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The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

The Student News Site of Texas A&M University - College Station

The Battalion

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Downtown Bryan takes on Thriftsgiving

Photo by Karis Olson

Customers thrift for clothes at Thriftsgiving in Downtown Bryan on Sunday, Nov. 12, 2023. All proceeds will go towards the Boys & Girls Clubs of Brazos Valley.

Once is happenstance. Twice is tradition.

Gloomy weather and drops of rain paired with curated vintage vendors, food trucks and live music became a tradition as AggieSuits held its second annual Thriftsgiving. 

AggieSuits collaborated with Ninthmarket for Thriftsgiving, held on Sunday, Nov. 12 from 1-8 p.m. in Downtown Bryan, to kick off the season of warm clothes and giving. Proceeds went toward the Boys and Girls Club, a youth organization based in Bryan. 

Electronic systems engineering technology senior and philanthropy director of AggieSuits Antonio Gonzales said he noticed vintage pop-ups starting to become popular after going to markets hosted by up-and-coming Ninthmarket last year. 

“I had the idea and we had a month to get it done last year,” Gonzales said. “There were three solo artists, seven vendors. Last year it was in Aggie Park. It was pouring and freezing cold. We still had about 300 people come out, and we were able to donate a pretty sizable amount.”

The exposure and eyes on the event have doubled for this year’s posts, and it’s more upscale than Thriftsgiving was last year, Gonzales said. 

“This year we have a band from Austin and 40-plus vendors,” Gonzales said. “We found a big way to raise money for the Boys and Girls Club and bring some awareness. It’s a creative way to do some fundraising while also engaging with the community.”

This year, Thriftsgiving had Austin-based indie band West 22nd, as well as Dempsey, which fits the bill of what college students resonate with, Gonzales said. He said all proceeds from the sales made on concert tickets go toward helping children at the Boys and Girls Club. 

“The kids are amazing, the staff [is] amazing,” Gonzales said. “Getting to contribute to giving these kids the best opportunities is a great thing. Think about you as a kid. When I was kid I didn’t have a whole lot. I wanted to play little league baseball, soccer, football. My parents would have me involved in as much as possible. Sports are expensive. These kids at the Boys and Girls Club get the chance to have fun, to have their childhood.”

Society, ethics and law junior and owner of Ninthmarket Christopher Mascardo said he started Ninthmarket in April of 2022 after realizing that the local vintage scene was underdeveloped. 

“Over time, we developed a community that’s become this large,” Mascardo said. “I don’t know what direction we plan on going, but I’m pretty grateful for what we have so far.”

After hosting markets and interacting with businesses, Mascardo said he realized he didn’t want to be in the retail business but the community business instead. 

“If you look around Downtown Bryan, you see 40-plus vendors, you see people talking and enjoying each other’s company, you got the [Aggie]Suits members just hanging out,” Mascardo said. “I find that more enjoyable. It’s not as profitable as focusing on vintage sales, but I think it’s more meaningful.”

Owner of the shop SamSaysHi and English senior Samantha Steely is the oldest of three sisters she routinely thrifts with. She started her shop two years ago and found that working events such as Thriftsgiving allows her to expand her reach and clientele, meet new people and have fun beyond the online forum of Depop vending that she started off with, Steely said.

“At first, I was only selling women’s clothing, but now I also do necklaces and jewelry,” Steely said. “Half of the jewelry here I made, half of it I sourced. It’s a fuel for my creativity. This weekend is my time to shine, to be independent. People even come from out of town. The girl next to me is from Austin, they come from all over. It’s a big family, and people love to get together.”

Blue Dream Apparel owner Amber Hardwell said she was inspired to set up a booth at Thriftsgiving, just her third market ever after thrifting for years. She realized it was something that she has a knack for. Her shop attracts people who appreciate funky, weird, mismatched styles and textures and use fashion to express themselves, Hardwell said. 

“Not only does [thrifting] help with sustainability and making sure that we are very conscious about our waste and saving things from going to the landfill, but it’s also such a great opportunity to connect with the community and small businesses,” Hardwell said.

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