SPC alumni talk shop about starting a business

People shopping in World Thrift Store.

Creating a business from the ground up isn’t a simple feat, but Alessandro Cocozza and Nicholas Fanning have managed to do just that. Owners of World Thrift and St. Petersburg College alumni, Cocozza and Fanning have both worked incredibly hard to provide a unique thrifting experience for their customers.

Founded in 2017, World Thrift was an idea originating from Cocozza’s own backroom in his home. Alessandro would buy clothes and post his merchandise on the social media app Snapchat, where a small network turned into a fan club, eventually becoming a business. Aside from thrifting, Cocozza designs and creates custom pieces for clients using thrifted materials.

From this point, World Thrift began hosting and putting on their own events. Fashion shows, markets, and photo shoots were just some examples of how they marketed their brand. As the years went by, they wanted to become more established in the area, as opposed to only having an online and pop-up presence. In September 2019, World Thrift opened its very own storefront on Seminole Boulevard in St. Petersburg. Since then, its customer base has become steadier and they are open five days a week, from Thursday to Monday.

To stay in touch with the latest thrift trends, Nick and Alessandro travel all over the country, visiting thrift shops and getting inspiration for themselves.

When asking Cocozza why he has such a passion for his business his answer was easy. Growing up, he never was able to have a unique sense of style because he wore clothes that were passed down from his older brother. Since starting World Thrift, his personal closet has grown, many of the items in it priceless to him.

But Cocozza and Fanning will tell you, the obstacles of owning a business can be taxing. To keep their business thriving, knowing that they have a specific demographic makes social media and their online presence more important than ever. Their typical shopper ranges from about 14-23, but they get some walk-ins that see their shop or clothes while passing by the main road.

Fanning and Cocozza love that they can provide their shoppers with a unique thrifting experience. Bringing the world of thrift to Tampa Bay, their name is quite fitting for the occasion.

To learn more about World Thrift, visit myworldthrift.com.

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