Wait - you're making a living from Depop?
We quiz Ben and Matt, English Literature and Psychology students at University of Birmingham - using Depop to help fund and support their studies.
Hey Ben, hey Matt! We love what you do, but how did you come up with the idea?
M: In my first year of uni, I started my own Depop selling my old clothes just on hangers in my room. I was slowly building up a following, and using the money I earned to get by as a student (and obviously buy more clothes!).
B: At first, rather than earning money on Depop, I was spending it all! Then I suddenly had way too many clothes that needed shifting.
M: Eventually we joined forces! Ben is a great photographer, and together with our joint love for clothing, we started a brand new Depop: Sliced.
B: I started raiding my mum/sister/brother's wardrobes, looking for old gems to sell. That formed the basis of the first stock we had on Depop. Since then we’ve started curating our stock more, finding funky jazzy vintage pieces that we’d love to see more people wearing!
It must've been hard when you first started? How did you get people interested?
B: To be honest, when we started out we gave it our all; scouting cool locations to shoot in Birmingham, and asking friends to model for us. We wanted backgrounds that complemented the clothes and created something visually exciting.
M: Depop noticed we were making an effort pretty quickly, putting us on the popular page and giving us tips on how we could keep improving. Basically, the more effort we put in, the more we’d get out of it.
And you did all of this alongside studying for a degree?
M: We put a lot of time into our Depop, so when deadlines are around the corner it can definitely become a big distraction. Sometimes we literally hand in an essay and twenty minutes later we’re in a car park shooting bags full of clothes!
B: But obviously, when push comes to shove we always make sure we get our work in on time.
Do you think Depop has made you more confident in the work you produce?
B: In terms of my photography, totally. Constantly playing with different looks, shooting different models, and combatting the unpredictable Birmingham weather has definitely helped me improve as a photographer.
M: In terms of our stock, it’s really interesting to see what sells and what doesn’t. Things are constantly coming in and out of fashion, and it's fun to keep up with, and even try and predict those changes. When we realised people started digging what we’re about it was super motivating and made us want to give it our all!
Finally, what advice would you give to anyone looking to do similar?
B: Just start! You can only improve after you've begun. Stay true to yourself and what you love. When you begin connecting with people who resonate with you, it’s much more genuine and rewarding than putting on a front.
M: Yeah, I think that’s totally true, not only for style but for so many things other things as well. Depop’s an impressive way to show what you're about, and its something that would impress future employers too. In terms of practical advice, I’d say to definitely get comfortable with Depop first. Check out what others are doing and take inspiration from all the wonderful things you find. (Also: Use hashtags!)
Check them out here:
Instagram: BEN, @benographer. MATT, @tyscn.