Circular Economy

What’s in a Name?

James Dobbins, eBay News Team

eBay seller Thea Picard believes the name of her store, freekvintage, helped her business succeed.

Thea Picard models a caftan dress inside her rooftop apartment in Athens, Greece. Credit: Thea Picard.

eBay News Team presents a new series, What’s in a Name? in which sellers share how a good eBay store brand may be a defining factor in their success. 

For years, Thea Picard worked odd jobs in the service industry and occasionally sold clothes on eBay to make ends meet in Seattle, Washington. That is until 2018 when she moved to Athens, Greece, where she officially launched her eBay store, freekvintage

Thea’s father comes from a Greek lineage, while her mother is a descendant of French immigrants. ‘Freek’ is a combination of the English words for the two nationalities — a nod toward Thea’s belief that all humans are peculiar in their own way.  

“Freek encompasses everyone, however they are dressed,” she said. “Vintage clothing is unique. People who are into vintage clothing have their own style. On top of the combination of the words ‘French’ and ‘Greek,’ vintage welcomes all people, freaks and weirdos.”

After six months in Athens, Thea moved to Durham, North Carolina, where she met her future husband, Nick. In Durham, she continued to build her eBay store brand one vintage piece at a time. 

The most common question she is asked, aside from the meaning of the store name, is where she finds inventory. It’s a trade secret, Thea joked, citing intense competition among vintage sellers for high quality inventory. Admittedly, like most sellers, she finds clothes at thrift stores, estate sales, and auctions. Thea’s best haul, however, arrived through referral.

In 2019, a friend of Thea’s aunt died. Thea’s aunt connected her niece with the deceased woman's daughter.

“I asked the daughter if she minded if I looked at her mother’s clothes,” Thea recalled. “It was a chance scenario, a dream really. I made an offer and bought someone’s entire lifetime collection.”

The purchase fueled freekvintage’s success. The eBay store became Thea’s full-time job. 

Two years ago, Thea and Nick welcomed their first daughter, Nemi. The new mom, now 34, recently opened a new vintage store, Old Couch Girl, a boutique that sells vintage couches and chairs. But, she said, freekvintage will always have a special place in her creative soul, along with the platform that helped her become a full-time eBay seller of clothing she loves. 

“There’s a lot of shops out there with basic names, and that’s fine,” Thea said. “I definitely wanted something that stands out so people would remember. Freekvintage — you can’t really forget it.”