Bro Bros Closet offers handpicked vintage clothing and items
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Seven years ago, Salvador Salado-Herrera, a high school student at the time, spotted a vintage University of North Carolina hockey jersey at a thrift store. He wasn’t a huge hockey fan, but he bought it because he liked the style and the price — $4 — suited his modest budget.
After returning home, Salvador realized that his new shirt was too big. On a whim, he offered it for sale on Depop, a peer-to-peer social media platform popular among vintage clothing sellers and buyers.
“It sold out immediately, which piqued my curiosity,” he recalls. “I was 17 at the time. Sixty dollars was a lot of money. It was like, ‘Wow, there’s a market for this old sports stuff.’ I talked about it with my brothers and they were on board.
With that, Salvador, now 23 years old; Luis, 29 years old; and Daniel, 20; launched their foray into sibling entrepreneurship – Bro Bros Closet, a purveyor of vintage sportswear, contemporary streetwear and other products.
In the years since (and after breaks to adjust to college and work for Salvador and Luis), the trio have been busy managing their shared passions for fashion and pop culture.
Originally an online business, the company has grown to become a brick-and-mortar business. Since the spring of 2021, it has been operating at the corner of 26e St. and Stevens Avenue – 118 E. 26th St Suite 101 – in the Whittier neighborhood of south Minneapolis. The store is open from 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., Thursday to Sunday.
It’s not far from the now defunct meatpacking plant where their parents, both immigrants from Mexico, met and started the family.
So how do the brothers divide up their duties?
Daniel works full-time as a buyer, scouring thrift stores and estate sales for collectible clothing, rejecting pop culture ephemera, CDs and records. For Salvador and Luis, who both have corporate jobs at electronics retailer Best Buy, Bro Bros is more of a side hustle.
Salvador takes care of the accounts and finances, while Luis takes care of a range of other tasks, including practical aspects such as managing the store’s lease.
The brothers recently sat down with Sahan Journal to talk about their business, the increasingly competitive savings market, and how their parents helped fuel their entrepreneurial instincts.
Want to be an entrepreneur? Hard working parents can be your inspiration.
Luis: “Our parents are hustlers. They’ve always had full-time jobs, but they’ve also had a couple of side gigs.
Salvador: “On the weekends, we would drive with them while they exhibited jewelry or collected payments. My mother also ran the bodega concession business at a factory where she worked. She would load up her coolers before going to work, so we always saw this commotion.
In the vintage clothing business, you need to focus on trends because they change quickly.
Luis: “The retail trade is unstable. Consumer tastes change all the time. Last winter, high waisted mom jeans were popular. Now women want low rise jeans. These changes happen all the time. That’s why we have to be in the community and see what people are wearing. It’s delicate.
“A while ago there was a Felix Trinidad boxing t-shirt that I really wanted to buy. It was like $60. Then Bad Bunny [the famous Puerto Rican rapper] wore it and put it on his Instagram. All of a sudden, this t-shirt has tripled in price. So I’m like, wow, now I really can’t afford it.
Daniel: “I bought a Mosquitohead t-shirt – it had Andy Warhol on it – at Goodwill. Someone from Japan bought it for $700.
Salvador: “The Japanese market influences the American market. They love Americana in Japan, especially denim from the 80s and up. But at present, the YTK era stuff – 2000 to maybe 2006 – is the most popular with our customers. I see a lot of stuff from that era — Ed Hardy, VonDutch.
You’re not just selling products; you are selling your taste.
Salvador: “Our curation helps our clients. We buy things that we would wear ourselves, so it’s very nuanced what we wear. Sports is number one, pop culture – TV shows, Looney Tunes, Disney – is right there.
Luis: “I really like counterfeit stuff. Sometimes. I like it more than the current brand because they make such cool designs.
Daniel: “Sometimes I like a $20 t-shirt better than a $100 t-shirt.”
The savings business has become more competitive.
Daniel: “When I was a freshman in high school, there was probably a store in Minneapolis that did what we do now.”
Luis: “When we started it was much more of a niche business. Now we compete with other stores, but we also compete with Ebay, Depop, and Instagram because anyone can do it. They should try it. But that makes it a little harder to come off.
Salvador: “Supply has definitely become more difficult.”
Luis: “Goodwill is a business. They have economists and financial analysts who understand the dynamics of the economy. They recognize the demand that exists. So that raised the prices. A t-shirt that we could buy a few years ago for three or four dollars now costs maybe 12 dollars. It’s much more competitive. »