Debbie Norrell Creates A Look Not a Label


And just like that, Debbie Norrell became an entrepreneur.

It all happened during the pandemic. Now that Norrell had retired from her day job and a part-time job, she scheduled her dream fashion show for August 2020. The theme of the show was “A Look Not A Label.” Models had been selected, and a lot of clothing had been purchased for the event. The show was set to feature thrifted items, allowing the audience to purchase them at reduced prices.

However, in March 2020, the pandemic hit, and by August, the hotel that was supposed to host the show was no longer available for large gatherings. But a funny thing happened while scrolling through Facebook; Norrell discovered ladies selling clothing on Facebook through two large thrifting groups: Thrifting Atlanta and Thrifting Divas.

Thrifted Jacket
Thrifted, repurposed and restyled gown.
Thrifted J. Crew skirt

Our publisher, Ola Jackson, is a regular customer of A Look Not A Label.

She watched in awe as these women successfully sold items over the internet. “I can do that,” thought Norrell. As an award-winning speaker and veteran fashion commentator, this should be a breeze. The hard part was booking what is called a “live” sale; it seemed like live sales were in great demand.

She found out how it worked, and by November 2020, she hosted her first “Facebook live sale.” She gave her business a name, “A Look Not A Label,” the same name of the now-defunct fashion show but always a motto she used when people asked her about what she was wearing and where she got it. Often, her answer would be, “I got it from a thrift store or a consignment store, and the label doesn’t matter; what matters is how it looks on me.”

The live sales are fast-paced and fun. Ladies from all across the country tune in to buy the items. A Look Not A Label will celebrate its third year in business in November 2023 with a live show featuring models, special pricing, and giveaways.

Recently, A Look Not A Label created a website. You can shop 24 hours a day at and follow her on Facebook on her page “A Look Not A Label.”

Cover photo by: Dayna Delgado:

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