One South Boston lady brings her antiquing journey to TikTok, 60 seconds at a time
After that second TikTok, her comment section was full of suggestions to check out her followers’ favorite thrift and antique stores in New England. She received so many that she made the trip to TikTok to visit as many local stores as possible. By mid-March, her number of followers had grown to 12,100, and her videos were getting more than 55,000 likes.
“I’ve grown just showing what I’m going to put in my apartment, and now I travel to all of these antique shops that my followers want me to explore,” explained Biscoe.
Prior to the pandemic, Biscoe spent her days traveling around the country as a campus recruiter for Dell Technologies. She said that working from home took a toll and started posting on TikTok as a hobby. “If I do antiques in New England and bring my followers, I’ll be just as high as I was before the pandemic,” Biscoe said. “My friends wanted brunch and I go to antique stores in Rhode Island. I do it with pleasure. “
Antiques weren’t a new experience for Biscoe, who said she is often the youngest person in any antique store she comes into. “I hadn’t done it in five or six years, but I grew up shopping for antiques with my mom,” she explained. “We went to church on Sundays and then there were a lot of antique shops in Wrentham that we went to later. It just stayed with me. “
Her popular videos also promote the business of the stores she highlights. After posting a video of her exploring Canal Street Antique Mall in Lawrence, a staff member reached out to her in the comments section and said the store had its highest sales day in 20 years based on her video. “The business impact has been the most rewarding part,” said Biscoe. “That’s why I will continue to do it after furnishing my apartment.”
Family and friends of the owners of Upstairs Downstairs Antiques on Beacon Hill, Fab Finds Foxboro in Foxborough and Wrentham Country Store in Wrentham have commented on Biscoe for their promotion and kind words about the stores. TikTok user @ demb427 commented on her January 24 video: “My family owns the country store! Many thanks for the support [two red heart emojis]. ”
Biscoe has compiled a list of antique and thrift stores across New England that has grown to 193 listings and is available on their TikTok (@biscbro). She shares her list with her followers because while some developers are using their platform on TikTok to make money, Biscoe wants the benefit to go to stores.
“I had a couple of deals reaching out to me wanting to pay me, but I turned them down,” said Biscoe. “I want to promote small businesses, especially those that you never knew were in your city.”
After posting a video with The Barn at 17 Antiques, recently relocated from Somerville to Woburn, some residents flocked to her comments saying they had no idea the store even existed and thanked her for it had drawn attention to such an amazing gem in their shop town. Commenting on Biscoe’s January 28 video with the store, a resident, @curvedthreads at TikTok, said, “I lived 0.5 miles from this place for 20 years and had no idea omg existed.”
While TikTok’s user base is mostly Gen Z, Biscoe says she has a good mix of younger and older followers looking to her antiquing adventures. She believes her videos are bringing the younger generation into businesses they would never have stepped into before. This has got some antique store regulars to complain in Biscoe’s comment section about the increased pedestrian traffic it has generated in their favorite stores. A comment from user @cannedseltzer on her January 10th video was: “Great, now this place is being overrun [eye roll emoji]. ”
Biscoe, himself an antique dealer, disagrees with such commentators. “I’m sorry you have to deal with a couple of 20-year-olds at your favorite antique shop,” explains Briscoe. “I’m helping to raise money so that these businesses can last longer for all of us.”
Biscoe believes Gen Z members have been thrifty and antiquing because of its positive impact on the environment: “Obviously, it’s not very good for Mother Earth to go to IKEA and all these stores to buy quick, one-time furniture used and then thrown away. ”
She even met a small group of her Gen Z followers when she visited one store on her list, the Rhode Island Antiques Mall in Pawtucket.
“A group of kids stared at me and whispered, ‘This is the girl from TikTok. ‘It was very weird and cool,’ said Biscoe. “My only little celebrity moment of all of this, and I’m glad they supported small businesses out here because of my TikToks.”
Tiffany Coelho is a Boston-based writer and a PhD student in publishing and writing at Emerson College.