Not only does she juggle college classes and volleyball, she also owns her own business!
Written by Marissa Graf, Staff Writer
Have you ever dreamt up with the perfect business idea but it stayed just that: a dream? Meet Austin College senior Katrina Muñoz; she took her dreams and made them reality. Just over a year ago, on June 28th, 2020, Muñoz created an Instagram account called @trinasclothes to sell clothes out of her closet. At first, she just wanted to make some extra money in addition to her part-time summer job. Just a couple months later she turned things around. “I got heavily into thrifting and completely rebranded my account,” says Muñoz. She now sells men’s and women’s thrifted clothing and has over 1,000 followers.
However, starting up a business is no easy task. It took Muñoz about 6 months to get her business up and running, which involved lots of research to determine the policies she wanted to implement and what supplies to buy to match the style of her business. Some of these supplies include poly mailers, notecards to write personalized letters to customers, stickers, and freebies.
These are things that may not always be apparent to the buyer, but the seller needs to make the customer feel appreciated and that the business is legitimate. If done with care, you can create a base of loyal customers who will vouch for your business.
Although Muñoz has settled into a rhythm, running her business is still a big time commitment. “[I spend] up to 3-5 days sourcing items,” Muñoz says, “2-5 hours laundering, packaging, and sending out packages.” She also has to try on every article of clothing, take model pictures for her Instagram feed as well as photos of the clothes lying flat, take measurements of the clothes, write captions for each post, and write personalized thank you notes for each package.
It’s a lot of work to keep the business going, but it is completely worth it for Muñoz. “Thrifting has become not only a hobby for me but a passion and I hope to one day extend that passion into an actual career,” she says. As an English major, Muñoz plans to get her Masters in Education after graduating from Austin College. She hopes to teach English at her high school alma mater in San Antonio and one day open her own thrift store there.
Currently Muñoz is working towards some short term goals. She plans to eventually expand her business and move to an online website. She even has some new projects in the works. Muñoz is learning how to re-work material, and practicing how to alter clothing like making crop tops out of oversized shirts and creating dresses and two-pieces out of linen. “My goal is to begin selling my own reworked clothes by next summer!,” says Muñoz.
All of the clothes the Muñoz sells are found in thrift stores throughout Texas. She dedicates entire days and weekends to go to local thrift stores and hand pick items that fit her next drop. She usually keeps her eye out for vintage-looking and recycled name-brand pieces. Muñoz says that the typical style of clothes on her page is “streetwear and date night” clothing.
The last line in TrinaClothes’s Instagram bio reads “Latina Owned.” This is an important part of Muñoz’s business because she wants to recognize her culture and background and even hopes to “encourage others of different cultures/backgrounds that [they] are more than capable of chasing [their] dreams.” Muñoz has shown that starting a small business is possible despite the difficulties that come along with it and wants to inspire others to do the same.
Showing support for small businesses is also important for Muñoz. Because TtrinasClothes is a small business, she knows the struggles that businesses like hersoften face. Muñoz explained that big companies like SHEIN and Forever 21 that everyone knows are already established and profit “just by having a prevalent name.” Small businesses, on the other hand, don’t get enough credit. Muñoz urges people to shop small because those running small businesses are usually the ones that “need help funding their education, or just want to transform a passion into a career” like Muñoz. These small businesses are also more personable and are able to get to know their customers better. By buying from TrinasClothes, not only are you shopping small but you are also supporting the act of recycling clothes which is healthier for the environment!
Muñoz loves her business. When asked what makes her business unique, she said: “I put a lot of extra work into this business to provide quality service and I try my hardest to tend to the desires of each and every customer to help make them feel beautiful in their own skin.” Her care for her business extends to her customers; she asks them what type of clothes they want to see at the next drop and adds personalized touches to each package.
If you are interested in buying from small businesses, are looking for some new, old clothes, or want to support a fellow ’Roo, check out @trinasclothes on Instagram and give her a follow. She’ll soon be releasing a new drop including Vintage Nike, NFL crewnecks, and more!