Updated: Sep 18, 2022
"I absolutely love thrift shopping. I prefer thrift shopping before on-line shopping. My style is Frugalistic, it’s frugal but so appealing to the eye you never would’ve thought it was the price that I got it for."
It is no longer news that the thrifting trend is sweeping the fashion world. Despite the fact that secondhand shopping has grown in popularity over the last decade. For centuries, wearing secondhand clothing was not reckoned with, but nowadays, thrifting is the norm.
We reached out to Monie Richardson, the founder of "Frugalistic Eyes" and a thrifting enthusiast, and she shared with Prazzle her journey to creating a thrifting brand and her love of fashion. She enjoys the fact that fashion allows her to express herself without boundaries and inspires others to do the same.
The first segment of our section with her, reveals her journey into the fashion world more precisely thrift shopping. She discusses how the Covid shutdown influenced the creation of her brand "Frugalistic Eyes", her career as a stylist, and everything in between. Monie's passion for fashion is inspiring and well worth reading about.
Kindly introduce Monie Richardson. Where are you from? What was your childhood like and how did it influence your styling career?
I am from a small town called Valdosta, Georgia. My childhood was normal. I had a few bumps in the roads here and there but, overall I had a pretty cool childhood. I participated in sports such as basketball and track. However, I was always open to trying new things. My parents viewed me as an entrepreneur because I would try to develop anything into a business venture because I had parents that supported me through every trial and error at such a young age gave me the drive and ambition I now possess as a stylist.
What is it about fashion and style that fascinates you? How would you say you have groomed your love for fashion and style?
What fascinates me about fashion and styling is the ability to express myself without boundaries and inspire others to push themselves as well, because I'm able to create without boundaries I'm able to see my creativity for fashion and styling develop into an even greater project. I noticed that every new project seems to out shine the last project in creativity, so my creativity continues to develop from each other.
What inspired the launching of your brand "Frugalistic Eyes"? And how well can you say it has thrived since its creation?
Frugalistic Eyes was launched during the Covid shutdown. Although I had done some fashion and styling, I never had the opportunity to put so much time into developing my brand. I was laid-off, so I spent the majority of my time playing "dress up" in my room. I started with a few posts on social media, but the responses were overwhelmingly positive. The posts were on to promote the launch of my thrift store. However, after a few months of posting a photographer contacted me about doing the styles for a photo shoot. It started with me styling and before long I was doing creative directing and set designs, which pushed me to just keep going and exploring.
What's your take on thrift shopping and How would you define your sense of style?
I absolutely love thrifting shopping. I prefer thrift shopping before on-line shopping. My style is Frugalistic, it’s frugal but so appealing to the eye you never would’ve thought it was the price that I got it for.
"I honestly don’t really keep up with what’s going on in the fashion industry. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true. However, seeing Zerina Aakers and Bryon Javar as the face behind so many celebrities' style it’s a beautiful feeling and lets me know I can do it too."
Moving forward, every answer Monie gave piqued our interest in learning more about her work style, her perspective and love for the fashion industry, the skills she believes are required to be a stylist, and how she handles difficult days. Our desire to learn more about Monie's world revealed that she is a firm believer who turns to God when she feels overwhelmed and sees him as the center of everything she does.
The work of a stylist can be very stressful at times. How do you cope with the pressure?
Prayer is my stress reliever. I’m a firm believer that everything I have is because of God. Everything I do is because God's hands allow me to do it. So, I remember to declare what God has planned over my life, it keeps me going.
Tell us about the most challenging person you have ever styled and what you enjoyed most about the job.
The most challenging model I worked with was during a shoot for a magazine cover, which had five models.
Now, I've worked with more than five models before even with another stylist present, the shoot consisted of three locations. I also have to consistently change the models wardrobe to capture the vision of the magazine. The image did come to life and I enjoyed working with the other stylist and meeting new people.
When we talk about people doing really well in the fashion industry, can you name a few on your list and how you think they have influenced the fashion world? Who do you see as a role model in the industry?
I honestly don’t really keep up with what’s going on in the fashion industry. I know it sounds crazy, but it’s true. However, seeing Zerina Aakers and Bryon Javar as the face behind so many celebrities' style it’s a beautiful feeling and lets me know I can do it too.
What have you listened to or watched recently that has given you a new perspective to what you do or has helped you create something different from your norm?
I love gospel music! Listening to gospel helps me say the things that I didn’t know I needed to say. I’ve always listened to gospel music and have always been on this walk with God. However, I've never created a religious shoot before, which has inspired me to create shoots expressing my walk with Christ.
What necessary skills do you think one must possess to be successful in the fashion industry?
You have to be open minded and stick to your beliefs too. You have to be accepting of things which will help motivate you in the direction you need to go. While being accepting, never forget what you were called to do in life. Knowing who you are and what you were called to be will keep you striving for your goal.
Can you share with us your experience working with designers, photographers and models.
I actually love working with photographers and models. There’s some photographers and models that I actually call my "go to people" for a lot of my projects. Now, we all know you sometimes work with some photographers and models where you don’t see eye to eye. However, I can truly say that these projects couldn’t have been completed without them.