Online shopping, making money and buying affordable clothes are three things college students love, but it’s often difficult to achieve all of those outcomes in one go. Luckily, as of Sept. 1, there is an outlet college students can use not only to buy more discounted clothing than you would ever find at the Prudential or on Newbury Street, but also to turn their talent for style into a business.
The website is known as UNItiques.com.
It is a college-only marketplace operated by its founder Alexandra Shadrow, a fifth-year senior at Boston University majoring in public relations. Shadrow originally had the idea for the website after attempting to buy and sell on Craigslist and finding it to be a less-than-friendly marketplace for college students. UNItiques provided Shadrow with the opportunity to utilize her public relation skills and for students to buy and sell in a safe environment.
Signing up for UNItiques is free. It takes under a minute, and allows college students to shop at their school or other nearby colleges by connecting with other users – which amount to 5,000 and counting – via Facebook. Some of the major participants include Boston University, Emerson College, Suffolk University, Harvard University, The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) and Northeastern University.
“It’s basically the safest, most organized way for college students to buy and sell on campus,” Shadrow said.
Shadrow is proud of the success UNItiques has had so far – the number of users amounts to 5,000 and counting – and of the number of colleges that are represented.
“It’s really cool to have that intercollegiate aspect because there’s so many of us,” she said.
UNItiques is a marketplace for selling everything from furniture to electronics to books.
It mainly attracts young fashionistas looking to buy and sell clothing. Shadrow especially recommended students check out UNItiques for Halloween costumes next month.
As the site operator, Shadrow does all the marketing and public relations work for UNItiques with the help of a marketing team. This includes organizing giveaway events (look for an event at Northeastern coming up soon!) as well as meetings with local designers. The team also does a lot of press and public speaking at collegiate events.
Above all, Shadrow and her team are constantly working on updating the website to fit users’ needs.
“We’re constantly making the site what students want it to be, and we’re very open to feedback and interaction,” Shadrow said. “We’re going to do exactly what our users want.”
Shadrow’s most recent endeavors include a search feature, which will allow users to search for specific articles they want to buy (like this $15 tank from Anthropologie or these Sam Edelman oxfords).
All in all, Shadrow puts in about 70 hours of her workweek into operating UNItiques, but she says what she gets out of the experience is well worth what she puts in.
“I’ve learned so much,” she said. “[UNItiques has] taught me the most confidence I’ve ever had. Being able to do something people really love, and something you really love – it’s indescribable what it’s done for me as a person.”
Northeastern students can check out the website here and use the promo code “ArtistryMag” for a special giveaway. You can also learn more on Twitter and Instagram at @unitiques, as well as on Facebook and Pinterest. Shadrow is always looking for new team members at UNItiques.com/jobs.