When Hud, Kevin, Eli, Gray and Bryan opened the retail store Stripes, they had no idea of their impact on the community.
“Opening day was like a movie. We knew the opening day would be big, but we weren’t expecting it to be as big as it was. At one point, someone told us there were over 100 people, and the line was wrapped around to Study Hall,” Hud said.
The vintage store, located on N. Clemson Ave, had a similar response on Black Friday, showcasing the need for a store like Stripes within the community.
“We knew we were doing the right thing when we saw how many people were waiting to get into our store for both events. In Clemson, there are not that many clothing stores, especially for men,” Kevin said. “So we wanted to create another space for people that allows them to express themselves.”
Stripes mainly sells vintage clothes and sneakers from the ’70s through the ’90s but will occasionally sell more hype retail, like Nike Dunk or Nike Air Force sneakers. Unique pieces for the store are not always easy to find – the owners often find themselves traveling as far as Georgia or Tennessee to bring their customers high quality clothing. Additionally, customers can bring their own vintage pieces to the storefront to sell to the five owners.
When we talked to Hud, Kevin and Eli, they prided themselves in embracing their own individual style, a reason why they work so hard to find unique clothing for their community.
“A lot of people dress the same in Clemson, and we want to promote being your own person,” said Eli. “Our main goal is to create a culture in our community where everyone is embraced for their uniqueness.”
Stripes does this by occasionally offering free merchandise on a first-come, first-serve basis to their Instagram followers by hanging up a T-shirt or putting a pair of sneakers outside.
“Clemson has really embraced our community, and we want to give back,” Kevin said. “We wouldn’t be here without the community, and we want people to know we really appreciate their support.”
As for what’s next for Stripes, the opportunity is endless. While there isn’t a set five-year plan, all of the men agreed that they wanted to continue to grow into the biggest and best vintage store they can and continue to grow the community around Clemson.
To follow along with Stripes, follow them on Instagram (@stripesvtg) and head into the store to check out their offerings.