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Running a Depop shop takes blood, sweat AND tears. So much work goes on behind the scenes when running a successful shop and although it is one of the best jobs in the world for most, it can be hard to take a step back, breathe and learn to make time for the other hobbies and passions in your life. Rosalie, (@rosaliebell on Depop) reveals all on how she splits her time between her passion and her side hustle.

Tell us a bit about your dancing career... “I’m a freelance contemporary dance artist based in London. I‘ve also worked internationally for projects in Germany, Spain and Switzerland. My main body of work centres on interdisciplinary collaborations where I feel most at home! Past work includes Burberry, Somerset House, V&A Museum, Royal Academy of Art, Tate Modern and the Wellcome Collection.”

When did Depop come into the spotlight? ”I’ve dabbled with Depop since I first got the app about fours ago but I’d say I only started taking it seriously this year after one of my sisters (@mapel on depop!) showed me the ropes. I still think of myself as a newbie, learning as I go!”

Where did your love for dance begin? “I vividly remember being taken to hip-hop and breakin’ classes every Friday at my local community centre. I was about 10 and I just remember being in AWE of my teachers; all women of colour and so beyond powerful. I think it was the first time that I had true role models that looked similar to me, which is so important for young, marginalised people. My passion stemmed from that and has now led me to some amazing creative opportunities in my career.”

How do you balance both passions? “I’m normally super busy with dance work and just selling a few depop gems here and there. Although since COVID-19 lockdown began, I’ve had unexpected spare time to pour my energy into my Depop shop and start to curate it more to suit my style! I’m excited about balancing the two as soon as it’s safe to do dance work again.”

How do both hobbies compliment each other? “I’ve always loved the idea of outfit sourcing through iconic films and think there has always been an obvious strong tie between fashion and dance/movement whether it be via art- house films or catwalk shows. I’ve previously worked with @studioisabelfletcher, an incredible Brixton-based clothing and textile designer working with sustainable practices dancing in her pieces for some of her immersive collection shows. The way the architecture of the body can bring a piece to life is something that has always fascinated me.”

When was it that you realised your dancing side hustle wasn’t cutting it as much as Depop was? “Honestly only a few months ago! Lockdown meant that I was forced into a bit of a life reset work-wise. I’ve been using my time to experiment with Depop keeping me financially afloat and so far so good haha! It’s always something I’ve yearned for and to try out but never had enough time or energy to do so. Even after a few months, I’m so amazed how far I’ve come with my little shop!”

During COVID-19, your dancing career sadly died down a bit. Were you grateful you had Depop to fall back on? “Most definitely! It’s given me a much-needed sense of structure within my daily routine whilst things are on hold. Also, growing up in diverse South East London and coming from a working-class background, I’ve always been aware of the importance of being surrounded by a strong inclusive community. This new sense of community in the Depop world is unbelievable.”

How have you pushed your shop further regarding sales and successes? “I’ve made an effort to make my shop more curated with a specific 90s/00s style theme. I only source authentic second- hand pieces that I truly love and would wear myself! I think you can tell when a Depop shop is more personal and that’s something that leads to buyers wanting to support a small business.”

When you go back to dancing do you think your Depop shop will still have a solid place in your routine? “For sure! I’m super passionate about it and I think that our generation thrives on having multiple passions and incomes to stay versatile. I also want to continue supporting slow fashion and sustainability. If I can contribute to promoting that and stopping even more clothes going to landfills, then happy days!”

How will you maintain that perfect balance? “Well, since I’m freelance my schedule is always flexible. I work from home on my admin days and I’m used to juggling lots at once. I love going to charity shops (thrift stores for the international angels) on an odd day off between dance work so I’ll just start sourcing vintage gems on those trips!”

When did your love for thrifting start? “It started super early in my life. My dad used to take me to charity shops way before it was cool. It was something I grew to love as I got older. I realised that it’s a win-win when you shop second hand. You’re investing in local charities whilst getting iconic finds that you can sustainably share with the world.”

What is your dance vibe? And what is your Depop vibe? “My dance vibe is quite experimental and tends to be within the realms of the art world. It can also flip and be in more commercial settings for music videos. My depop vibe is bold, fun and 90s heaven!”

Do you ever mash the two together? “Yes, I’ve most definitely had moments of joy on set for shoots when the costumes are totally in line with my Depop vibe.”

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