In this new series, LFB sits down with our favorite girls from the gram. This month, we got talking to Gina of @0k1oser:

My name is Gina, I am 17 years old and from Phoenix, Arizona. I’m shy and quiet at first, but once you get to know me, I’m very outgoing – I may be too much for you to handle! I enjoy doing the typical teenager stuff, like hanging out with friends, listening to music, and sometimes just sleeping some of my days away. I’m passionate about baking cupcakes, but my all time favourite thing is going to local thrift stores to thrift!

What is the best part about living in Phoenix Arizona?

The best thing about living in Phoenix is that the cities are very diverse and have different ways of how they choose to be seen. For instance, the city I live in (Glendale) feels historic, especially downtown, while Scottsdale, Arizona & Mesa feel very fancy. I especially love downtown Phoenix, it’s like an art lover’s dream come true! There are so many murals spread all about downtown, lots of art and unique self owned businesses and restaurants. Downtown Phoenix is just a great destination to hang out.

Your cupcake hobby sounds super interesting – have you ever thought about sharing this online as well?

To express my love for my cupcakes, when I do find the time to bake, I post the pictures on my instagram. I shared my hobby with people at school too. For about a month, I baked & sold cupcakes at school until I got too busy. I hope that with all the free time I’m going to have this summer, I will be able to make a few, or A LOT of cupcake creations and continue to share this on my instagram. I hope that one day I could possibly own a bakery – it has been one of my dreams since I was little.  

When did you join instagram and why?

From what I can remember, I was about 12 when I joined instagram. I joined because it was an app a lot of people had and I wanted to see what all the jazz was about. I used to have the original account from when I was 12, but deleted it when I was 14 and started over with the new account I have now.

Did you ever think your instagram account would grow as it has? Does this influence what you post at all?

I honestly didn’t think that my instagram would grow as much as it has – I never really thought that a lot of people were going to see my stuff – but I was wrong. It doesn’t influence what I post though. I have always posted photos to express who I am before other people even noticed my instagram.   

Who you do post your photos for? (yourself, your friends, your followers?)

I would have to say that I post pictures for myself, but it’s slowing turning out to be for my followers. I also have people and friends from school who follow me. I enjoy knowing that maybe I can give some of my followers inspiration for outfit ideas, share quirky stuff I find in thrift stores, and give people insurance that they can find unique stuff themselves. A lot of the stuff I wear will mostly be from thrift stores, at times I’ll have followers or random people DM or comment asking where I got that one piece of clothing – most of the time it will be straight from the thrift.

Your instagram seems to showcase a lot of your personal fashion choices. Could you tell me about your own personal style and influences?

I honestly don’t know what kind of style I have; maybe a mix of different styles, I can never stick to one. On days I’ll be wearing mom jeans & striped shirts going for 80’s vibes (I think some of the influence just came from buying my first pair of mom jeans…) on other days I’ll dress all in black or block colors. Some days, I’ll go all out and mix different styles together and end up creating something different. I love to have a unique style and outfits that help me stand out.

Because most of my clothes are from thrift stores, people aren’t going to have the same outfit as me, and the things I put together & wear can be one of a kind. Honestly, the first time I started thrifting in 2015 is when my style glo’d up. I have my Mom to thank for taking me to what I think is the best thrift store, and my favorite, Value Village, and starting it all. I’ve gone from thrifting once a month to every 2 weeks now! The things that I enjoy about decorating cupcakes – making them unique and pretty in their own way spilling my creativity on them – are the same things I love about thrifting. The outcomes are always unique.

What motivated your mom to bring you thrifting in the first place?

My mom initially took me to the thrift store because it was Black Friday and I really wanted to go shopping, but we didn’t really have that much money for the mall. We both knew stuff at the thrift store was cheap, so she agreed to take me to see if I could find anything. I did find stuff, and have been finding things ever since.

Thrifting can be very hit-or-miss depending on where you thrift and what city/state you are in. What are your top tips for thrift store hunting?

When I go thrifting, I make sure that I go through the entire rack so that I know I saw every shirt, pair of jeans, shorts, etc in that section. Also you need ample time, I feel if you rush you’re not going to find a lot of stuff because you didn’t take the time to search. I usually spend around 2-3 hours thrifting. My last tip is to just go for it, have fun and find things that express yourself truly.

Do you feel like instagram has influenced your personal style? If yes, which accounts inspire you the most?

Instagram definitely influences me to put some outfits together. Scrolling through my explore page, I’ll see a certain article of clothing someone is wearing and think to myself ”oh wow that would go cute with some jeans I own, or a shirt I have” or even “those shoes can go with both the pants and shirt I own!'” Depop helps me sometimes too (I sell some of my thrift finds I no longer use on there under as @0k1oser). I don’t follow a lot of accounts to have a daily inspiration, just @v.ri0t and when go on my explore page I enjoy seeing @TooPoor and the way she dresses. I’ll stumble across other accounts here and there that I’ll only get to see for the first time that are pretty inspiring. I follow one friend, @shitty.livin, that I know personally & have hung out with that enjoys thrifting, she has her own style and is very influential too.

Do you think that instagram and social media in general has made the world better? Worse? Both? Why?

I’d say that instagram doesn’t negatively or positively affect the world, it’s more of a social media platform that gets what is happening around the world or whats going on with people from the perspective of the ones that use it – much like facebook, twitter and snapchat. The worst effect of social media is that people can get too stuck to their phone and miss living in the moment and only see what’s happening on their screens.

Instagram is such an incredible platform for women to express themselves and is a great source of feminist inspiration and community. Do you think that sharing your fashion on social media has helped with your own self confidence as a woman?

Sharing my fashion online & in person has definitely helped my confidence in a way. I’m still pretty shy, but instead of someone having to talk to me to figure out who I am, I wear who I am instead. Some people have told me my style stands out, which helps people notice me, because of how quiet I can be, this helps a lot! Feeling great in the outfit I choose to wear gives me the confidence to show my face and not care what anyone thinks of me.

Rae Tilly

Rae the EIC of LFB and YEOJA Magazine. She is also a photographer and social media influencer.