Calgary

How one Calgarian went from makeup artist to thrifter and tripled income during pandemic

For some, the pandemic either forced a career change or offered a chance to rethink how to make a paycheque, and for one Calgary woman, that's how what started off as selling a few pieces of used furniture has turned into a full time job.

'I started this whole business in fight or flight mode. I just had to figure something out'

Kacie Charlton says that since making the switch mid-pandemic from makeup artist to thrifter, she's nearly tripled her income. (Bohosythriftyyc)

For some, the pandemic either forced a career change or offered a chance to rethink how to make a paycheque, and for one Calgary woman, that's how what started off as selling a few pieces of used furniture has turned into a full time job.

Kacie Charlton, founder of Bohosy Thrift and Bohosy Rentals is a makeup artist by education, but also the single mother of two children. And, when the pandemic began she was still pregnant with her youngest.

"When the COVID-19 pandemic first hit … I got laid off, and then I found out that my job wasn't going to be available when I would come off maternity leave," she said during an interview on the Calgary Eyeopener Tuesday. "I started this whole business in fight or flight mode. I just had to figure something out."

Charlton said she started off by going to thrift stores and purchasing and reselling furniture on Etsy. 

"I realized that it was a big turnaround for vintage furniture, so I cancelled my Etsy and started reselling vintage furniture on Instagram," she said. 

"I didn't know the response would be so great and since January I have been able to make it into a full time career for myself, which is amazing. I just never really thought that after COVID, when I lost my job, that I would be here."

Charlton doesn't just resell wicker, rattan, bronze and macrame finds, she also has a curated collection of hundreds of vintage pieces she's been renting out for parties and events since March. 

Making this move has had a positive impact on Charlton's bottom line, too. 

"I was making about $18 an hour as a makeup artist before … and now I'm basically, like, tripling my income, which is awesome," she said.

But, Charlton said she still has to hustle — and even travel a little bit for work. 

"I find a lot in Edmonton and smaller towns where there is an older population. I'll put out ads on Kijiji and Marketplace and I'll tell people what I am looking for and I tend to get a great response,"she said. 

With files from Jenny Dorozio and the Calgary Eyeopener

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