#CurtsyCrush INSPO

Homeschooled to 16,000 Followers: How Brittany Merrill Schooled The Haters And Turned Her Passion Into A Career

Brittany sold more of her clothes in her first week on Curtsy than most people sell in their first year.  A small-town girl with a big-time Instagram following, you’ll never see her carrying Louis Vuitton. Her style is just-ran-out-of-the-house chic: an oversized men’s utility button-down French-tucked into a leather mini skirt.

@britmerl on Instagram

After Brittany sold 30 items on Curtsy in one day, I wanted to know how she did it. What was the secret to her success on Curtsy? Where did her fab yet unpretentious style come from? What’s behind her charm? With these questions in mind, I gave her a call. 

Brittany grew up as a self-described ‘loner’ in a small town outside of Athens, GA.  Just a few years ago, only a handful of people knew who she was. She was homeschooled until high school, when she started at a small Christian academy with 35 students per grade.  She struggled to fit in at first, finding it hard to relate to things like sports.

She soon found her niche as editor of her school’s yearbook.  She dove headfirst into the role, spending countless hours taking photos, telling stories, and organizing those into a final product she’d share with her classmates every spring — a process she loved.

On weekends, she’d explore nearby towns with friends, taking photos and gradually becoming more comfortable in front of the camera as well.  

Driving with a friend one day, they spotted a huge American flag on the side of a building.  Her friend snapped a photo, and Brittany did what anyone her age would do: posted it to Instagram. Overnight, she got her first taste of what it meant to ‘go viral.’

The pic that started it all.

That photo, and a few tweets on Twitter, helped her go from 900 to 6,000 followers in a few weeks.  At school she was dragged by fellow classmates, who called Brittany’s new hobby ‘the biggest joke.’ She didn’t care; she thought it was fun.  She loved talking to her followers, who she interacted with as if they were lifelong friends. 

Her “ballin’ on a budget” style came from necessity, she told me.  Her family didn’t have a lot of money growing up. She learned to hunt for treasures on regular outings to her local thrift store. Most days, she throws together disparate pieces that somehow end up looking cute. Her fave look for fall is a simple turtleneck under a bulky sweater and, of course, a mini skirt. 

Brittany had never sold her clothes before Curtsy, and she initially hesitated because she can’t stand shipping stuff.  After learning about our Shipping Kit program — where we send you everything you need to ship so you don’t have to go to the post office — she was sold. 

The key to her Curtsy success? Good photos. She uses a full-length mirror in her room to show what the clothes actually look like, rather than just throwing them on a hanger (or worse, the floor). She recommends taking mirror selfies with good natural light.

The mystery of how her clothes sold so quickly?  When she shared her Curtsy closet on Instagram, she included her promo code for $10 off. This gave her followers an extra reason to check out the app (and when her friends used the code, she’d earn a $10 credit as well). 

One can’t help but be captivated by Brittany.  She carries herself like someone who’s doing what they were put on this earth to do — not in the sense that she knows all the answers, or that she’s reached perfection — but that she’s confident in her own power to grow, and figure it out as she goes along. I wanted to know where this confidence came from. 

As Brittany’s senior year in high school rolled around, her peers were applying and getting accepted into UGA and Ivy League schools like Yale.  When they’d ask Brittany about her plans, she’d shut down. Despite having good test scores, hobbies outside of class, and teachers who’d write beaming recs, something about college just didn’t feel right.  

In the spring of her senior year, Brittany’s then-boyfriend invited her on a drive to visit his family in rural Georgia. Thirty minutes in, instead of pulling into a suburb they were pulling into a college campus. She was furious. “How dare you force me to come here!” She yelled, feeling betrayed.

“I’m not asking you to apply,” he shot back, “I’m asking you to tour.”

That day she fell in love with the campus of Georgia Southern. She applied, but likely due to the late timing was rejected. She took a gap year and reapplied the following year, improving her scores and getting those beaming recs in the meantime. But she was rejected again. The next semester, she was rejected for a third time. 

The period that followed was filled with depression and anxiety. She’d compare herself to friends who all seemed happy at college. She started seeing a therapist, who helped her accept that maybe college wasn’t for her; maybe her hesitation to go in the first place was a sign; maybe God would show her another path forward. 

It was around that time that Brittany’s success on Instagram started paying off. She started charging for collabs and selling her popular Lightroom presets. Now she also sells her clothes on Curtsy. This money allowed her to move to Savannah, GA, into a dope apartment with her friend. Not one to sit still, she wakes up daily at 8 am and does what she loves: takes photos, tells stories, and shares them with the hope that they’ll inspire others. 

Brittany’s Curtsy packages ready to go out

Brittany recalls a turning point for her in high school. She and her friends were in the bathroom doing something they did a lot: complaining about the things they wished they could change about their bodies.

Out of nowhere, Brittany blurts out: “My favorite thing about my body is my belly button.”  After a few seconds of silent shock, everyone started laughing. Then they all went around and said their own favorite things. 

“Instead of saying ‘I have acne,’ I’d say, ‘I’m an awesome person.’” She gradually made the switch in her head from obsessing over what she didn’t have, to becoming obsessed with what she did have. “I started thinking about myself about as this engine of power.” She’d introduce herself like her name carried weight: “I am Brittany Merrill.” 

Her favorite quote is from Steve Jobs: “…the ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do.” If you have dreams, she told me, nothing can stop you.  

And when she said it — and probably because of the forceful, Brittany Merrill-like way she said it — I believed her. 

Curtsy News HQ News

Here Are The Top 5 Myths That Keep You From Selling Your Clothes

“I don’t have time”

Time is money, honey! Selling on Curtsy will make you money, and it’s easy as pie. Or cake.

Seriously, we’re the only app that sends you shipping supplies so you can skip the post office, and tells you exactly how to price your stuff. Posting takes 30 seconds.

“People aren’t going to buy my clothes.”

Not with that attitude! Our best-selling brands are those you’d find at the mall, or your fave online stores: Free People, Lululemon, Revolve, Nordstrom, etc.

If you bought it in the last few years from a recognizable brand, someone will buy it on Curtsy!

“I’m going to wear those clothes again.”

Girl you’re not fooling anyone! You know that dress you bought for freshman year HOCO or that random bach party isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.

You might as well make some money and give those items a second life.

“I don’t have enough followers.”

Phew! We’re like the only app where you don’t have to be an influencer these days. We use machine-learning and AI to show relevant clothes to shoppers.

All you do is post, and then your items sell. Like magic.

“I’ll sell when I … (move, graduate, etc.)”

Ahem, Marie Kondo does NOT approve. There’s a new way of living and it’s called: one in, one out!  Every time you buy a new outfit, post an old one on Curtsy.

You’ll have less stress, more space, and more money to spend on things that make you happy. 
#GirlBoss Guide

Tips to to sell your items faster

Improve the photos

Make sure you include a photo of someone wearing the item and a picture of the actual item you’re selling.

Make sure your photos are high quality, have good lighting, and clearly show the color, fabric or material, and detail of the item.

Lower your price

For items that are ‘trendy’ and purchased in the last few years, we recommend about 30%-40% of the retail cost and less if the items are older or have signs of wear.

Offer free shipping

Offering buyers free shipping will increase your chances of a sale by 30%.

HQ News

The future of Curtsy is buy/sell

To our incredible community —

Today we’re nervous and excited to announce our biggest change yet.

Curtsy started as a way for women to rent clothes from each other. Next week, we’re switching to buy/sell, and ending support for renting.

Curtsy works best for special occasions like formals, but most people only have a few of those per year. This made it really hard to build a sustainable business.

Even though we’ve helped our community make $1M renting out their closets, as a company we still spend more money than we make.

If you’re one of the thousands of women that use Curtsy to rent and make money, we feel you. Taking out renting is bittersweet for us.

At the same time, we’re excited for this new chapter. Buy/sell has been our most requested feature since we started Curtsy.

We’re taking your favorite things about Curtsy and bringing them to buy/sell: Our curated shopping experience, ease of posting, high quality photos, and incredible customer support.

You’ll soon be able to use Curtsy every week rather than twice a year.

The new app will launch on Monday, July 2 and we can’t wait for you to try it.

If you previously had items listed for rent, you’ll be able to list them for sale with one tap. All of your messages and past orders will still be in the app, as well as any earnings from past rentals.

If you have any questions or concerns, please let us know.

Thank you.


David Oates
CEO & Co-Founder


Sigma Delta Tau at UGA Wins Curtsy For A Cause, $500 For Philanthropy


Congrats to Sigma Delta Tau at UGA! We’re making a $500 donation to Prevent Child Abuse America on your behalf.

To everyone who participated: the work that you do for your philanthropy organizations is amazing, and we will definitely do something like this again. Stay tuned!

To say thanks to everyone who participated, here’s a code for 50% off your next rental that you can use all week: GIRLBOSS50.

Not on the app?

Screen Shot 2016-08-22 at 11.49.41 PM

Rent dresses from girls at UGA


Fashionista of the Week

Curtsy’s Newest Hire Brooke Meitzler is Like Beyoncé But Different


Brooke Meitzler is the definition of #SLAY.

If you know Brooke well you know that she will do literally ANYTHING. In the interview below, we talk about where this fearlessness comes from, her biggest influences and why she’s excited to join Curtsy.

Curtsy News

A New Look For Curtsy


Quick announcement: We have a new look!

The “goddess,” as we like to call her, is back and better than ever. Her hand is on her hip as if to say “I’m a #Girlboss.” She’s got her hair up because she’s en route to a formal and she’s classy like that.

A company’s brand is a continual work in progress—this is our second draft.

Look out for the Curtsy Goddess coming soon to a school near you!

PS — want some swag with the new mark to give out to your friends? Drop us a line [email protected]


[cta link=””]


What It Means To Be A #GirlBoss, And Other Lessons From Nasty Gal Founder Sophia Amoruso

This week only: 50% of all Curtsy orders will be donated to the #Girlboss Foundation.

Processed with VSCO with f2 preset

If you’ve been reading this blog for a while you know we love the term Girlboss. But do you know where it came from? Sophia Amoruso, founder of Nasty Gal, came up with it, and if you don’t know her, you should.

After dropping out of school and moving to San Francisco at 22, Sophia started selling vintage clothing on Ebay while bored at her job checking ID’s in the lobby of an art school. Today, the company does $250 million a year in sales and is growing fast.

What makes someone a Girlboss? According to Sophia, A Girlboss is…

Someone who is in charge of her own life. She gets what she wants because she works for it. As a #GIRLBOSS, you take control and accept responsibility. You’re a fighter—you know when to throw punches and when to roll with them…

Fashionista of the Week

Best Things Come In Pairs: Meet The #GirlBoss Twins Taking Charleston By Storm


These two fabulous twins Kenzie and Carol moved to Charleston two years ago with nothing. Here’s what happened next. 

PS. Their closet is open and yours to borrow on Curtsy! If you don’t have the app, get it here:



Kenzie and Carol had just graduated from school and wanted to get out of Utah and try living in a different state. They lived for a year with their best friend, who was in her senior year at College of Charleston.


They’ve always lived together, even after Kenzie got married. They plan on keeping it that way too, they’ve always been best friends.


When they walked into Alley’s Sports Bar, a local favorite, to ask for a job, the owner was amused. They’d have to be hired as a package deal, they told him. They were hired.


They share a car and try to work the same shifts. Customers are confused on the regular. You can see why.

IMG_2526Friends had always told them that they needed to blog about their lives. One year ago, they finally took the leap.


They didn’t share it at all, though. They were afraid of what other people might think.


It would still be private had they not sent a link to their mom, who shared it on Facebook. “Alright, I guess we have to put it out in public now.” Thanks Mom.


After a few months, it started to take off. Their Instagram grew, more people read the blog, and people even started recognizing them on the street.


They experimented with different styles, photography and writing. They started getting recognized around town and at work.


This girl wanted to take a picture with us at work. That was very humbling because you don’t think people even look at it. It’s really cool to see that people read it and recognize us.


The blog has opened many doors for the duo. Companies have been reaching out with promotions and sending free swag. They were even invited to Charleston Fashion Week.


Their advice for people starting out? Just be yourself.

It’s always hard to figure out what you want to do with your life. We still don’t know but realized that we want to keep going in this direction, working with people and companies that mean something to us and do something for the world.


You never know who you’re going to inspire.

Be sure to check out their blog and follow on Instagram @kcdoubletake

Photos by the amazing, Charleston-based photographer Daniel Dinwiddie. Check out his portfolio here.  

Huge thanks also to Anna Tehan and the Hotel Grand Bohemian in Charleston.

This week only: Get 25% all orders on Curtsy with code KCDOUBLETAKE.

Need some inspiration? Here are Carol and Kenzie’s Curtsy picks



Fashionista of the Week

All That Sparkles: Meet The 17 Year Old That Created A Jewelry Empire


17 Years Old And Running A Successful Jewelry Business? It’s About Time Y’all Met Sara Caroline.

Let’s start from the beginning. Last fall, Sara “Sar Car” Caroline, Junior at Oxford High School, needed a necklace to wear to picture day…



She found one at a boutique in Downtown Oxford but was in huge trouble when it broke the next day, leaving her again without a piece to wear on picture day.


That’s when she had the idea that would change the course of her life forever.


She took a suede cord lying around the house and restrung the necklace the night before picture day.

Processed with VSCOcam with c1 preset

This was when the choker came back on the scene. She had the idea to combine the necklace with a choker, using a really long cord.


The next day at school, her friends were OBSESSED.


Her friends started bringing her their broken necklaces, and she’d string those up too.


Everyone at school kept asking her about them, so she started making them as gifts.


But it wasn’t long before her parents had enough. The operation was taking over, they said, she needed to start selling them.


She made an Instagram, @jewelsbysarcar, and everyone started tagging their friends.


She made a website where she’d release 15-20 pieces at a time, and they’d sell out in 10 minutes.

That was so exciting to watch them sell out so fast. I would put them up on Sunday afternoon and they’d be gone in 10 minutes. ‘People must like them!’ [Laughing]


Then Archer + Arrow, a boutique in Corinth, MS, invited Sara Caroline to sell her line in her store. Her first batch sold out in a week.


The same thing happened in Oxford when she started selling at Therapy, and at their location in Memphis.


Every time I’m making something, I think about the person that will end up wearing it, and the memories they’re going to make while wearing it.


The Instagram blew up and started to expand to different towns. People started tying them in different ways, like wearing the choker necklace as a bracelet.


She put out a request for people to apply to be Ambassadors, and 370 people applied. It took her a week to sort through them, even with the help of close friends.


Now Jewels by SarCar is sold all over the South, and her most sales come from Tulsa, Oklahoma, very far from Oxford, where it all started.


This week only: Get 25% all orders on Nimble with code SARCAR25.

Need some inspiration? Here are Sara Caroline’s Nimble picks



You can find Sara Caroline’s collection at her website and follow her on Instagram.