Andres Rivera | Staff Writer
Ivan Faraldo is making thrifting accessible and fashionable for students at FIU.
Ivan Faraldo, an FIU Alumni with a bachelor’s in communications, opened a thrift store close to FIU’s main campus called MIA Thrift.
Faraldo started working as a marketing freelancer, generating revenue for many companies before opening MIA Thrift.
“I started off at a high-end women’s clothing company after helping influencers grow their social media platforms,” said Faraldo.
After he left the women’s clothing company, he went on to start freelancing as a sales rep, traveling around the United States and Puerto Rico, selling clothes and learning the retailing trade.
“The main reason I started this business is that I didn’t want to work for anybody, and once I got into the idea that thrifting is an excellent way to spread fashion and do what I love, I started from home, and I worked up from there,” said Faraldo.
Art history graduate Ana Gabrielle Mendez, now working as an art restoration and art gallery manager, once modeled for Faraldo during the beginning of his business.
“Ivan and I were friends. Since I knew him, he’s always been a hustler. He spends a lot of time into this project, so I’m glad I get to see him succeed and support him within the fashion and the industry in general,” Mendez said.
Once Faraldo started his business, he hosted walkthroughs and invited people looking for a new style to browse his wares.
His intentions quickly shifted from chasing markets to opening a proper business for good.
“Why am I gonna go to new markets when I can put that money into an actual storefront and use all of the knowledge I already garnered to open a store and market it myself?” asked Faraldo.
Faraldo shared details of the competitive nature of businesses in Miami, and how creating niche spaces helps thrift stores break into the mainstream.
“Many thrifts here in Miami mainly sell vintage clothing, and they hike up the prices to crazy extents. That’s when I realized that I wanted to be a curated thrift shop focusing on nostalgia, and that’s what we are trying to tap into,” explained Faraldo.
By learning how to market his clothes and improving his work ethic, Faraldo successfully created MIA Thrift, which greatly benefited from his study of marketing and sales.,
“Owning a clothing store and creating a clothing brand has been a dream of mine ever since I was in high school,” said Faraldo.
“My advice for those who want to get into this business is to get that experience and learn about the industry.”