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Life and Work with Audra Bradstreet

Today we’d like to introduce you to Audra Bradstreet.

Audra, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
In 2014 I went on an amazing surf trip to Costa Rica for New Year’s Eve. I surfed Witches Rock all day and at night shopped in tiny stores around Tamarindo that combined handmade items, surfboards and the most amazing bohemian clothing. One night I pulled out my iPad and sat on the back deck looking for a pair of thrifted boots. I thought to myself, where can I find a secondhand site that carries only bohemian style clothing? How can I find the laid back feeling of a small surf town on an e-commerce site? How do I feel like I stepped out of a retail store but I purchased from a thrift store? My answer to all; they were nonexistent. There was a gap in the market and I saw an opportunity. My vision was to combine them all.

When I returned to the States, I hired a fantastic local marketing firm out of Nantucket to create the face of BOHO thrift shop and design the initial website. I linked out to several third party sites and in January of 2015, the first sale was made. I’ve been actively building the brand and growing a customer base throughout the past three years and BOHO has over 5,000 customers today.

Within the last year I’ve been focused on developing content for a new transactional website. With the help of the most talented photographer out of Scituate and a stellar website design firm in New York, the new site just launched!

Be sure to check it out: www.bohothriftshop.com

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
How much time do you have?? Just kidding…

Well, without struggling there is no growth. It really isn’t any different in the corporate world. With start-ups, you build a plan, execute and as new data comes in the path changes and the plan you originally started out with may look entirely different in the end. This is through trial and error and hitting multiple roadblocks and coming up with different strategies to solve. The two biggest challenges for BOHO;

Consignors. I had no idea how passionate and emotional people can be about clothes. They have sentimental values attached, memories, think they can sell their clothing at better prices, have unrealistic expectations of how quickly items sell and are naïve of how much time it takes to stage/list/market items, etc. My first obstacle was thinking consignment would be beneficial in order to diversify the product offering. Turned out to be stressful and much more work than anticipated than a standard mark-up model. The take-a-way; a full-time employee is needed to manage this model and it might be better in third or fourth stages of company growth. In the future if we decide to revisit this model again, we’ll set clear guidelines with consignors, put everything in writing and have a mutual agreement to the policy.

Grassroots growth. My first job was at 14 years old. I’m fiercely independent and have been self-sufficient since graduating college by earning my own salary and standing on my own two feet. But I didn’t have the exorbitant capital required to open the company and nor was I that big of a risk taker to quit my full-time corporate job. Therefore, the growth needed to come from grassroots efforts. This meant working a full-time corporate job and in my spare time on nights and weekends, working on my own company. Growth comes much slower with this model and it’s exhausting and stressful for one individual. Thankfully, every morning I carve out time to surf when we have waves or SUP when it’s flat. Typically this is when the best problem solving occurs and there is nothing better than seeing the sunrise on or in the ocean! For you grassroots entrepreneurs, find your ocean, whatever that may be.

My greatest advice overall is to enjoy the obstacles. Welcome the challenges, embrace them, laugh often and have fun on the ride. It’s your ride!

So, as you know, we’re impressed with BOHO thrift shop – tell our readers more, for example what you’re most proud of as a company and what sets you apart from others.
BOHO thrift shop is an online second-hand clothing shop for women who embrace their fun, independent and creative self. That Bohemian influenced style. I want our customers to feel as though they have shopped at a traditional retail store, yet experience the thrill of finding a distinctive secondhand item at a fantastic price. I want the experience with us to be fun, laid-back and easy-going and I strive to attain just that.

Everybody has a unique vibe, so why then should you wear something that someone else has? I hope BOHO thrift shop will provide unique finds for the unique customers we have.

What makes me smile everyday (aside from surfing) is reading through all the positive customer testimonials and feedback. BOHO thrift shop has 100% positive feedback and as a brand, I couldn’t ask for more. As we grow, my mission will be to maintain this. Without our happy customers we do not have a business.

Who have you been inspired by?
Pam Bradstreet (my mother) – independent, generous, kind hearted, compassionate, can-do attitude and negotiating skills

Bethany Hamilton (shark attack survivor/professional surfer) & Amy Purdy (double amputee/Olympic snowboarder) – overcoming adversity

Elle Macpherson (model) – bohemian style

Dan Hassett (successful business owner) – young entrepreneur; turned a local surf shop into a large festival destination.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Ann-Marie Rollo Photography

2 Comments

  1. J.R. Reid

    January 11, 2019 at 2:06 pm

    Best of luck, great article, miss you !

  2. Liz McCarron

    January 12, 2019 at 1:34 pm

    So proud of you!

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