Ainsley Abbitt – Virginia Interview by Olivia Bush Nomination and Photography by Gray Seniors Issue 38 of Inspiring Teens Magazine
The Nomination: Ainsley Abbitt started a nonprofit business this summer to benefit a variety of charities. She started by selling her clothes and now accepts clothing donations as well. To date Ainsley has raised over $1100.00 for various charities.
Photography by Gray Seniors
How did you get the idea to start selling your clothes to raise money for charity? It was a very random decision. One day I looked in my closet and realized I did not own anything that I would gravitate toward. In the midst of this pandemic, I have tried to find a style that showcases who I really am, and my closet was not it. Instead of simply dropping off bags of clothes at Goodwill, I decided it would be better and more likely the clothes would have a revival. I created an Instagram account. At first, I did not think about giving all the proceeds away; however, many of my friends had started non-profits which inspired me to do the same. After posting a few items, and them selling out completely, I thought of what to do with this money. That’s when deciding charities comes into play.
What charities have you chosen to donate your profits to and how did you choose them? So far, I have donated to eleven charities either local or national. Each charity receives $100 each. Some are from personal experience/preference; others are requested by my followers. I liked the idea of including my followers in this decision because they are the reason I am even able to do this at all. I have donated to Black Lives Matter, Active Minds, Multiple Sclerosis Association of America, St. Jude Children’s Hospital, Child Rescue Coalition, Autism Speaks, Make A Wish, The Natasha House, American Diabetes Association, American Foundation for Suicide Prevention, and the Humane Society. All these charities are vastly different and support multiple issues. I encourage you readers to research some of these charities because I know personally I was unaware of how many charities there really are.
Photography by Gray Seniors
How did you spread the word about your nonprofit and raise the money that you have so quickly? As simple as tagging my clothes on my main instagram as my “Wardrobe.by.Ainsley” account and having wonderful friends and new faces repost their clothing and packages they have received from me. As I have noticed, the shoutouts are the most effective way to spread the word about my nonprofit.
What are some tips that you have for others on starting a nonprofit? It will be a lot more work than you expect, but it is completely worth it! Keep your head high even after an all-nighter from juggling multiple occupations/projects or if some items don’t sell because everything happens for a reason. Your hard work will pay off and there is nothing better than fulfilling a follower’s request of a charity or seeing them shout out your account. Nothing is more heart-warming than that.
What goals do you personally have for your future and what goals do you have for your nonprofit? I personally want to attend the University of Virginia next fall. I hope to become a physical therapist for children. After UVA, I hope to be enrolled at VCU for medical school. For my non-profit, I hope to raise over $3000 by the end of the year. So far I have raised $1500, so I am halfway there!
Photography by Ainsley Abbitt
3 Things on your bucket list I would love to travel to Europe, primarily Greece and Italy; Get into my dream university (UVA); Live in a foreign country for a year
Who do you find inspiring? My inspiration is actually a friend of mine, she ironically is also nominated for an inspiring teen. She is the person who inspired me to turn my clothing sales into a nonprofit. Her name is Kylie Sandberg and she bakes cookies where all the proceeds go to the American Cancer Society. She has raised over $5000 in just 4 months, which is incredible. After seeing the first month of her success occur personally, I started selling my clothes. It started out with just my clothing, but now I sell my followers old clothing as well. Her journey and nonprofit inspired me to hop on the bandwagon and do the same. One day I hope to raise as much money as she has and really make my mark on this world.
What about you inspires others/why do you think you are inspiring? People may refer to me as inspiring due to my hard work. I spend up to six hours a day on my business from styling the clothing, taking the product photos, editing them, packaging items, hand delivering the items, etc all after a long day of school. I start my day at 7am for school and finish at 3pm. After three I finish any assignments, I have due and then the night time is where my business gets all the attention. Throughout the day I am still checking DM’s and posts/stories and polls that I post, but at night I package all the items sold throughout the day, style the new clothing, take product photos, and edit them. That process alone can take up to three hours. Some days I also have to deliver packages. I deliver and donate weekly. Deliveries can range from one-three hours depending on how many and how far away they are. My hard work and drive keep me through these long days/nights which may inspire others.
Anything else you’d like to tell us? I would like to thank my mom for helping me learn the ropes of how to really run a small business. I would not be this successful and creative without her.
Ainsley will be featured in issue 38 of Inspiring Teens Magazine!