Instagram — the place where we gather inspiration, information, and throw out "likes" left and right — is now also the place where we shop. Beyond following your favorite big-name brands, the social media network has become a marketplace for creatives all over the world to sell their goods, whether it's pieces they've designed or selections they're curating. Of course, it helps if you've already grown a following and nailed down a specific aesthetic, but the truth is, anyone can launch their own business via Instagram.
These small, independently-run brands, however, are filling certain gaps in the market — namely, affordable vintage. (Just think how many times you've wished you could copy your favorite Insta-girl's outfit, only to find out it's thrifted). And beyond covetable items (often at accessible prices), the accounts offer a sense of community, and the stores feel personable — like they're directly run by a real, live human (that's because they are).
"I couldn't find anyone who sold affordable designer vintage items for everyday wear and instead of just suggesting other vintage sellers I knew of, I decided to start my own," Subrina Heyink, founder of the recently launched, Instagram-focused vintage shop, Subrina Heyink Vintage, tells Refinery29. "Another factor was that I wanted to represent black women who loved vintage as much as I did. My intention with the shop is to make designer items available to people who wouldn't be able to afford to buy anything from big vintage shops," she explains — adding that she recently sold a pair of Gucci sling-backs to a college student for just $92. "[Instagram] has made starting a business, especially in fashion, less intimidating and has allowed me to meet and collaborate with the most wonderful women."
Click on to get to know four blogger-founded brands we love — and if it doesn't inspire you to open a shop of your own, it will at least get you one step closer to dressing like your Insta-idol.