57: ThriftCon: Bringing the Love of Thrift to ALL!
“There is room for all of us and there is room for more!”
ThriftCon is one of the largest vintage and secondhand markets in the nation. Each year, the trendy shopping event hosts over 1,000 small business vendors in major cities across the U.S. In short, ThriftCon is the craziest thrifting experience out there. Period.
Here’s how it all started: In 2019, founders Mario “Mars” Conte and Ken Meade invited a few dozen fashion enthusiasts together to hang out in a cramped parking lot where they could buy, sell, and trade vintage and secondhand clothing. The first ThriftCon was such a success that the two saw an opportunity to widen the scope of the event’s reach. In just a few short years, it’s become one of the most highly anticipated shopping events to its more than 40,000+ attendees.
Most recently, the company has grown to include Brian Frederick and Olivia Miller (along with a rotating cast of TC staff that works the events). Each of them brings their own unique histories with shopping secondhand and add intuitive perspectives to continue growing the already substantial footprint of the event.
Beyond the clothing, collectibles, and community there is a mission, however: To encourage a more sensible way of life by repurposing perfectly useful — often forgotten — pieces of the past.
SHOW HIGHLIGHTS & TAKEAWAYS:
- How three friends turned a love of thrift into a national business.
- The team’s dream of making ThriftCon a national event.
- The reasons to buy new versus secondhand.
- The worldwide surplus of “stuff.”
- Advice for vendors.
- The popular items that sell well at ThriftCon.
- The “ThriftCon vibe” and how each city differs.
- How to scope out estate sales.