February 17, 2024


Oly x NARTS, Asociation of Resale Professionals


Oly had the pleasure of interviewing Adele Meyer, Executive Director of NARTS, the Association of Resale Professionals. Based in Chicago, NARTS serves as a tangible example of an empowerment tool for fashion resellers, helping the valorization of the resale industry in the United States through community bounds. But how did this organization come into being, and what role does it play in supporting fashion resellers? Join us as we explore the founding story of NARTS. 

What inspired the establishment of NARTS, where did the journey begin?

The journey of NARTS began with a meeting between two passionate individuals in Chicago back in 1984. Renee River, manager of a not-for-profit shop, and Trudy Miller, owner of a for-profit shop, met to discuss the feasibility of forming a resale and thrift shop association. This lunch planted the seed for what would become the world's largest resale trade association. To delve deeper into the establishment story of NARTS, Adele Meyer, NARTS Executive Director, recommends us the following page from their website  : About NARTS | NARTS: The Association of Resale Professionals

From now on, NARTS gathers resale professionals from diverse backgrounds and operates various types of businesses within the resale industry. Adele Meyer explains: "The resale industry store owners or managers greatly vary. Some are family-owned/run businesses. Some are NFP stores run by paid and/or volunteer managers. Some are sole proprietors. Some are experienced resellers, some are just starting out. Some have been in the industry and owned/managed a store for decades while some have recently gone into resale after retiring from or leaving another career” 

What are the key initiatives or programs that NARTS has implemented to empower resellers within the resale market?

NARTS has implemented a range of initiatives and programs aimed at empowering resellers within the resale market. These initiatives include various member benefits designed to support resellers in their business operations - for instance, NARTS fosters a real sense of community among resellers by providing a platform for members to connect, share experiences, and support one another. This sense of community is crucial for resellers' success as it allows them to seek advice, guidance, and encouragement from their peers, ultimately helping them navigate the challenges of the resale market : "Our members are a caring, sharing group of people, always willing to help their peers. Having a community of peers to go to for help, advice, or just someone to listen to you is essential.You can find that info in our Member Benefits."  - Adele Meyer

Many success stories within the resale industry can be attributed to the knowledge and resources provided by NARTS, “because of a change made from something learned at our meeting, in our Facebook Group, or from a newsletter article." says Adele Meyer. Members have reported significant improvements in their businesses as a result of implementing strategies learned through NARTS meetings. 

How does NARTS perceive the evolution of the fashion resale industry?

The fashion resale industry is continuously evolving, with a growing number of individuals engaging in resale selling as either a side gig or a full-time profession. As the industry professionalizes, more resellers are dedicated to continuing their education and improving their business practices, which may lead to a further rise in the number of professionals in the future. Adele Meyer further explained : "Our members become more professional in running their stores because they are dedicated to continuing their resale education. New resale stores are always opening. This is an attractive business to many because they may love fashion or furniture and having a store gives them an outlet to work at something they love."


Emerging from its roots in Chicago, NARTS has evolved into a global influencer in resale education, steadfast in its mission to empower resellers, cultivate community, and shape the trajectory of fashion resale. Through its various initiatives and its strong engagement to empowered fashion resellers NARTS  hope to inspire European organizations to adopt similar initiatives as theirs within the resale market: "We are very excited to let all our resellers know about the work of NARTS and inspire European organizations to do the same.", concludes Adele Meyer. Indeed, NARTS can serve as a great inspiration for European resellers and resale markets, by showcasing the strength and opportunities we can create from a shared passion…secondhand fashion ! 

Save time. Increase your sales.
If you are a professional fashion reseller and looking for a solution to manage your online inventory automatically on all your sales channels, become one of our users!
Try Oly