Most accounts started on IG
And some are still shops that exist solely on Instagram and online. Others, like Brooklyn-based
Husband-wife duo Daniel King and Meghan Lavery of
Emi Moore of
And don’t you forget it. Each shop sells a specific type of decor with a strong point of view, and they really do all the work for you. Expect to browse for home accessories on
Store owners are constantly searching for new items at estate sales, garage sales, auctions, antique and thrift stores, across the United States, and even when traveling abroad. If you think sifting through products online is hard, consider the amount of work it takes to sort through and curate the items in these shops.
Prices and dimensions are often listed in posts to the feed and stories, so you immediately have everything you need to make an informed purchase.
The transaction is also more straightforward than you might imagine. After DM-ing, confirming the item is still available, accounts simply ask for your email and send over an invoice. Square and Paypal are popular payment methods. When the item has been sold, the caption is updated to reflect its status, making the in-app shopping experience rather seamless.
Laura Azzalini of Montreal-based
Having completed a payment like this before, I can attest to its simplicity and safety. Though that doesn’t detract from the uncertainty you might experience from purchasing a piece with a no-return policy.
Like any social media feed, each time you log on, you’re likely to see new finds from accounts that sell direct on Instagram. Every store reported refreshing inventory each week, some even multiple times a week. Once new items are photographed, they’re posted to Instagram, unless someone beats store owners to it, and buys IRL first.
Once you start following these accounts, you’ll start to experience a sense of urgency that lacks in traditional online shopping.
Why, you ask? These are one-of-a-kind finds—and if someone else moves on an item first, it’s likely you’ll never see it, let alone own it. It sounds silly, but the stakes can feel high.
King said, “Instagram is fast-paced. We often have multiple people who all want the same item, which makes things difficult. We’ve needed to implement a first come, first served policy, meaning that whoever pays first, takes it. Feelings sometimes get hurt, we’re sorry, friends.”
Other accounts tell a similar story, that items can go, and fast. Statement sofas, rare vases, and sets of chairs can be sold in a matter of minutes.
It’s important to remember these accounts are run by small teams, sometimes one person. Selling on Instagram is a 24/7 hustle, so if you don’t hear back, it’s probably because they’re experiencing a high volume of direct messages. With that said, interactions tend to be less overwhelming, and more supportive.
When asked what her favorite part of selling on Instagram is, Azzalini said, “It’s fun, it’s direct. Seeing what my customers are up to. If they buy something, I obviously look at their page and I get inspired all the time by what people are doing. It’s an amazing networking tool in a way.” She continued to say, “This makes it a more personalized experience, where there is a conversation between myself and the customer. It’s like [a] boutique feel through digital platform.”
Moore noted how important it is to receive real-time feedback from customers. Likes and how quickly an item sells are direct indications of what customers want to see—and buy—more of.
Catherine, co-founder of Adaptations made the point that their account also serves as inspiration for their customers, and is “not just a selling tool”. (We couldn’t agree more.)
She also emphasized the community aspect of the nature of their selling, saying, “The inspiration, creativity, and interaction we get to have with our customers and building our relationships with them over the years. It’s such a pleasure feeling our customers’ support as we grow.”
In a world where automation and impersonal transactions are becoming the norm, it’s extremely refreshing to have a real conversation with a real person about an item you’re interested in purchasing.
Trends, whether it be in design, fashion, or culture, are always recycled. These days, mid-century finds are priced at a premium. There is also an emphasis on investing in furniture that will last, instead of taking part in the wasteful cycle of buying, throwing away, and buying new once more.
Azzalini said it best when she said, “There is too much stuff in the world right now, at least to warrant making new stuff. But we have a natural tendency to want to collect and examine and be around objects in our day to day. So I kind of think of Reixue as guilt-free consumerism for people. We don’t make anything. We isolate things, we examine them, and finally we curate them. We place a frame around them that talks about their origin, their style, their inspiration and we play with it visually.”
While thrifted, vintage finds are at the core of these accounts, a handful do sell new products as well. Adaptations is now designing their own home accessories, like velvet pillows (in the perfect palette), ottomans, candles, and eye masks. Home Union also sells candles, gift wraps, ceramics, oils, perfumes, and soaps. (“These are the brands we love and feel only help in making your home comfortable and special.”) Moore is working on a new section of Casa Shop’s website where you’ll be able to shop pieces from her favorite artists.
Have more questions? Let us know below.
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