It’s that time of year again when we all want to wear our best new outfits and do the most just to sit in our grandmas living room drinking coquito. I don’t know about you, but I start planning my Christmas party outfits with a few weeks in advance and I try to put together the most glamorous outfits I can think of (even if the only ones who will be seeing them are my family or some close friends). For most of us on a college budget though, it might be a little tricky finding the perfect Christmas outfit that fits into our price range, but I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be!
Earlier in the year I discovered the cutest little thrift store right here in Mayagüez and figured that to find the perfect outfit, you really don’t need to spend that much money at all. Tropi Trades is a second-hand clothing, accessories and shoe store for both men and women, but don’t be fooled, this is no ordinary thrift shop! Kassandra Valle, the girl boss behind this innovative concept in the west side of the island, carefully curates every piece that she sells in her store, so that she can assure she has the most fashionable pieces for her customers in the best conditions.
What’s cool about Tropi Trades, other than the fact that you can find adorable pieces for very affordable prices, is that you can actually take the clothing that you’re no longer using to the shop and there they will select the pieces that best fit into the store and display them for sale for up to a month, if your pieces get sold during that period, you will either receive 30% of the sale in cash or a 50% credit in the store. If your pieces aren’t sold during that time, then you can take your pieces back or donate them. Kassandra explained that Tropi Trades is not only good to win some extra cash, but it’s a great way to help the environment as well. She told us that they always get excited to receive new merchandise and reminded us that “What’s old for you, is new for someone else”. So basically, Tropi Trades is a win, win all around.
We asked Kassandra how she came up with the idea of Tropi Trades and she explained that she worked within the fashion industry for many years, she had experience working both in clothing stores and a magazine within the industry. She also lived in New York City for five years, where fashion is at its peak. She told us that while she was living in the city she discovered thrift shops and they won her attention because she would always find great fashion pieces and different curious objects. So, when she came back to Puerto Rico and found herself without a job, she decided she wanted to start her own business. She was drawn to opening a clothing store, but she already had a boutique in the past and she wanted to do something different. That’s when she discovered that there wasn’t anything in Mayagüez like the thrift shops she had seen back in the city and decided to jump in and create this new concept herself.
Kassandra always had a passion for fashion and always dreamt of being her own boss, and Tropi Trades gave her the opportunity to pursue both of these goals while also contributing positively to the environment by promoting and selling second-hand clothing. She wanted to create a concept where people could buy articles that would make them feel absolutely fabulous, while not braking the bank. She’s well aware of the economic restrictions that many of us college students face and taking into consideration that Mayagüez is a city predominated by us Colegiales, she found that this would be the perfect fit for her shop.
Kasandra tells us that she feels extremely happy and thankful with how much her store has grown in the past year and she shared with us that they are currently moving to a more spacious and accessible location in town.
“Everything is possible, no matter how long it takes you to get to the goal,” Kasandra told us while she explained that she hopes that the story behind Tropi Trades empowers women to go after their dreams and believe in themselves.
If you want to know more about Tropi Trades follow their Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts which are all under the user: tropitrades. For more information, you can contact Kasandra by calling (787) 404-9821.