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From Thrift Store Finds to Fabulous Finds: Sharon Tooson’s Inspiring Journey

#abidingceo #faithandbusiness #onlinethriftstore #secondhandfashion #smallbusinesstips #sustainableshopping #thrifting #thriftingbusiness #thriftingtips #thriftpreneur #womenentrepreneurs Apr 18, 2024

Do you enjoy the thrill of finding a hidden gem at a bargain price? Maybe it’s that feeling of excitement when you discover a unique piece of clothing or a vintage treasure that no one else has. For Sharon Tooson, this love for thrifting went way beyond a hobby. It unexpectedly grew into a successful online business called Fabulous Finds by Sharon.

Sharon didn’t always have a passion for secondhand shopping. In fact, as a child, she wasn’t too keen on the idea. But over time, she began to see the charm in finding one-of-a-kind pieces at a fraction of the cost. Little did she know that this newfound appreciation would spark an entrepreneurial journey filled with passion, purpose, and a whole lot of fun!

Keep reading to learn more about Sharon’s story, her tips for starting a thrifting business, and how she uses her platform to inspire and connect with others.

Faith and Foundations

Sharon introduces herself not just by her professional titles, but by the roles that truly define her: a child of God, a wife, a mother, and then, an entrepreneur. This priority setting is a testament to her values and serves as the guiding light of her endeavors. Her journey underscores a life led by faith, navigating through various seasons and embracing the growth each brings.

The Power of Storytelling

Sharon’s passion for storytelling started in childhood, a love that blossomed into a vehicle for healing and inspiration. “The first book I wrote was about unfulfilled desires,” Sharon shares, detailing her path through pain to finding peace in God’s love. Her vulnerability in sharing personal stories of struggle and redemption offers a beacon of hope for others navigating similar challenges.

Thrifting: A Journey of Joy and Discovery

“Oh my gosh, I can’t even tell you where it started,” Sharon says. “It’s so funny because my mom, back when I was probably eight or nine, would just drag me to thrift stores all over.” This initial reluctance transformed over time.

“As I got older... I found myself getting little apartments and needing stuff, and I would buy stuff here and there,” Sharon explains. This appreciation for the affordability and uniqueness of thrifting intensified during the pandemic and fueled her desire to turn her passion into something bigger.

“A very dear friend of mine that I went to high school with had a business where she sold purses and... people would come on and bid on the items,” Sharon recalls. “I started watching her... and I was like, you know, I think I want to go live, I think I want to do this.”

With a newfound spark, Sharon decided to embrace the online thrift sales trend. “The first time I went live, it was incredible,” she shares. “I recently looked back at my first live, and I was like, ‘Oh my God, what a disaster’... but I was a little bit jittery...and I think the first show I did, my husband assisted me, he was behind the scenes, kind of handing me the numbers.”

Taking the Leap: Overcoming Nerves and Building a Business

Sharon’s first foray into online thrifting sales proved to be a turning point. Building momentum and confidence, she named her business, Fabulous Finds by Sharon.

She also quickly discovered the importance of understanding her audience. “You start to kind of learn those platforms, to go on where to sell your items,” she explains. “...I’ve learned my people, and so I’m like, okay, this is what they like... I’ve actually been coined the Duster Queen!”

Sharon’s focus on customer satisfaction extends beyond just offering a variety of styles and sizes. “I want to make sure people feel good in what they’re wearing,” she emphasizes. “My store is called Fabulous Finds by Sharon, where it’s fabulous finds and fabulous prices. It’s just, I’m not going to break your bank... You’re going to look classy, you’re going to look good.”

Sharon’s venture into the world of thrifting isn’t just a business; it’s a reflection of her life’s philosophy. This project, born from a childhood habit and sparked by the pandemic, has grown into a lively online community. Sharon’s approach, focusing on making things affordable and finding joy in simple treasures, reflects her overall outlook on life and helping others.

More Than Just Clothes: Faith, Inspiration, and Unexpected Ministry

Sharon’s entrepreneurial journey has taken some surprising turns. “I thought I was just selling clothes,” she confesses, “but that’s the glory of what God does for you. He’s like, alright, you think you’re just selling clothes? But it honestly is... you’re selling confidence to people, you’re selling a lifestyle.”

It wasn’t long before Sharon found herself connecting with customers on a deeper level. “Reach out into, ‘Hey, do you have this dress? Besides it, I saw you advertise it on your page?’” customers often asked. “And then it turns into, well, you know, I lost this person, and I’m so sad and I’m depressed, and you start ministering to these people.”

Real, Transparent, and Driven: Sharon’s Recipe for Success

Sharon’s authenticity is a key ingredient in her success. “I think being real, being transparent, listening to your customers... is the biggest challenge you’re ever going to face,” she reflects. “It’s a challenge keeping myself and others motivated... I try to keep people motivated. And that is, that’s a challenge.”

This honesty and vulnerability resonate with her audience. “People appreciate that I’m just a regular person, working hard to follow my dreams,” Sharon shares.

Advice for Entrepreneurs

As Sharon’s story shows, the entrepreneurial journey is full of ups and downs, but she offers simple yet powerful words of encouragement for aspiring business owners:

“If you’re an entrepreneur, and you’re just starting out, out there – stay with it. Stay strong. Pray every day. And just ask God’s guidance for how you should flow with your business. He will definitely direct your paths; He will never lead you astray. If it’s for Him, it is for you and He wants you in it. He will continue to bless you through it. So, it’s very simple. Just seek Him in all things.”

Final Thoughts

Sharon’s journey from thrifting enthusiast to successful business owner is a testament to the power of embracing your passions and letting your light shine through your work. Whether you’re a seasoned thrifter, an aspiring entrepreneur, or someone simply looking for inspiration, Sharon’s story is a reminder that with faith, determination, and a touch of fabulousness, anything is possible. You can do it!

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