Sitting on the jouch — a jean-upholstered couch — in the back of the store, Kiley Wells and Colleen Andrae reminisced about the early days of Electric Goodies.
They met as co-workers at Goodwill back in 2020. Sharing a passion for vintage fashion and eclectic goods, the pair hit it off. Within the year, they decided to start their own thrifting venture.
For a year, they built up their repertoire at local markets, meeting other Colorado vintage sellers and vendors. With help from those connections, they successfully opened their storefront, complete with a repurposed denim couch, an array of disco balls and checkboard floors.
The co-owners of Electric Goodies have found success in being weird — not just in their store, but on TikTok.
“We love outcasts — we are outcasts ourselves, and we want people to come in here and be like, ‘This is so weird,’” Andrae said. “That’s the goal, to be like, ‘This is so weird that I want to come back because it makes me feel safe and comfortable.’”
The colorful vintage store opened its doors in October, selling a variety of second-hand goods from local vendors. It was one of those vendors who helped them go viral on the video-sharing app.
The Nov. 4 video, which has received nearly 80,00 views, showcases the store and Wells using the trending sound “You got to come up here and get one of these — it’s the chicken salad,” to encourage people to check out the shop.
“People were coming and being like, ‘Y’all are the chicken salad girls.’ And we were just like, no way that video went viral,” Andrae said.
Andrae and Wells had been using promotional tools on Facebook and Instagram to advertise their store to target audiences, which can get costly. While it was working, Wells said, the two found that with TikTok, the app does most of the targeting for you — for free.
“You pick a sound. You put words on the screen, and it’ll target whoever you’re talking to,” Wells said. “Eventually, we were just like, one viral video and I feel like we’re set.”
So, Wells convinced Andrae to harness TikTok as a tool to reach potential customers — honing in on Gen Z.
“Kylie’s definitely the one that pushed us to do the TikToks, which is funny, because I have a background in video editing, and I cringe at doing them,” Andrae said. “It’s hard to put yourself out there.”
With a little push, the duo found that cringe sells.
“It just took us being like joking around and acting a fool – it’s what other people relate to, because that’s how other people are in their daily lives, too,” Andrae said.
Using trending sounds and a fun sense of humor, the store has received more than 40,000 likes and has garnered nearly 3,300 followers on TikTok. In fact, most of the store’s customers say they discovered it from the popular app.
“I think a huge chunk of our success is genuinely from TikTok,” Wells said. “Like 90% of our customers were coming in from TikTok.”
Their most viral video at the moment has 112,000 views and 23,000 likes. The clip features Wells using the trending sound “It would be so awesome, it would be so cool,” with text overlayed reading, “If the tatted stoner girls, gays and theys of Colorado Springs found our vintage shop.”
The video is a welcome call for everyone, no matter who they are, to come on in — a message core to the store’s purpose.
“It’s really important to us that everybody who comes in the store feels represented, whether like, you’re a plus- sized person, you’re a queer person, you’re a person of color — we want you to feel represented and safe here,” Andrae said.
The pair are proud of the store for pushing boundaries and being weird, Andrae said, which has helped them tap into a unique market in Colorado Springs.
“We are always pushing the boundaries,” Andrae said, referencing the pile of Playboys up front and nudies in the bathroom. “I just don’t think people are used to seeing things like that, and I think there’s a market.”
But while Electric Goodies has found success in being weird, they have found not everyone is accepting. The weekend before Christmas, the store’s pride flag was ripped from the window — just weeks after the Club Q shooting, where a gunman opened fire at an LGBTQ club and killed five people.
“There’s not a lot of queer spaces in Colorado Springs,” Andrae said. “It’s really great that we’ve been able to curate a space that’s beautiful. And a lot of the people in the comments on Tik Tok are like, ‘I can’t believe something like is in the Springs.’”
The pair know it can be scary to be loud and proud, but do it anyway, in the hopes of finding others who can relate.
“We’re not saying that we’re doing something that’s totally different and unique from everyone,” Andrae said. “It’s scary to be loud and proud about the things in our identity that are making people want to come out to us. That’s cool.”