What do you do when you hit a creative wall?
‘Don’t force it or rush anything. Don’t burn yourself out. Give yourself a break. I know a lot of successful sellers say consistency is key but that just doesn’t work for my personality or work ethic. I feel more inspired and creative if I’m trying something new. I recently switched up my photo style from flat-lays to outdoor modelled pictures and I’m feeling so much more motivated. I live in a block of flats with a shared garden so I’m getting a lot of weird looks but I’m having fun.
How do you keep your Depop shop fresh and new for your followers?
‘This mainly comes in when I’m sourcing stock. I have this slightly weird rule that I try to stick to — if I find an item that gives me butterflies (I hope someone understands what I mean here, it’s like the adrenaline rush you get when you find an insane piece at a charity shop) then I get it for my Depop! If i don’t get butterflies, the piece isn’t good enough. I hope to mimic and cultivate this experience for my followers but all concentrated into one convenient Depop shop.’
Do you ever feel pressured on social media when posting about @97heaven?
‘I keep my personal social media very separate but when it comes to posting on instagram (@97heavendepop) there’s definitely a lot of pressure, especially when it comes to body image. I think a lot of sellers are expected to have a certain type of body and lifestyle attached to the items of clothing that they are selling. I have an autoimmune disease (psoriasis) and even though it’s relatively under control right now, I have a lot of scars all over my legs and arms from past outbreaks. I’m very particular with what I post on social media (and my Depop in general!) as I want to hide these scars. My insecurities tell me that if I exposed my skin troubles, people would no longer want to buy from me. Which is so ridiculous. I’m trying to work on these insecurities and realise that a lot of this ‘pressure’ I feel is actually self-imposed. Overall though it’s a very rewarding experience. I feel very supported by my friends and other Depop sellers on Instagram and it’s so nice to interact with my customers on a more personal platform.’
How do you push yourself to keep ploughing though when times get stressful and hard?
‘I’m naturally a very motivated person but like I said before, it’s important to not burn yourself out. It’s so counterproductive and it can be so damaging for your mental health. If you are going through a stressful or difficult time it’s important to reach out to whoever you can. I had an extremely difficult family emergency in January and am so grateful for all the support and love I received from my friends. The Depop Team were so supportive too and allowed me to keep my Top Seller status even though I wasn’t able to hit my targets for a few months. I was so nervous to reach out to them at first but their response was amazing.’
What is your ideal Depop day?
‘My favourite days are when my stock arrives. Going through it all is so exciting. It genuinely feels like Christmas, especially because I source so much I genuinely forget what I’ve ordered sometimes! I don’t have a buyer or anything and I source each individual item by myself so it feels so rewarding. My postman is amazing too. More recently I’ve been creating outfits and taking cute stylised pictures for my Depop and social media which has been so fun. Blue skies and sun is an added bonus. I’m always more productive when the weather is good.’
What time of day are you most creative and ready to tackle Depop errands?
‘Probably midday. I can’t function in the morning. I set myself about 10 alarms and sleep through all of them. I saw on Twitter that this means I have a delayed circadian rhythm. It sounds so much better than admitting I’m a lil’ bit lazy…’
Have you always been able to pull yourself out of a rut when you’re feeling unimaginative?
‘No! I’m trying to teach myself that ruts are okay and natural. Creativity and innovation should be organic so trying to force yourself out of a rut just doesn’t work in my experience. ‘You don’t have to do anything you don’t want to’ is a favourite phrase in my uni house. It’s usually used ironically but it has a lot of truth in it! I have the tendency to put a ridiculous amount of pressure on myself (usually academically but it applies to my Depop shop too) so it’s important to stay mindful of your own wellbeing.
How do you keep things going?
‘I’m a full time university student as well as doing Depop and even though it’s a lot of work it’s nice to have two things which I can delegate time between. It prevents things from becoming monotonous and they compliment each other in a weird way. When I have an essay due, I procrastinate by doing Depop. When I have lots of Depop packages to parcel, all of sudden I’m very interested in reading every title on my recommended reading list.’
How do you stand out from the Depop crowd?
‘I’ve never really considered this because I don’t feel competitive with other sellers. The Depop community is so friendly and supportive so this kind of thing doesn’t really cross my mind. If anything I feel more connected to other sellers, like we all share a Depop seller solidarity since we all understand the woes of monotonous packaging, the stream of lowball offers and the (**occasional**) difficult customer! I just try my best with my shop, stay true to myself and pride myself in being thoughtful about sourcing stock and I hope this shows!’
What advice could you give to someone who’s struggling to be innovative when it comes to their Depop shop?
‘Look through your favourite Depop shops to get some inspiration! Old catalogues, magazines and TV from the late 90’s and early 2000’s are a good go to for sourcing and styling inspiration too. My favourite source of inspiration is Buffy!’
What helps you relax and wind down after a hard day of trial and errors?
‘Sharing a bottle of wine with my housemates at our kitchen table. I’m spending quarantine at my mum’s though so sadly I have had to temporarily replace my friends with episodes of Killing Eve.’