REFINE Profile: Frankie Wilkin is a Style Icon

Photo credit: Frankie Wilkin

Photo credit: Frankie Wilkin

By Malorie Lazer

During the first week of classes, I noticed a particularly well-dressed girl sitting in front of me with a personality that showed through her style. On the day of our second class, our professor had us introduce ourselves, which is when I first learned about Frankie Wilkin’s business. She first described it as “recycling thrifted clothes and branding them as [her] own.” The idea of a thriving full-time college student running her own, flourishing business fully intrigued me.

Wilkin’s business is ran through Depop. She buys thrifted clothes in bulk and gives them a modern twist. She likes to relate her style to the clothes she sells. Her Depop audience is mainly teenage/college aged girls and some attention from younger men, too. Her Depop will sometimes follow trends, but never lose the true aesthetic she’s adapted. 

Wilkin only began taking an interest in fashion this past May. She began small and eventually built up a following of over 600 people on Depop. She tried to sell her own clothes before and it didn’t quite go how she expected. But with new-found determination, she began looking at other successful Depop pages for inspiration. After tons of research, she had a clear vision of what she wanted to sell, who her audience was, and how to do it. 

Wilkin developed her own successful Depop page showcasing her “90s high school burnout meets your badass grandmother’s” style. Her core fashion inspiration: Freaks and Geeks. Wilkin developed her own unique sense of style by simply playing around with different articles of clothing. She learned how to gather clothes that typically wouldn’t work together and create a badass outfit. She is all about finding a mix and match of different pieces of clothing and incorporating them all together.

When I sat down with Wilkin, I also got the opportunity to learn some of her ideas for thrifting. 

“The thrift shops you’ll find the best stuff at are the ones that are catered towards grandmothers,” said Wilkin. 

Wilkin is a firm believer in thrifting strictly at stores that are either nonprofit or donate to a cause. She suggested some shops in Philly like Philly AIDS on South Street, a thrift shop that donates profits to HIV service organizations in the Philly area. Another favorite of hers is Bryn Mawr Hospital’s Thrift Shop. This store only keeps 50 percent of profits, and donates the other half to the hospital. Giving back while searching for cute finds? Sounds like a dream to me. 

Wilkin isn’t afraid to be open with opinions of hers, so why not in fashion, too? She looked to other young female icons who create statements through their style, like Billie Eilish and Emma Chamberlain.

Photo credit: Frankie Wilkin

Photo credit: Frankie Wilkin

I sat down with Wilkin to learn some firsthand tips on how to balance a personal business and school. 

the art of Balancing School and Business:

  1. Master the art of time management. We all catch ourselves procrastinating every so often, but while running a business, it’s important to learn how to beat the habit. 

  2. Start a routine. Just like washing your face and brushing your teeth before bed, create a routine for yourself to follow.

  3. Push yourself. Be kind to yourself and don’t push too hard, but that doesn’t mean you can slack off. 

  4. Stay organized. Wilkin keeps a journal of all her sales, expenses and net. She also uses PayPal, the most productive app for tracking her income.

  5. Know your audience. Allow yourself to find buyers that reflect you and know there are people out there that will buy your product.

  6. Set a budget for yourself. Sometimes it’s tempting to splurge, but learn to balance spending. This helps to make a profit for yourself and stay true to being thrifty.

  7. Put yourself out there. Take chances and don’t be afraid of failure. Think of it more as a learning experience and do the research needed to make another attempt and find success.

Be sure to check out Wilkin’s Depop, @secondhandsteals!

REFINE Magazine