Tristan Bego is a thrifty stylist and, since last June, is a new business owner of The Common Collective Co. based in Denver. Bego has gone to great lengths to create a very inclusive space within the walls of The Common Collective.
“Our slogan is:” Make Black-owned, women-owned, gender-neutral, renability the common “ Bego’s store is a representation of herself, having all of these aspects combined and coming to life is her dream. Through the thrift store style and its new window, it aims to create a space where everyone can feel completely confident through fashion.
The Common Collective is based on uplifting businesses owned by Blacks, women-owned, sustainable and local artists. They have created a space where everyone can find something they love, whatever their style and whoever they are. It is important for Bego that her salespeople have the same opportunities as her, because without them, she would not have a collective.
âThe Common Collective Co. is a collective of small businesses, they’re all local. The meaning behind it is that it is a common collective … We’re just bringing back what could have been – should have been – a common thing, but it’s not, âshe said.
Tristan Bego was born in Columbus, Ohio, and raised in Charlotte, North Carolina. As the youngest of four children, she always wore clothes from her older siblings. She started saving when she was in high school.
âI couldn’t afford to go to the mall, so saving up was the best way to make new things inexpensively, cutting denim into shorts or painting denim jackets,â Bego said. “I want things that are made of good quality, but that are still affordable and non-sexist.”
Bego worked in Corporate America for four years and loved to dress for work. âIf I’m beautiful I’ll feel good,â she said. Bego pivoted when she launched her Instagram account @februaryjonesco three years ago. Her story began with a mirror in the bathroom at her work where she took pictures of her work outfits and posted them.
âI used to wear this mirror. I would just like to take pictures and show off my outfits. Sometimes everything I wore, from shoes to a headdress, was spared, âBego said. She worked in retail for some part time in addition to her full time job. When her Instagram started off so well, she decided to quit her other jobs to pursue her styling career and later her own store. Bego has been styling its clients for two years now.
On Bego’s Instagram account, she offers more services than styling. Its services include collecting and returning donations, organizing clean closets, building closets and personal shopping. She will pick up and drop off anyone’s items to donate. The process of organizing closets and creating outfits for clients takes time, but it’s an easy way for clients to have more use for their clothes.
âI go with my retail mindset and create outfits with what they already have in their closet, but get rid of things that just have to go. I also go to the mall with people – we pretty much just go shopping for anything [the client] wants, âsaid Bego.
The savings style is very important to Bego because the clothes exude the confidence and individuality of each person. Clothes tell a story about yourself and who you are, and it should be accessible to everyone. Bego wants to help all of its customers gain self-confidence through the clothes they wear.
“[Being a thrifting stylist] means that trust must be accessible to all. If you have confidence in yourself, you should be able to help others trust them. Clothing is just one way you can use to build confidenceâ¦ Clothing can create conversations and bring people togetherâ¦ It’s about community and trust â, Bego said.
Savings are important to Bego because fashion can be wasteful, while savings are built around sustainability. It is an easy way to provide clothes for people who cannot go to the mall. Clothing should be accessible to everyone because it is the easiest way to express yourself and be creative.
Tristan Bego’s personal style reflects three people she admires: Tyler the Creator, Tracee Ellis Ross and Rihanna. âBetween these three, it’s a mix of my style. A mix of good designer vintage and good colors – crazy colors, but I’m also addicted to black, she said.
Bego gains most of her clients via Instagram posts on her February Jones Co. account. She has clients in-state and out-of-state, but she also gets clients through word of mouth and compliments on her outfits. When someone hires him, he will make a budget for him to style them with sometimes very specific and sometimes wider looks. Bego will meet with the client, ask for their measurements and usually already know what their style is. If there is something specific that the client wants, she goes through the process of vintage sizing against clients’ sizes. When styling, she always makes sure to have more than one piece so the client can have options.
“I like to organize more than one thing to tryâ¦ I provide just about everything I found for them in their size, they will try it and tell me if it works. Any changes that need to happen, I can do them myself or someone else can do them, âshe said.
Handbags and shoes are important when it comes to styling an outfit: âI don’t care much about accessories because I focus on the handbag, the shoes and the outfitâ¦ outfit. Shoes can make or break an outfit. If your outfit is cheap and your shoes cheap, but you have a good handbag – whatever – the handbag is the centerpiece at this point. This is the piece of trust, âsaid Bego.
Once Bego’s thrifty styling career took off with flying colors, she decided to open her own storefront. Bego had wanted to do this for a very long time, but âdemonstrating a store was very far-fetched – until three years ago I said give me time, I’m going to buy myself a store. I was about to do my boobs. My beautician I was going to told me “you don’t need this, you have to focus on your business”. I made the decision at the beginning of June not to undergo cosmetic surgery. About 17 days later I closed that storeâ¦ It was the best thing I ever did, âBego said. In June, The Common Collective Co. was born.
The common collective society. This is where Bego’s many sellers can thrive. Its business partner, Jenny Neal, helped find vendors for the store, painted the mural, created the cow podium and did the interior design. Neal helped Bego build The Common Collective from scratch: âIt was a barbershop before we came in here, we had to sell everything and take everything off the walls. It took us about a month to get readyâ¦ It was very upsetting but joyful, a breath of fresh air. We worked all day, we didn’t stop until we opened the doors, âshe said.
It is undeniable that Bego knows the style. If there’s one piece of style and wardrobe advice she can give to anyone, it’s, âWear anything with confidence. If you’re sure it will fit you anyway, it will work. she said.
The future looks very bright for Bego as she continues to style and expand The Common Collective Co. Her plan is to open another store in Atlanta, but if that doesn’t work out she wants to own a bigger one. store in Denver. Outside of The Common Collective, she wants to develop her styling activity.
âI predict that I will be able to work with people at New York Fashion Week. Work with other really great designers and be their vintage assistant – for vintage hardware and clothing, reworked items, âshe said. Bego is currently focusing on its own line called FJ Reworks, where she works with local seamstresses who prepare reworked vintage clothing for her.
All the photographs of Roxanna Carrasco