We had the good fortune of connecting with April Taylor and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi April, do you have a budget? How do you make lifestyle and spending decisions?
Yes, I have a budget that is balanced to the penny. My approach to my personal finances is to not spend more than I make and to save what’s extra. I believe in using cash for everything rather than borrowing and owing, so spending decisions get made when I’m making my budget. While having discipline in sticking to my budget was the foundation of my success in getting out of debt, I still give myself leeway by accounting for the money I spend on leisure, so I can enjoy the fruits of my labor. Emergencies get budgeted for as well, so even unexpected expenses are accounted for. Keeping a budget and using cash keeps spending decisions less complicated, and gives me the freedom to dictate the lifestyle I want to live without drowning in debt.
Alright, so let’s move onto what keeps you busy professionally?
I create an experience! It’s not just thrifting, it’s not just a photoshoot. I show you how to find find hidden gems on the racks through in-store or virtual teachings, then I let you showcase what you’ve found through a photoshoot. If it’s just a photoshoot you want, we can do that. If you’re wanting to only learn how to thrift for hidden gems, we can do that too.
I discovered a love for thrifting in 2010. I moved to Atlanta with very little money and needed clothing for an internship. My mother was the one who introduced me to the idea that I didn’t need much money to create a wardrobe. After my first thrifting trip with her, I was hooked. It took me a couple of years to learn that there’s more to it that just walking into a thrift store and picking out an outfit. Many times I came home with unnoticed broken zippers and clothing damaged beyond repair before I created my very own technique to making sure I found the nicer, well mended items.
After I mastered my thrifting technique, I discovered that shopping in thrift stores allowed me to express myself through clothing that shopping at a regular department store could never. I didn’t feel so caged in with having to wear what was trending that season. If I wanted to wear a skirt from the 70’s and a top from the early 2000’s, I could. Not to mention, all of this in an affordable way. It was then I realized how important what I wore was tied to self-esteem and mood. When I’m feeling down, I notice how sometimes putting on my favorite dress can shift my mood. I have a saying, “When you look good, you feel good, and that shouldn’t cost a lot to accomplish”. Discovering this is why I incorporated photography.
Combining photography with thrifting has allowed me to capture those feel good moments for others. I’ve shown women how to recreate their wardrobe on a dime, then capture it in whatever way they feel. I’ve captured women in thrifted wedding dresses to young ladies in in thrifted prom gowns. The choice is really up to my client.
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
If a best friend were coming to Atlanta for a week, I would take them on a week long adventure to the many areas of the city. We would start our mornings off with breakfast at places like Thumbs Up in Edgewood, Breakfast at Barney’s downtown, or a nice rooftop restaurant. Then we have to hike one of the many trails along the Chattahoochee, or to the top of Kennesaw or Stone Mountain. For shopping, of course we’d have to hit up one of my favorite thrift stores or two. We would visit some locally owned boutiques like The Behive and Kalua Rea Studios. For more good eats, we would visit Tassillis Raw Kitchen, Slim & Huskey’s, Slutty Vegan, and Desta Ethiopian Kitchen. Oh and people watching, we must go to Little 5 Points, Piedmont Park for an outdoor lunch, rent bikes to ride along the beltline, and explore one of the many local farmer’s markets. Our evenings and nights would look something like a drive-in movie at Starlite, good drinks and music at Two Urban Licks, and sunset dinners at 9 Mile Station in Ponce City Market.Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I’d like to dedicate my shoutout to my mother. She’s been my biggest cheerleader in life and has always believed in me and given me the encouragement I’ve needed. My mother taught me how to turn my dreams into reality and that if I want it, I can accomplish it.
Andrew Edwards Photography