Moxie Design’s Annual Thrift Store Challenge

One of my favorite shoots every year is ALWAYS the Thrift Store Challenge. I have been a lover of all things thrifting since I was a little girl. I remember going to garage sales with my mom, my Grandma and my Aunt Thelma in search of that perfect treasure.  A few years ago, I merged my love of thrift stores with an annual shoot with our current model team and the Thrift Store Challenge was born.  It shakes down like this – all of our models are eligible to compete.  They can spend up to $20 on their look (not including shoes) but every piece of clothing has to come from a thrift store.  This past year, we had eleven of our fifteen models choose to participate, which was by far, our largest turnout yet.  It’s always hard to scout the perfect location because you need to have a space that offers a ton of different background options, because even when doing mini shoots, I hate when you can tell that all of the photos were taken at the same place.  Then, we shoot each model for 10-15 minutes in back to back sessions and post our favorite three photos on social media.  For the next couple of days, the votes pour in and we tally them up at the end of the contest and the model with the most votes becomes the Moxie cover model for the upcoming year.  This year, there were nearly 6,000 votes cast and Ms. Bella won the Thrift Store Challenge.  I had to share her cover below- it’s so gorgeous!  Morgan came in at a very close second, so she became the Class of 2022 pricing guide cover model (which is also featured below).

I love how each year there are a certain number of models who choose to upcycle their thrift store finds (check out the cow pattern painted pockets on Emma’s jeans, Haley’s entire look was made from a dress if I remember correctly and the lace that Morgan added to her pants to pull her entire look together blew me away).  I love how some of our models choose to go with a super editorial vibe – Reese scored big with using a longboard as a prop, Bella rocked the heck out of her 70’s inspired outfit, Nick came in third place with his epically cool suit/boardshorts look and Faith looked amazing in her head to toe white outfit with amazing accessories.  Did you notice the fashion value in Madeline’s skirt and shoe selection? I am still dying over those shoes, girl!   Then there are the models who score the most gorgeous pieces that they look like they stepped out of the front of a Department store display. I LOVED Esther’s yellow dress, Maelyn’s adorable dress and T combo and Tiara paired a super cute vintage feel dress with a timeless denim jacket.

The thrift store challenge is done after all of our model’s senior sessions, so that definitely allows each of our seniors taking part in it to feel super comfortable with Sam and I, giving them a little more freedom in their poses and expressions. I LOVE working for a full year with our model teams and the Thrift Store Challenge is just the cherry on top of an already awesome sundae.  Thanks to everyone who participated this year!  Missing you all!!



Moxie Design is an award winning boutique photography studio that specializes in providing a boutique high school senior photography experience in the Quad Cities and surrounding areas including but not limited to Moline &  Rock Island, Illinois, Davenport & Bettendorf, Iowa.  Karen Bishop, owner of Moxie Design, has been recognized on both a national and international level as one of the top up and coming high school senior photographers in the industry.  Moxie Design will offer you not only images that represent the awesome person that you are, but an experience that you will remember for years to come. 

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