More Than A Bargain
If you’re as obsessed with Netflix as I am, then you’ve surely joined the Marie Kondo movement of letting go of those items that ‘don’t spark joy.’ Thrift stores across the region saw a huge number of donations roll in after Tidying Up with Marie Kondo premiered. While we may be clearing out our closets, one creative woman in the city is searching for fresh finds and giving them new life. Adrienne Anderson, local bartender and vintage clothing aficionado, sat down with us to chat about the business of thrifting, the magic of Cincinnati, and 2000s fashion.
Molly Wellmann was recently named Bartender-Owner of the Year by Nightclub & Bar. What’s it like working with Molly?
She is like an encyclopedia of knowledge for all spirits. She literally knows everything about making drinks, and when you watch her make a cocktail you're just like “Oh my God. Your technique is so amazing.” She'll talk you through it the whole time. She knows so much about the history [of spirits] that you can ask her anything and she’s going to know the answer to it.
When she’s here she’ll literally be like “Can I come behind your bar?” and I’m like “Molly, it’s your bar.” But she always asks. Every time she’s here, she’s very bubbly. You feel that energy and it makes you want to learn more about cocktails. As a female bartender, you just feel like “If you can do this, I can do this.”
You mentioned you were going back to school. Where are you going to school and what are you studying?
I’m studying at the University of Cincinnati. I was an English major last semester, but since January, I am a film major now. It only took me a year and a half to change my major. I started school when I was 25. I did a lot of traveling before that. I went to Paul Mitchell The School. Right after I graduated, I moved to Las Vegas because it’s one of the biggest places for [beauty] industry people to make money. I went and did that for a year and then came back to Cincinnati.
How did you decide on studying film?
Last year, I finally got the courage to start college again and pursue my dreams. The biggest thing I started doing was my Instagram persona. My online ‘thing’ is that I am the ‘thrifter.’ Cincinnati Refined actually featured me as one of the best dressed people in Cincinnati over the summer.
The best part about working here is that people are starting their own wave instead of joining one.
One day I just started posting all of my thrift store finds. I had complete outfits and an outfit of the day. Ever since then, the community of Cincinnati has been super supportive. I started all of that because I want to create a web series called Bargain Battles, which will be a game show where a contestant and I will go to different thrift store locations across Cincinnati. There will always be a different contestant, maybe they’re an artist or a musician, and we’ll share their platform. Then there will be a ‘thrift off.’ The contestant and I will have an hour with a budget of $30 or less to create an outfit. If the contestant puts together a better outfit, I’ll pay for their thrift store finds.
Going to film school I’ll be able to use the equipment. This will help me get the web series created a little faster because film is not easy to do. It’s definitely something I would like to have rolling and episodes filmed in the next five years. I love that YouTube has come around. Everyone is watching series on YouTube now.
The fact that it will be filmed here in Cincinnati…Everyone here is supportive because there’s a lot of creative people in the city. I think the best part about working here is that people are starting their own wave instead of joining one. The music scene here has really blossomed and just the overall development of Cincinnati. I left here when I was 23 and then coming back after living in Las Vegas, I was like “What the heck?! This place is completely different!”
How did you first get into thrifting?
My mom, not to throw her under the bus, is a thrift addict. I go to the thrift store and I never know what I’m going to find. You can’t beat those deals. Also, I think it’s good for the environment to recycle clothing. You can go into a thrift store and be able to put a whole outfit together. You can have casual, crazy, and find some really good vintage as well.
I started my online business where I would find clothes and resell them. I never had that intention, but this year I worked some music events at The Drinkery, and my friends asked if I wanted to come and sell some clothes at the events. I was like “Sell my thrift store finds? Are you crazy?! You can’t find these things every day.” But I did it and actually got this really huge rush from seeing other people wear my clothes. I got into photography so I could post pictures of people wearing the clothes. It’s been really fun.
Is there a decade you’re obsessed with fashion-wise?
Studio 54. It’s so classic. Just iconic outfits. I feel like women were allowed to be a little more free with their clothes. Big, chunky sunglasses. Wearing bandanas and scarves. Bell bottoms. I’ve been trying to find bell bottoms recently.
Do you have any advice for women who want to start their own business or side project, but are maybe too afraid to jump in?
Give yourself more credit than you think you deserve. It’s so hard sometimes, but right now, women are doing it! This is the time, more than ever, for women to stop feeling small. Just go out there and do it. For me, now, people are more supportive than I ever thought they would be. I would get so worried about putting myself out there, that I would get embarrassed, and that was the last thing that would ever happen. One day you just realize that you deserve to do what you want to do.
Give yourself more credit than you think you deserve.
The support will come, especially from women. Every time I post something, I get women commenting like “Girl, that outfit!” That’s all we as women want to do. Women look at other girls like, “Yes, you are killing it right now!” Women are super proud of each other when they see each other succeeding.
On that note, who has been an influential woman in your life?
My best friend. She’s always there for me, she’s always rooting for me, just someone there who’s always my ride or die. Having a best friend, it’s almost like, why wouldn’t she be my biggest influence? We’ve been together since high school. We’ve lived together five different times. We moved to Las Vegas together. So cheesy.
Women are super proud of each other when they see each other succeeding.
There are so many huge women influencers. I have a framed picture of Michelle Obama in my house. I love her so much, especially her iconic clothing. But for me, it has to be someone who’s always been there. My person. Like Meredith and Christina from Grey’s Anatomy.
If you’re ready to jump on the thrifting bandwagon, follow Adrienne on Instagram @unfriendly_black_hott_tea. Adrienne posts the best days of the week to find deals, outfit inspiration, and her favorite finds!