By Hayden Choate
When Springfield College women’s soccer sophomore defender Madison Daly possesses the ball on the field, she hears her teammates calling for her to pass it to them. Only instead of saying, Madison or Madi, they are yelling two letters.
A nickname that is for the abbreviation for Connecticut, but not because that is her home state.
Daly has a popular second-hand clothing business that she runs on Instagram called “CT Thrifts” which has earned her the nickname.
“We all just kind of picked up on calling her ‘CT’ this season, especially because there are a lot of Madison’s on our team ironically,” her teammate Karly Suppicich said. “Personally, I can’t remember the last time I called her Madi or Madison because yelling ‘CT’ down the hall or in the middle of a game just feels right.”
The nickname goes back to high school when Daly first began her thrift account. Initially, she was nervous about her friends finding out about it at first.
“I remember being so nervous when I first started it. I didn’t even tell my best friend because I was embarrassed I was going to fail,” Daly said. “In my hometown, everyone calls me that, I could be in the grocery store and I’d hear someone be like ‘CT!” and it’s funny because I just did it because I live in Connecticut, and I always forget it literally means Connecticut.”
Daly began her business when she was a junior in high school. Combining a passionate hobby that she has been doing since she was young with an idea she had one day.
“When I was younger I used to go thrifting with my grandma all the time and it was just something fun I always did with her,” Daly said. “No one was as into it as I was and I would just go thrifting by myself and one day I remember I found this Champion hoodie and I thought I wouldn’t wear this but somebody else would.”
After having the idea of selling the clothes she would find at different thrift stores, it took a little trial and error at first.
“I kind of just started brainstorming ideas, I started selling on Poshmark but it wasn’t what I wanted it to be. I kind of wanted to make my own thing so I started an Instagram account,” Daly said.
Rather than having to look through a whole website and deal with a cart, shoppers can buy things by simply commenting on one of Daly’s posts– a process that people loved from the start.
“It was wicked successful because it was so new and everyone was like, ‘Oh this is so cool, I’ve never seen something like this right on Instagram,’ so honestly I never had to build it up,” Daly said.
Suppicich, who is not only her teammate and friend but is also a frequent customer, learned about the account before she knew Daly when she was in high school as well.
“All my friends were buying stuff from her and I was like I just have to check this out,” Suppicich said. “Sometimes I probably buy too much and I can’t look at her page for a week to save myself some money.”
The way it works is Daly will set one day where she goes to about five or six different stores. She then takes pictures of the items and makes them into drafts so she can post them when she does a ‘drop’ of all the clothes she bought.
“So today I’ll go thrifting, then when I get back I’ll take all of my pictures, go to practice then after practice I’ll make all my drafts so I’ll filter them and put a caption. I save them so then later after dinner I post them, then bidding goes on for 24 hours but you can BIN (buy it now) an item for full price at anytime,” Daly said.
Balancing school, being a full-time athlete, and running her own business is tough, but Daly makes sure that she sticks to a routine to be successful.
“I think setting one day to kind of do it, and my class schedule I made sure I didn’t have a lot with soccer, to begin with even though school comes first. I made sure I’d have time to do that too because it’s like my job, I don’t have a job that is my job. One day to thrift and post a drop then another day to ship all the orders out.”
“Somehow she always manages to find time for it and keep the quality of what she puts on her page just as high as well,” Suppicich said.
Being able to keep the balance became very tough– one day Daly had a game, then did a drop of clothes she was selling.
A few weeks ago, Daly put out a post that CT thrifts would be doing a clothing drop at 10 PM, but before her team played Babson in a 7 PM night game. The game went into double-overtime with Daly playing the entire 110 minutes and the game-ending around 9:30 giving her almost 30 minutes to do her drop.
“I remember I looked at the time, and all my teammates are into it and they all buy stuff and we were like, “Oh my god, it’s 9:30 I have a drop at 10:00,’” Daly said.
“I took all my pictures but I hadn’t made any drafts and that takes me like an hour so we were all sitting in the locker room, they were all helping me and they’re like, ‘What do you want this to be priced at?’”
Even though her business is young, like other businesses, she had to adapt to challenges from the COVID-19 pandemic. Even though online shopping was reaching new heights, not being able to go to thrift stores was a big problem.
“My biggest thing was thrift stores were closed and I didn’t know what I was going to do so I started buying [clothes] from people on Zeepop and Poshmark or Facebook Marketplace… they will sell lots of clothes, [and] I’ll buy 50 hoodies for 50 bucks,” Daly said.
“For months until the thrift stores opened, I was basically online everyday on my computer ordering things. I’d have the mailman come with a wheelbarrow of packages, but I think I gained a lot of followers from that because people were so bored and a lot of people found my account.”
A business major with a marketing minor, Daly hopes she can not only grow CT Thrifts but also is working on starting her own clothing brand.
“My dream is to have my own clothing brand which I’ve kind of started. I have another account called Preloved club,” Daly said.
“I’ll thrift like blank stuff and I’ve been saving huge Ikea bags in my basements with blank stuff so that I can start putting my logo. It’s like a heart that says preloved club than on the back its in big letters I’m writing ‘shop sustainably’.”
Daly was also nervous about others finding out about her account when she first got to Springfield, but now is happy that she sees people wearing her stuff all over campus.
“I was kind of nervous. I remember a girl on my soccer team bidded on something and I didn’t really talk. I was so quiet last year and I was like, ‘I don’t want them to know it’s me,’” Daly said. “I remember being so insecure about it, and now I’m proud of how it turned out. I’ll be in Cheney and I’ll see someone wearing something and I’ll be like, ‘Oh my god, that’s from me!’”
To buy clothes from Daly, her thrift Instagram is @ctthriftss.
Photo: Hayden Choate/The Student