The Drobe started when co-founders Ella Davidson and Scarlet Robertson wanted a way to continually rotate their wardrobes, justifying new purchases with the end game of reselling them. Now this small side hustle has turned itself into a full-time gig.
Firstly, let’s acquaint you with the co-founders. If you haven’t stalked their Instagram’s yet, here and here, we suggest you do so ASAP. Effortless, cool girl vibes, these two are some seriously great businesswomen, who know their stuff.
When they’re not taking photos of new products, the girls from The Drobe are travelling all over Melbourne (and the world) to source new pieces for the page. We’d be surprised if you haven’t seen The Drobe plastered all over your Instagram feed.
While selling second-hand pieces on an Instagram page may seem simple, it’s not a business model that can be harnessed easily; a big part of The Drobe’s success is that the girl's personal style is the stuff of Insta-feed dreams. Good luck trying to replicate that. Putting their touch on each piece with styling is what makes The Drobe so successful. “We’re all about turning water into wine” says Ella.
“It started out as us just selling our old clothes,” says Scarlet, “it was a real first mover advantage. It was when Instagram was starting to grow as a platform, DM wasn’t a thing, and there wasn’t much out there [like The Drobe].”
Since the beginning, the girl’s have organically grown the Instagram page to boast over 14,000 followers. Ella talks about the process, which has significantly changed since they started. “Now it’s a lot more involved, we put a lot of time into our photos and marketing, making sure the grid looks good and the images are on brand for us.”
While the photos make up a big part of The Drobe, having great items is the number one priority, “we’re constantly sourcing pieces, a lot of which we wear or would wear, but some are just pieces we know our customers will love,” says Scarlet.
Knowing their customer is the most valuable lesson the girls have learnt. Keeping things consistent for their customer is important, but the girls also look to keep their assortment interesting, “sometimes the riskier pieces don’t always work out, but we’d rather have our page be more unique rather than playing it safe” says Scarlet.
What started as a small Instagram business in Melbourne has well and truly gone worldwide; “I literally just sent something to this girl in Massachusetts. Our stats say that about ten per cent of our customers are from overseas” says Ella, “New Zealand, Singapore, Turkey, Brazil, Egypt, Greece” the girls rattle off.
Anyone in fashion knows vintage shopping is a real art form, it’s not something anyone can do with ease, but Ella and Scarlet have found their niche. “Those places [second-hand stores] can be hell if you’re not in the mood,” says Ella, “when we’re sourcing pieces we pre-style each one in our head as a complete look, if we think it’ll work then we take the risk.”
And their number one tip for vintage shopping – fabric quality. “Fabric quality is the most important, we always make sure our pieces are great quality,” says Ella. But if, like me, vintage shopping wears you out, let the girls take the hassle out and keep track and bid on new pieces on their Instagram page.
So what’s next for The Drobe? The girls really do see the sky as the limit, given the success of their Instagram page, and their recent pop-up shop, there is no saying how big The Drobe can grow. More business trips overseas to source amazing pieces is at the top of their list.
Keep your eye on The Drobe via their Instagram feed.
Image credit: Unsplash