Selective focus: Noihsaf Bazaar – Perfect Duluth Day

ByJames I. Robertson

Jul 15, 2022

Noihsaf Bazaar is a community resale marketplace focused on independent designers and smaller brands. Founded in Duluth by Kate Lindello, Noihsaf recently launched its own online platform to better provide a more curated experience for its unique community.

How was Noihsaf Bazaar born?

Noihsaf was born almost 10 years ago alongside my daughter, Helen. I quit my job thinking I wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, Duluth had its coldest winter on record, and I was in the throes of severe postpartum depression. I was isolated and this new thing called Instagram gave me an outlet to the outside world. I found myself at home browsing through clothes that I liked but had never worn. It was 2013 and Instagram was just a bunch of sepia squares and latte foam art. I thought it would be easy to create a handful to list some of my favorite clothes that I no longer wear for sale.

At the time, I was part of a community of fashion bloggers who liked small independent designers. We all sort of migrated to Instagram, so I shared my new handle with them. Not only did I sell my stuff, but I was asked if I could post other people’s stuff. It slowly grew into this really solid community of like-minded people.

It got to the point where I had to start charging fees because it was taking up so much of my day. During this time, the resale market started to explode and people started paying more attention to the used market. At that time, I was able to hire a few people to help me. We started to overtake Instagram and I had to make the decision to create our own platform or end it. It was a really daunting decision because we are essentially a tech-based company and despite growing an online business, I knew nothing about tech start-ups. I decided to go for it and basically started mining everyone I knew about developers and how much money it would take to build a platform for Noihsaf. It took me two years but I eventually found my developer in Portland, raised money through my friends and family and started building our new home in 2019 just before COVID don’t knock.

Last February, we finally put our new website online and launched! It’s a whole new world and a new business model, but I’m really proud of how we got here and hope where it’s going. I have a great team and was able to hire our first full time employee (April Harries) last month!

Kate Lindello, Founder of Noihsaf

How did you get into fashion?

Ever since I was little, I have loved dressing up. Clothing is the ultimate form of expression, and it’s something that has always brought me joy. My passion for emerging creators stems from my innate ability to go against the norm since my teenage years. I didn’t like wearing what other people were doing. My freshman year at East (was) assumed (I was) an overseas student, lol. Once the Internet was born, it was just a new gateway to access these lines. I studied environmental and political science and it has been really interesting to see my love of style intersect with my passion for environmental and social change.

Is Noihsaf now your full time gig?

Yes! It’s been since 2018. I used to be a photo stylist and started my own styling and consulting business here, but now Noihsaf is more than full time.

Office Noihsaf

What prompted you to launch your new platform?

We were too big for Instagram and really needed autonomy. It also didn’t feel good to have a company at the mercy of Facebook (now Meta). I’m not at all impressed with what it’s become and it feels really good to have our own home.

How does the new platform work?

We are a peer-to-peer reselling platform, but unlike others, we curate everything submitted. We tailor our curation towards independent designers and smaller brands. We do not list “fast fashion” items like mall brands. We’re more like a boutique shopping experience, but it’s second-hand.

To sell: you create an account, sign up for Noihsaf Payments and upload your items. If accepted, your articles will be uploaded to our website. Listing is free, but if your item sells, we collect a selling fee.

To buy: Simply browse our site, add an item to your cart via the “buy now” button and proceed to checkout.

You can see more details at noihsafbazaar.com.

Noihsaf team meeting with developer, Cody

What’s your best fashion advice?

Fashion is very different from style for me. I’m a big advocate of dressing for yourself not others. Our society places too much emphasis on tailoring or dressing for roles (what a mother can wear, what a girl wears, what a boy wears, what a professional should wear, etc.) . Clothes can be a reflection of who that person is. Why put rules on something as simple as dressing? It should be fun or at the very least something you feel into.

To quote the incredible Iris Apfel:

“You have to look in the mirror and see yourself. If it feels good, then I know it’s for me. I don’t dress to be watched, I dress for myself.

How can people connect with Noihsaf?

Website
instagram
Twitter



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