For teacher-turned-thrifting goddess Savannah Ward, starting a one-woman Instagram shop wasn’t a play for extra cash, but rather, an attempt to give the people what they wanted. “The people,” AKA Savannah’s adoring followers, had been fawning over her thrifted apartment decor on social media for months. Thrifting had always been a passion of Savannah’s, but after accumulating one-too-many second-hand rattan shelves, Savannah was starting to feel like a hoarder. Eager to purge her apartment she opened Little Hawk on a whim. All she’d really hoped to do was to sell off some surplus furniture. And she did.

She sold all of it. And virtually overnight.

  1. What inspired the name Little Hawk Shop?

My mom’s maiden name is Hawk, and she’s my inspiration for a lot of things. She taught me to love interior decorating and also how to thrift. I added “Little” because sometimes my boyfriend calls me Little Hawk, a reference to the song Fourth of July by Sufjan Stevens. 

  1. How did the idea for the IG shop come about?

At one point I had three of the exact same shelves sitting in my living room, but had nowhere to put them—my apartment had already been decorated!

I was also constantly posting pictures of my place, and when people would ask me for decorating advice, they were shocked to find out that most items I’d found at thrift stores or on Craigslist. So one day, I created an Instagram shop so I could clean out my apartment. 

  1. Did you have any hesitations before starting your store?

It sounds silly, but I was scared to start the account. I was worried about how people would perceive me. However, within a day I had over 300 followers and my first round of inventory had sold out.

  1. What’s the secret to balancing a side hustle with a career?

There was no balance at first. I teach too, and in the beginning, I would post three items a day and then would need to be on my phone all night replying to inquiries while also grading, lesson planning, and emailing parents. Eventually it became too overwhelming.

So I took a week off and told myself that I didn’t have to thrift; that this was just a side hustle. I cut my shopping trips down to once a week and started posting all of my items on the same day, so that I wasn’t spending multiple days sifting through DMs, packaging items, and arranging meetings. That helped a lot.

I was also really transparent with my followers and would tell them when I needed a break to have uninterrupted time with my boyfriend, friends, and family.

  1. Are side hustles for everyone?

To be honest, the only reason I’ve been able to do this is because I have the means, the passion, and the schedule. As a teacher, I get off work at 3 PM every day, so I’m able to thrift before stores close. I’m also fortunate enough to have an apartment with lots of storage space for inventory, and I have a super supportive partner who assists me on creepy Craigslist runs. Sure, passion is sometimes enough to propel a business forward, but for me, everything’s just sort of fallen into place.

  1. There’s a fine line between having a side gig and giving up all of your free time. How do you make sure there are still enough hours in the day for “me” time?

I never tell myself that I have to work on the shop or that I have to go thrifting, so when I do decide to thrift, it is my “me” time. I love it!

  1. Has the reception to Little Hawk Shop been what you expected? Your pieces sell out so fast!

I’m always shocked at how fast items sell out! But at the same time, I’m shocked that some of my favorite items don’t sell. Sometimes I’ll think I’ve found something really beautiful, but I don’t get a lot of likes or offers, and then other times I’ll post something ordinary, and get a bunch of positive responses. I’m always on my toes.

  1. Any surprises along the way?

I made $190 in the first two days of the shop going live. I’d figured that I’d sell a few pieces a month, but hadn’t realized this was something that I could actually make money off of.

  1. What does the future look like for Little Hawk?  

I have no idea! I’m taking it one day at a time. I’d love to have my own IRL shop, but I love teaching even more, so that’s my number one focus right now.

Homeware Thrifting Tips

  1. Patience. There will be days where you spend hours thrifting and find nothing. It really does take time.
  2. Visualize! The items in thrift stores aren’t going to look cool sitting on an ugly shelf with horrible fluorescent lighting. Try visualizing what you could do with that item within the space you have.
  3. Try out different types of thrift stores. Some may really surprise you.
  4. Look through everything thoroughly, maybe even twice. It’s so easy to miss things!
  5. Do it often. You’ll become better at it!
  6. Wash your hands when you get home!

Follow Savannah and her thrifting escapades at @littlehawkshop.

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