At 541 Vintage, we excel in cultivating a curated collection of high-end and unique vintage apparel items that are provided in-store and online. We seek to provide clothing that isn’t found in the fast fashion industry, allowing individuals to show off their own distinct styles. This helps our customers keep a few extra dollars in their bank accounts, and reduce clothing waste, all while looking incredible.
While Eugene has a couple of shopping options in the resale arena, consumers often complain that the resale stores are filled with an abundance of low-quality and over-priced options that are time-consuming to wade through.
A curated collection of vintage items including clothing, accessories, shoes, belts, bags, and records. Our aim is to stock cool, bizarre, and truly one-of-a-kind items offered at sensible prices with superior customer service that brings consistent customers.
The primary market for the 541 Vintage is young adults interested in purchasing well-made, cost-effective, and unique clothing. Common attributes include:
- An interest in fashion, collecting, and design.
- A desire to stand out amongst others.
- Interest in hunting for a vintage item for a bargain.
- A desire to support resale and sustainable fashion.
The secondary target market is shoppers that love to hunt for a treasure or a bargain.
Competitors & Differentiation
- Several chain thrift stores (St Vincent de Paul, Buffalo Exchange, Plato’s Closet)
- A few locally owned vintage clothing stores (Eugene Jeans, N.E.S.T.)
- High-end vintage furniture/clothing thrift store (Oak Street Vintage)
- Online-Web vintage clothing thrift shops (threadUP, Mercari, Etsy, eBay)
With each passing year, clothing waste increases. Simultaneously, people find themselves purchasing clothing that is:
- Seen on other people
- Made of lesser quality and constructed cheaply
- Often contributes to poor working conditions for marginalized communities across the globe.
Thankfully, buying recycled items means that cheaply made fast-fashion pieces are kept out of the landfill while you stand out from the crowd in authentic vintage clothes. 541 offers a wide selection of carefully chosen items both in-store and online. Vintage has history, vintage exudes character, and vintage means quality.
The target leasing space on Willamette and East 7th costs $14.61 SF/YR for 700 square feet. Rent is calculated to be $9,900 per year, $825 per month, not including utilities or janitorial services. $5,000 will go into remodeling retail space. The initial inventory cost will be $15,000. Marketing cost for the launch of the business amounts to about $2,000. Beginning operational costs of 1 year, including bills, employee salary, etc., amounts to $25,000.
The total initial funding needed is $56,900.
- Retail location
- Google Ads
- Google Ads
- Facebook Ads
Ongoing expenses will include utilities, employee salary, taxes, advertising, and insurance. Maintaining a consistent flowing inventory will be a significant cost to keep the store running effectively. Another consistent cost will include advertising expenses that cover paid ads, website maintenance, and affiliate/influencer contracts.
- 2022: $65,000
- 2023: $74,000
- 2024: $87,000
- 2022: $56,900
- 2023: $60,000
- 2024: $70,000
- 2022: $8,100
- 2023: $14,000
- 2024: $17,000
- Obtain necessary permits and licenses — August 1, 2022
- Finish renovations — August 21, 2022
- Install racks and shelves for merchandise — August 25, 2022
- Add initial store inventory – August 27, 2022
- Take professional photos of the space — August 31, 2022
- Create a website, social media, and google/yelp accounts — September 1, 2022
- Conduct interviews and make initial employee hire – September 5, 2022
- Open for business — September 15, 2022
- Google/Yelp review forecast — November 1, 2022
- Expand relationship tree for vintage clothes suppliers — December 15, 2022
- Add pop-up stand at local farmer’s market — March 15, 2023
Team and Key Roles
Establishes the business and is in charge of overseeing the hiring of employees, managing inventory, and long-term business prospects of the store. Identifies avenues to establish new vendors/suppliers for vintage clothes, maintain a constant flow of inventory, and supervise daily activities of the store.
Assists owner in purchasing vintage clothes for instore consignment and identifying items that will sell. Operating a POS system to collect payment and maintaining a clean sales floor. Stocking and tracking new inventory as well as creating displays/tags for merchandise.
Partnerships & Resources
The goal of these partnerships is to create exposure to the immediate target market and increase 541 Vintage’s stake in the local vintage retail market. These resources will allow for continued expansion of inventory that will keep 541 Vintage a premier and unique collection of vintage items.
- Donation-based stores: Using Goodwill and Saint Vinnies as a resource to find quality vintage clothing to then resell.
- Estate Sales: Develop relationships with local estate sale companies.
- Student Organizations: Identify organizations that have a strong desire for fashion and/or sustainability and target them via email and flyers.
- University of Oregon Students: Give discounted rates to students with proof of ID.
- Creation of 541 Vintage Fashion Show: Allows for local fashion designers/artists to showcase their own works while giving access to 541 Vintage’s inventory.