Many of the items inside their new store were produced before they were born.
Brothers Jake and Jack VonDielingen have always had an affinity for vintage clothing and sneakers.
Now, they are sharing that love with others.
On Monday, their new store, RETROBROS812, opened in the Vehslage Building in downtown Seymour.
“With the vintage clothes, I just think it’s neat that you can find a diamond in the rough literally anywhere,” Jake, 21, said, noting he has gone to thrift stores, flea markets and special events to find unique products in bulk.
“I just like the way it fits better,” he said of vintage T-shirts and jackets. “I like the way old clothes look a lot better. They don’t do the same prints now that they used to do.”
Jack, 15, and his brother first were drawn to vintage sneakers.
“I’ve always liked basketball shoes, and I used to like crazy colors,” Jack said. “I just started collecting them, and then I started selling them freshman year (of high school).”
The brothers sold their finds on Instagram, and since Jake was the only one who could drive, he would wholesale items to other vendors.
“Then I started going to events with vendors,” Jake said. “One event we went to, there was a big booth with a bunch of vintage jackets, and I bought a bunch of those, and I’ve been collecting those and thrifting ever since.”
Jake said Seymour is in a central location to drive to places with thrift stores, flea markets and vendor events, including Bloomington, Bedford, Columbus, Louisville and Indianapolis.
“Mainly, we just try to load up on T-shirts from the ’90s, stuff like the Looney Tunes era, different college gear from the ’90s and ’80s,” Jake said.
Jack said they also find items they like on Instagram and buy them. Some are brand new, while others are gently used.
Jake said it’s neat to see the difference in how clothes were made years ago compared to now.
While the shirts in their store are more than 20 years old, they look brand new, he said.
“The material now seems to be a lot thinner and look lighter. T-shirts fit a little baggier if they are older if you get the right size,” Jake said. “Honestly, for me, it’s just the graphics that they put on the T-shirts. The graphics don’t look the same anymore. If it’s 20, 30 years old, they’ve got usually a great fade to it, which makes it look a little better.”
Deciding to open a store was the next logical step for the brothers.
“It’s convenient because my other job, I also work for my dad, we do steel detailing, so I get to do sales out of here for that,” Jake said. “I’ve always said that it would be cool to just have an environment where I can do both at one time all day long, so that has really been the goal. Then we found this place, rent was great and we thought it was in a great spot, so we just said, ‘Why not?'”
Their mother, Beth, was their first customer, and they wound up with about a dozen people stopping by on opening day.
“(Monday) was way better than I expected it to be. We made rent,” Jake said, smiling.
“I was super excited,” Jack said. “I was just worried about getting enough stuff.”
Beyond the products in the two rooms, Jake said they have more in storage bins to sell.
“The goal is to make it look a little more full just everywhere around the store in the next couple months,” he said.
The brothers also are selling their items on Instagram and Depop, and they are working on getting on eBay and Facebook.
“We’ve already met a few new people that do a little bit of the same thing as us, so I like meeting them and seeing what they’ve got. We’ve got a few people bringing in some new stuff for us to look at, maybe buy. It’s always fun,” Jack said.
“It’s nice to network,” Jake said. “It will be a lot easier to do that with a store because before, we were just selling on Instagram.”
The store is open from noon to 8 p.m. weekdays, and the brothers hope to operate seven days a week at some point.
“I just hope to make it more of a part of the culture that kids are wearing in Seymour,” Jake said of the vintage wear. “It’s really the trend everywhere in big cities. People are wearing vintage clothes instead of brand-name stuff, and I’d just like to see that we have a little bit of a vintage environment around here.”
At a glance
RETROBROS812 is in Suite 20 in the Vehslage Building, 300 N. Chestnut St., Seymour.
The store is open from noon to 8 p.m. weekdays.
Browse and purchase items online through Instagram (instagram.com/retro.bros.812) and Depop (depop.com/retrobros812).