Be a Cool Girl | Neo Threads

Supporting locals is important! I love seeing people in my city pursuing what they love and being creative in their journey. About 6 months ago I met Sarah who loves to thrift. Sarah is the woman who started Neo Threads. She hunts for vintage clothing and transforms each find by giving it new life. She loves to turn old into one of a kind pieces. 

Sarah is also all about empowering women. She supports them, cheers them on and encourages women to pursue their dream. She wants each woman to find joy in who they are has individuals. I really love this about Sarah and I love her boldness in her passion for women. We live in an age that comparison can really steal our uniqueness from us as women. We can get caught up in feeling we need to be a certain way but Sarah is reminding women to careless about what people say we should be and focus on who we actually are and focus on what we love. She emphasizes that being a "COOL GIRL" is all about celebrating our own unique quirks! I am inspired by her pursuit to empower women. Sarah's heart overflows with beauty and confidence! 

Thank you Sarah for thinking of me to wear this dress! This dress originally had buttons but she turned it into low cut v-neck and it has pockets... every girl loves dresses with pockets! 

Keep on scrolling because this is where it gets even better. You will have the honor of getting to know Sarah a bit more! 

Share a bit about yourself:

I'm Sarah Holley Gonzales and I am the owner, founder, seamstress and overall full-time girl boss of neo • thread co. I’m just a desert girl, born and raised in Albuquerque, NM, with a love for creativity, a propensity for originality and a passion to end unethical fashion. I started this business (spontaneously) as a studying, entrepreneurship student who found purpose in transforming misfit articles into stylish, one of a kind pieces.

I take you love to thrift? Share a bit about your love for thrifting!

I’ve loved thrifting since I was young. My mom used to take my siblings and I thrifting for clothes. My dad had started his own business when we were young and for most of my childhood we weren’t at a place to shop for clothing outside of thrift shops. I’m a firm believer that creativity is greatest when the resources are limited. So it was always a fun challenge for me to explore racks of random clothing in search of articles that felt like they represented me. My mom instilled the importance of personal style in me. When I’d hold a dress up I’d know I did well when she would respond with, “that is SO Sarah!”.  A decade and a half later not much has changed, I still have a blast thrifting it’s like domesticated, law-abiding treasure hunting.

What inspired you to take vintage clothing and add a wonder twist to them? How do you decide on what pieces to change or adjust?

I started neo • thread as a typical, broke, business undergrad. I would frequent local thrift stores purchase and modify clothing to my liking and, to my surprise, the liking of others. Students started complimenting and asking where they could shop my look. So, on a whim, I decided to open an Instagram account and start selling. I had always wanted to start a business that centered around creativity and improving the community and I realized that graduation wasn’t going to make me feel ready for this endeavor so I better just start. I initially sold through Instagram by asking customers to comment their email to send a paypal link to this was pre-DM, very humble beginnings.

As non-standard as my process seems, I have a very specific criteria when I’m sourcing clothing to transform. First and foremost is ensuring the quality and integrity of the fabric. Second-hand doesn’t have to be second best and at neo • thread it is important that the pieces have a long life. If a piece is worn, stained or holey beyond repair, it’s not coming home with me. Next is the pattern and color of the piece. I go through color phases. Recently, I went through my own Rose Period with a myriad of soft pinks and blushes. I want to be sure the colors and patterns are current but not overtly trendy; trends are fleeting. Thirdly, when I pick up a piece I like to ask, “how does it inspire me?” I can only create styles and pieces that I, myself, am drawn to. Even so, if you look at the site, there are quite a few different styles represented and I see parts of myself in all of them. While designing the new piece I try to imagine the whole look or outfit the piece could complete. Maybe it’s currently a long lace dress I imagine being a flowy, summery dress being worn under the warm sun by a boho desert maven. From there I’ll start cutting and stitching to make my vision a reality. There are however, some vintage pieces that are just too iconic to change, for those pieces I have a special retro collection.

What is your hope for your business in the coming years?

I want neo to be bigger than just myself, my ultimate goal is for neo • thread to become an online platform for like-minded upcycling artists to sell their sustainable, hand crafted clothing. This would be a side hustle for these artists and enable them to work from home, have their own profiles on the site and allow the friction of branding, marketing, customer service and the other important obligations of running a business taken out of the equation. Their main priority and focus can be on creating, amazing pieces. I want to build an empowered community that creates consciously and experiences the same life and financial freedom that neo • thread has given me. I’m excited to announce that this year we begin the first stages of this model as I look for upcyclers, here, locally in the Southwest.

What would you tell someone who is considering pursuing their own business?

Shoot, if you’re in pursuit of your own business you need to choose something you are truly passionate about. Which, doesn’t always look like the product you’re selling. For me, my product is one of a kind clothing which I love, but my passion centers around caring for people. I make clothing that is an alternative to the fast fashion brands that exploit marginalized people in developing countries. It’s my goal to inspire others to shop consciously, care about the well-being of those people and celebrate their own one of a kind style. Our mantra at neo • thread is that Cool Girls Care and it’s my mission to inspire others to care. There are so many hardships, glamorous and stressful things that come with owning a business. In the beginning, a lot of your resources and time are going to go into the business with little to no return. I imagine it’s what it is like to have a child. But just like having a child, there are a ton of amazing, beautiful moments, opportunities and things that come from doing work that does good and fulfills you. Those are the things that are going to keep you going when those hardships come; not the money or the accolades, but the passion and purpose you feel for your work.