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Ditch Self-Doubt and Love Your Content Again

I began focusing on content creation as I navigated a career shift from brand marketing in fashion and consumer brands to a focus on sustainability. During that time, I was pursuing my Master's in Sustainability Management and had grown more aware of my personal consumption habits, particularly regarding clothing. I set goals for myself to buy less and rarely buy anything new. Instead, I committed to sourcing pre-loved items, borrowing, or renting whenever possible. I had always been drawn towards discovering vintage gems which only grew as I challenged myself to refrain from buying anything "new to me."

Why I Start Creating

I started Something Borrowed, Never New as a separate instagram and substack newsletter while I was immersed in wedding planning and trying to find everything vintage or secondhand. With numerous wedding-related occasions like engagement parties, bridal showers, bachelorette parties, welcome events, after-party dress and more, the need for multiple outfits became apparent. The same year I was getting married, so were eight of my other friends. I started to do the girl math and considering not just my own wedding but those of my other friends getting married, the sheer volume of one-time-use garments became glaringly unsustainable. Recognizing the environmental impact, I turned to social media platforms to advocate for borrowing and shopping secondhand as alternatives to perpetuating the cycle of single-use clothing.

It was heartening to witness friends embrace the idea of swapping or shopping secondhand, particularly in the context of our wedding. However, I can't help but feel a twinge of regret for not creating more content around this considering that most of my "followers" were comprised supportive friends who were already on board. Now, as I see a surge in content centered on vintage wedding wear ideas, I can't help but wonder if I had posted more reels or written more newsletters, would I be further in my content creation journey? Yet, it's importmentl for me to remind myself that the initial content I produced did succeed in inspiring people to reconsider their purchasing habits, hopefully extending beyond just weddings and that was the whole reason I started. As I've transitioned away from wedding-centric content, Something Borrowed, Never New has naturally evolved. Over the past year, I've been contemplating its potential direction. Honestly, nothing seemed to gain traction, which I attribute to my lack of clear personal direction for these channels.

What's My Niche

I shifted my focus towards my personal account, centering my content on how I discover and style vintage and pre-loved fashion. My aim is to motivate others to reflect on their daily consumption habits while also offering assistance to those seeking secondhand items—I love sourcing pieces for others, so don't hesitate to reach out and ask! Sometimes my videos perform well, while other times the metrics are lackluster. I find myself feeling self-conscious when posting photos of myself. Instead of being confident, I often find myself asking friends, "is this cute, or is it giving 'elder millennial'?" I get in the way of  my own progress, and if something doesn't perform well, it only compounds my discouragement. However, whenever I start to doubt myself, I remind myself of the stories I've heard from people who have reached out to share how they made better purchasing decisions or refrained from buying altogether because of something I shared. I love the messages I get from people showing me a thrift store find they found instead of buying new or asking me to help them source a piece for a special occasion or a gift.

My Recent Projects

Recently, an exciting opportunity emerged as a result of my content creation centered around sharing vintage items. Hyer Goods, a cute and sustainable bag brand, recently launched a store in West Village, NYC, and approached me to curate vintage clothing and home goods for their shop. As a result, I've decided to pivot the focus of Something Borrowed, Never New towards the vintage store, with the newsletter serving as a complement. This is the type of opportunity I was looking for to provide a re-focus. It's incredibly fulfilling to see something tangible come to life from the content I've produced. I'm genuinely thrilled to bring this project to fruition and bridge the gap between my digital presence and the real world.


Naturally, I aspire to create content that resonates and performs well—who wouldn't? However, what I need to remind myself of is my genuine passion for vintage finds and promoting circular solutions especially within the fashion industry. The essence of my work lies in inspiring others, rather than merely chasing numbers that remain invisible to everyone else. As long as I continue to provide inspiration and encourage others to embrace sustainable practices, that should be how I measure success.

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Hilliary Salamanca

Hilliary is a sustainability consultant and content creator. She loves sourcing, sharing, and wearing vintage and pre-loved fashion. She writes a Substack, Something Borrowed, Never New that just expanded to a vintage shop too! You can follow her on instagram to see outfits, secondhand shopping tips, and the occasional life as a two-dog mom to rescue girls. You can read her Substack (filled with vintage finds!) here.

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Ditch Self-Doubt and Love Your Content Again
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