something amazing at the thrift and it makes my heart so happy sending out each and every package! I wouldn't change the path I'm on for really anything at this point, but it's still important to be realistic about every part of this job.


There's a lot of toxic positivity on social media that can lead a lot of people down the path to burnout. Resellers post a lot about their successes but very little about their failures. There are many out there that are insanely honest and transparent, but many aren't!

So remember, when you see those massively successful resellers posting on social media, you only have a snapshot of the bigger picture. They may not be telling you that their cost of goods is actually really high or that they had to fight 6 return cases that were BS that morning. They may not be telling you that they messed up and underpaid on their taxes or that they have a team of 5 virtual assistants that share their closet for them every day!


Moral of the story, reselling is an amzing job that I love but it comes with it's own set of challenges, just like everything else in life! If you're willing to put in the effort and grow alongside your business, you'll be successful with it!

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  • Katie Flynn

Celebrating the Birth of The Modern Environmental Movement

Each year on April 22, people around the world come together to celebrate Earth Day and take action against climate change. A lot has changed since the first one was held in 1970. Let's take a look back at how far we've come since!

How'd It All Begin?


Prior to Earth Day 1970, Americans and people all around the world were consuming large amounts of fossil fuels through incredibly inefficient vehicles. Most remained oblivious to any environmental impact because of a huge lack of education. But, in 1962, Rachel Carson wrote her New York Times bestseller, Silent Spring, and sold over 500,000 copies around the world, catapulting the impact of pollution on living organisms to the forefront of people's minds.


Then, in 1969, after witnessing the tragedy of the massive oil spill in Santa Barbara, California alongside the rest of the world, Senator Gaylord Nelson decided to capture the energy of the anti-war movement and put it behind the emerging environmental movement. He proposed the idea for a teach-in on college campuses to the national media and recruited conservation-minded, Republican Congressman Pete McCloskey to serve as his co-chair.


The two of them then recruited Denis Hayes, a young activist, to organize the teach-ins. They chose April 22nd because it fell between Spring Break and Final Exams, a time they believed would encourage the highest level of student participation.


After realizing its potential to inspire all Americans, Hayes built a national staff of 85 to promote events across the country. They called it Earth Day, and the idea caught like wildfire. That first year, they inspired 20 million Americans to take to the streets protesting against the impacts of 150 years of industrial development.


Groups that had been working separately for years to combat climate change came together to share the common messaging of Earth Day and thousands of universities and colleges held protests. There were rallies from coast to coast and we achieved a rare political alignment.


By the end of 1970, the very first Earth Day had resulted in the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Other groundbreaking policies such as the National Environmental Education Act, the Occupational Safety and Health Act, and the Clean Air Act!


When Did It Go International?


In 1990! A group of environmentalists approached Denis Hayes with ideas to take Earth Day global. This time, they successfully mobilized over 200 million people across 141 countries!


Earth Day 1990 gave a huge boost to conversations about environmentalism and recycling efforts around the world. It also led to the 1992 United Nations Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro. Senator Nelson was also awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom by President Clinton for his role as an Earth Day founder.

As the new millennium approached, there was a record-breaking 5,000 organizations dispersed across 184 countries all spreading the message of Earth Day. Earth Day 2000 was the first to utilize the power of the internet to take environmentalism t new heights!


The Modern Earth Day


Earth Day 2010 saw some of the same patterns as the very first in 1970. The general public had once again become disinterested in climate change or environmental policies. A new wave of cynicism and climate change deniers had taken hold, however, Earth Day prevailed and earthday.org began to establish Earth Day as a permanent and important fixture of action against climate change.


According to earthday.org, Earth Day is recognized today as the largest secular observance in the world, bringing together over 1 billion people every year in a day of action to change human behavior and slow the impacts of climate change.


Many of those social and cultural environments of 1970 are making a return appearance as the sense of urgency to save our planet increases. A new generation of young people is feeling the pressure and frustration to fix the problems created by years of inaction and they're taking hold of the digital media to make their impact even greater.


In 2021, Earth Day evolved into a three-day-long event, starting on April 20, 2021. Which kicked off with virtual summits and seminars and ended with the Earth Day Network's second Earth Day Live virtual event!


Covid-19 has made the last two years of Earth Day's look a little different than previous years, however, we've all still managed to come together to celebrate our beautiful home. On earthday.org there were over 1500 events registered around the world for people to attend virtually, or in person when safe!


It's more important now than ever to pay attention to the messages behind Earth Day. It's can't just be one day of the year, we have to make EVERY day Earth Day!


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  • Katie Flynn

5 Facts About Fashion's Impact On The Planet

Yesterday, April 22, was Earth Day! It's my favorite day of the year for a lot of reasons, but mainly because of the amazing conversations we all have about how to protect our beautiful home. I've been able to attend a lot of virtual events this week and listened to List Perfectly's fantastic Earth Day podcast episode, so I wanted to share some of the knowledge I've gained about sustainability and how it's tied to fashion!

1. Fashion is the 3rd most polluting industry when it comes to carbon emissions, and accounts for 10% of carbon emissions worldwide.


2. Fashion is the 2nd most polluting industry when it comes to water, producing 20% of wastewater. It takes roughly 5 gallons to make just one t-shirt, and even more to make a pair of jeans.


3. It's expected that fashion waste will increase by 148 million tons by 2030. 64% of the 32 BILLION garments produced each year end up in a landfill.


4. 85% of what is donated to thrift stores is never sold or never makes it to the shelves, to begin with.


5. 60% of Millenials say they'd like to shop more sustainably! Reselling an item of clothing actually reduces its carbon footprint by 79%!!


These five facts are just the tip of the iceberg! It's so important that we continue the conversations we have on Earth Day, every day. We have the potential to really make an impact by changing how the fashion industry operates!


Reuse or upcycle items in other ways when they reach the end of their lifespan! Consider participating in clothing swaps or selling your items online, donate them to thrift stores, or give them to someone in need when you no longer use them, but they are still in good condition!

Shop sustainably whenever you can! As Alex Shadrow (@sustainabae on IG) says, brands that are doing it right will let you know they are. Brands that are silent about their methods of manufacturing and efforts to be sustainable, are probably doing it wrong. In List Perfectly's Seller Community Podcast, hosted by Liz O'Kane (@coloradoreworn on IG) and Doug Smith (@snoop.dougie on IG), Alex lists several of her favorite sustainable brands! Personally, after listening, I know I'll be switching from Nike to Adidas for sure.


Let's be honest though, we all know that sustainable brands can cost a little bit more. You're paying a premium price for a premium product that will last you so much longer, but that's not accessible for everyone. That's where shopping secondhand comes in!


Bonus fact!! An increase of just 10% in second-hand clothing sales could cut carbon emissions per ton of clothing by 3% and water use by 4%!


We can all shop smarter and more sustainably by thrifting or shopping online platforms like Poshmark, Depop, and Mercari! Plus, there's always that super awesome feeling of scoring a piece you've been dying to find for a great price, and knowing you helped the planet at the same time!

I'm so grateful for the awesome events I was able to attend this week and for Alex Shadrow, Al Gore Certified Climate Leader, for sharing her expansive knowledge of sustainability in the fashion industry. I learned so much and she's actually inspired me to get Al Gore Certified myself! I'm excited to learn more about what we can do to help protect the Earth!

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