SAN ANTONIO — The Salvation Army Family Store & Donation Center on South Flores is where you can find Lauren Gonzalez sifting through the isles.
“If I had my way, I would be at the thrift store every other day," Socorro Society Owner Lauren Gonzalez said.
She's looking for that perfect piece of clothing
“I’ve always dressed myself from the thrift store because I am able to express my unique style with what is on the rack, instead of going through one thing that 20,000 people might have," Gonzalez said.
And when she finds what she didn’t know she was looking for, it’s back to her home studio.
By adding a little flare with a needle and some thread, she’s expressing herself through vintage garments.
“It was mostly little words or little pizza slices on the pockets,” Gonzalez said.
Her inspiration started in 2015 when she found herself staring at some leftover denim.
"I had a lot of up-cycled embroidery floss I found at the thrift store. I YouTubed how to chain stitch and that’s how I got started,” Gonzalez said.
Her quirky add-ons have taken off on social media.
“I just saw a really unique way to bring life to things that were discarded, second hand or used," said Gonzalez.
While she has her mother to thank for her craftiness, it’s her maternal grandmother who she named the business after — Socorro Society.
“I think she is really proud. She grew up in Monterrey in the '40s," Gonzalez said. "They had a sense of style back then that they don’t have now.”
Gonzalez's earthy style is inspired by the west Texas desert, but this young entrepreneur is taking "upcycling" to a whole new level.
“I went through an entire bag of scraps at one point," Gonzalez said. "I can’t just dump it because it kind of just defeats the purpose of putting it back in the landfill."
So she uses a pair of scissors and scraps to bring a vision to life.
“I figured out I could make scrunchies out of scraps," Gonzalez said.
She transforms vintage pieces into trendy scrunchies and wire headbands, giving these vintages scraps a new life.
“I just like doing a little good, having my little business and being able to cut up however many clothes and put them back out there," Gonzalez said.