Noihsaf Bazaar is a community-based resale marketplace focusing on independent designers and small labels. Founded in Duluth by Kate Lindello, Noihsaf has recently launched its own online platform to better provide a more curated experience for its unique community.
How did Noihsaf Bazaar come to be?
Noihsaf was born almost 10 years ago alongside my daughter, Helen. I left 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 provided me with an outlet to the outside world. I found myself at home going through clothes I loved but never wore. It was 2013 and Instagram was just a lot of sepia squares and latte foam art. I thought it would be easy to create a handle to list some of my cherished clothing I no longer wore for sale.
Back then I was part of a community of fashion bloggers who loved small and Independent designers. We sort of all migrated to Instagram so I shared my new handle with them. Not only did I sell my stuff, but I started to get asked if I could post items from others. It slowly grew into this really robust community of like-minded people.
It got to the point I had to start charging a fee because it was consuming a lot of my day. All the while the resale market started to boom and people started paying more attention to the second-hand market. By this time I was able to hire a few people to help. We started to outgrow Instagram and I had to make the decision to either build out our own platform or end it. It was a really daunting decision because we are essentially a tech-based company and despite growing a company online I knew nothing about tech start-ups. I decided to go for it and basically started tapping 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 ended up finding my developer in Portland, raised some money via friends and family, and started building out our new home in 2019 right before COVID hit.
This last February we finally went live and launched our new site! It’s a whole new world and business model, but I am really proud of how we got here and hopeful where it’s going. I have an awesome team, and was able to hire our first full time employee (April Harries) last month!
How did you get into fashion?
Since I was a kid I loved getting dressed. Clothing is an ultimate form of expression, and it’s something that has always brought me joy. My passion for emerging designers stems from my innateness to go against the norm since I was a teen. I didn’t like wearing what anyone else did. My freshman year at East (it was) assumed (I was) a foreign exchange student, lol. Once the internet was born that was just a new gateway to access these lines. My education is in environmental and political science and it’s 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 has been since 2018. I previously was a photo-stylist and launched my own styling and consulting business here but now Noihsaf is more than full-time.
What prompted you to launch your new platform?
We outgrew Instagram and really needed some autonomy. It didn’t feel good to have a business at the mercy of Facebook (now Meta) either. I’m not at all impressed with what it’s turned into and it feels really good to have our own home.
How does the new platform work?
We are a peer-to-peer resale platform, but unlike others, we curate everything that is submitted. We tailor our curation toward Independent designers and small brands. We don’t list “fast fashion” items like mall brands. We are more like a boutique-shopping experience, but it’s secondhand.
To sell: You create an account, sign-up for Noihsaf Payments, and upload your items. If accepted, your items go live on 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.
What is your best piece of fashion advice?
Fashion is very different than style to me. I’m a big advocate for dressing for yourself not others. Our society puts too much emphasis on fitting in or dressing for roles (what can a mom wear, what a girl wears, what a boy wears, what a professional should wear, etc). Clothes can be a self reflection of who that person is. Why put rules on something that is as simple as getting dressed? It should be fun or in the very least something you feel yourself in.
To quote the amazing 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 stared at, I dress for myself.”
How can folks connect with Noihsaf?
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