Turning thrift into a boutique

Written by: Lusanda Luthuli

Over the last two years, Before Us has grown from a small Instagram-centered thrift shopping experience to a nationally recognized platform that resells some of the streetwear’s most recognizable garments. Pushing the culture forward and exposing the kids to the coolest trends and brands has proven to be a success to this new but fast-growing brand, that has not only left its mark in every part of Durban but also in Cape Town and now the Mall of Africa in Johannesburg in collaboration with ThriftsbyFlav. 

ThriftsByFlav was founded in 2018 by the owner, Flav Minenza. The 21-year old was amazed by her first-ever thrifting experience and the concept, she felt that it was important to try and make the most of her exciting new discovery. “It started with 10 jackets and they were sold out over night. I quickly realized how much potential I’d stumbled into. The brand continued to grow over the years and I quickly found that my Instagram store was just not enough. We created a website in May 2020 and continued to grow even through uncertain times,” says the young fashion entrepreneur.

She took her business further from the confines of Instagram DM’s and online shopping and opened a boutique in the heart of Mall of Africa - which is South Africa’s largest shopping mall ever built in a single phase.

“Late in 2020, I was presented with an incredible opportunity to open a thrift store in The Mall of Africa. It’s been in the works for several months and we finally opened our doors to the public on the 21st of January. We believe we’re experiencing the rise of the conscious consumer and it is very evident in the type of customers that come through our doors,” says Flav, who prides herself in collaborating with other fashion creatives by giving them space in her boutique.

“We have three permanent featuring brands in store. JST Bags, shop.linnie and alexi_artistry, all of which are women owned-and-run.” The above-mentioned brands offer tote-bags, accessories and artworks respectively. A great balance to the overall shopping experience.

Flav’s partnership with Rorke could inspire some great things in the South African Thrift market, that is experiencing some commercial growth, due to the desire for people to adopt a sustainable way of shopping. “We are so grateful for the opportunity to be the first thrift store in a super-regional mall in the country. We don’t know what this next year holds for us, but we know it’s big and we couldn’t have done it without our loyal customers,” concludes Flav.

Before Us will have their stock at the ThriftsByFlav boutique until April.