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Once worn, twice loved

If there is one thing Ilse de Beer does exceptionally well, it’s to thrift shop like a boss. She can, in a blink of the eye, spot a treasure at her local charity or second-hand clothing shop. Hundreds of pre-loved clothes later, she realised she couldn’t keep everything for herself, so now she’s sharing her finds with the world.

Ilse de Beer is a firm believer in second chances and new beginnings. Not only in life but when it comes to pre-loved clothes … or anything second-hand for that matter.

‘It feels like I’m giving something that someone else threw away, a second chance. I’d much rather support charity or second-hand clothing stores than new.

‘For my image consultant qualification, I did a practical presentation, focusing on the fashion industry and how it is negatively impacting our environment. I took about 20 items that I thrifted, a lot of them high-end brand names. I’d paid around R3 000 for these second-hand clothes, which new, I’d have paid around R15 000. So, it is not only better for my budget but also for the environment to buy pre-loved. Did you know that the fashion industry is one of the biggest industries contributing to our world’s pollution? Not to mention how badly some of the workers are treated to manufacture clothes at a record pace.’

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Ilse literally gives a new meaning to the saying ‘happiness is not in money, but in shopping’, because she soon realised her treasures are taking over her closet … an extra room that serves as a walk-in closet. So what’s a girl to do? Start your own online thrifting shop of course!

‘I was finding all these amazing garments and wondered if I shouldn’t try to find them new homes. I really couldn’t keep everything to myself anymore … haha. But it was during lockdown, looking for ways to earn an income, that I decided to de-clutter and sell some of my kid’s clothes. This sparked the idea to open an Instagram thrift account – @Oogappelpreloved. I posted the items and quickly got great interest. Then some of my pre-loved finds followed and the rest is history!’

Ilse has just launched her website where you can shop to your hearts’ delight – from handmade jewellery, which she makes herself, to funky colourful leggings, to miracle tops (super comfy but flattering for any figure).

‘There’s obviously a large pre-loved section from my finds at hospices, charity and second-hand clothing stores. But I also work with quite a few local women on a consignment basis. I look at what they’re wanting to sell, and if they’re good quality, I sell and keep a percentage.

‘In future, I’m going to sell pre-loved clothing from public figures, as well as wellness and beauty products.’

Bubbling with excitement, Ilse, who’s been in the business, marketing and entertainment industry for many years, added that she is also a qualified image consultant. Ready for a new challenge in terms of career, she also felt that image consultant will be a great addition to her Oogappel offerings.

‘Many think an image consultant just looks at the outer appearance. It is really so much more than that. Why do some women decide they want a makeover? Often, it’s because they went through a very difficult or traumatic experience. When working with a client like this, there’s a lot of healing that needs to take place … often an image consultant is a person to whom they open up. So you need to be able to place yourself in their shoes and access their personal situation and help or guide       them accordingly.’

‘If a client wants to buy new clothes after a consultation, but does not necessarily have the budget for it (have you seen what new clothes cost these days?) they can shop from Oogappel pre-loved as an option. Or, if they want to get rid of some items they no longer wear, they can work with me on a consignment basis to sell them for them. A win-win situation right?’

Details: oogappelbyilla.co.za or follow @oogappelpreloved,  @oogappel_by_illa on Insta, @illa_oogappel on TikTok and  @Oogappel by Illa on Facebook

Tips for looking great in a Zoom meeting:

  • It is so important to look neat – style your hair away from your face and put make-up on. • Highlighters and bronzers applied on the cheeks can contour the face and create dimension for the camera, while top eyeliner and mascara will open up the eyes. Do not forget to fill in your eyebrows! • Webcams often dull colour, so you’ll want to pop on some extra blush to make sure it’s visible on-screen. • Stick to bright solids colours like blue, green, red, orange, purple, yellow and black for top wear if you are in front of a light blank wall. You can choose fresh pastels and neutrals if you are sitting in front of a deep-coloured wall. • Remember accessories like earrings or a necklace. • Do wear proper pants. If you have to jump up to grab something or need to take a bathroom break, you will want to be wearing a full outfit, not your favourite pyjama pants. • Oh, and check your teeth, it’s easy to forget about little things like a poppy seed in between teeth or lipstick on the teeth. The camera sees all.

What not to wear:

  • A top with a low neckline that shows a lot of cleavage.  • Turtlenecks, mock necks, bow-neck blouses, and anything else that hides your neck. You don’t want to look like a floating head, which can happen if your neck disappears. • Avoid satiny, shiny sequence, embellishments or sheer top wear as it draws unnecessary attention to the body. • Busy printed top wear in plaid, stripes, flowers, polkas etc.



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