CLEVELAND — A creative Cleveland native is using her talent for spotting thrift store treasures and turning them into one-of-a-kind creations.
Rebecca Maxwell has elevated Two One Thrift from a side hustle hobby and into a way to support herself full-time during the pandemic.
“I wake up every day and I’m like, ‘Oooh! What do I get to make today?’” she said.
Maxwell has a flair for finding fashions.
“I actually thrift all the clothes that I own,” she said. “I don’t buy anything from stores anymore.”
She enjoys the thrill of the hunt.
“I have the patience to go through the racks, which a lot of people don’t,” she said. “So, I think that is the best part of it. I basically do the shopping for them.”
Maxwell gives long-forgotten sports shirts a twist.
“I never make the same shirt twice, so that’s fun,” she said. “It’s always something new.”
She starts each one with a bit of bleach, with no set technique.
“These ones I just kinda wing it,” she said.
The project combines two of her favorite things into Two One Thrift.
“My dad instilled a love of sports and my grandma actually got me into the thrifting side of everything when I was younger,” Maxwell said.
She never dreamed she’d be able to support herself with her hand-crafted clothes.
“When I hit 1,000 sales, I was like, ‘Wow! This is real. Like, I’m actually doing pretty well,’” she said. “And I see people in my clothes all the time and it’s just really cool.”
Her custom creations are attracting buyers from around the globe.
“The one to Germany was like a huge Packers coat, and I was like, huh … interesting,” she said.
She takes a photo of herself in each piece, so shoppers can see the fit.
“The ones that are hard are the flannels and stuff that’s on the back.”
She uses the pictures to list each item on her Etsy shop.
“I get a lot of messages when I post Steelers stuff, because obviously, I’m a Browns fan,” she said.
Her stock available depends on the treasures she finds thrifting.
“I love the Cincinnati stuff, but I don’t have a huge Cincinnati following just yet,” she said.
She up-cycles each piece by hand.
“I kind of enjoy the hand-sewing,” she said. “I have a little bit more control and it’s relaxing.”
Each order is sent off with a hand-written thank you note, showing she’s thankful for shoppers who share her passion for fashion.
“I started it as a fun thing because I had all these extra clothes, and it turned into more than I ever thought it would be,” Maxwell said.
She said she hopes to expand to even more teams and designs in the future.
Eventually, she hopes to open her own storefront.