Senior Trey Humphrey got into thrifting his junior year of high school as a way to reconcile his “mall rat” behaviors.
“I got tired of wasting my money on clothes, so I started thrifting,” Humphrey said. “Then I heard about people basically thrifting to make money, and the rest is history.”
As an incoming college freshman, Humphrey knew he wanted to make something on his own and not have to work for someone else. He created an Instagram account to sell vintage clothing and marketed through word of mouth.
Now riding a vintage clothing wave of popularity, Humphrey’s two companies — Hoosier A1 Vintage and Gonzo Hydraulica — sell vintage Indiana gear and reimagined clothes with new art. All the while, Humphrey has amassed a following of over 11,000.
“Every single day of my freshman year I told people about it,” Humphrey said. “There was not a day when I was in Bloomington when I didn’t tell someone about Hoosier A1 Vintage. I stopped when people started telling me that they already knew about it.”
Humphrey took a bus to Indianapolis each weekend to source clothing to bring back to Bloomington. He would post to his small Instagram following telling them to come to his dorm to buy the clothes.
Related: [IU seniors’ HotDrop app chosen for Techstars 13-week acceleration program]
This dorm is where Humphrey met his good friend, senior Sam Crawford.
“I’d see him outside selling clothes, and they’d just be in a big pile,” Crawford said.
While Humphrey didn’t make any money his freshman year, he said this time became the building blocks of his company. His business went from digging through piles of vintage clothing to creating his own showroom with a more legitimate shopping experience.
To shop the showroom, people book an appointment by messaging @hoosiera1vintage on Instagram. Humphrey also sells clothes at pop-up shops at Soul Juice in downtown Bloomington.
Humprey believes vintage clothing is a superior product to everything else on the market. He sells a range of items, usually vintage Indiana T-shirts and crewnecks, with his most desirable products are vintage IU jackets and outerwear. However, those pieces are often harder to come by.
Related: [Crumble Coffee and Bakery opens a third Bloomington location]
Some Indiana basketball players, including Trey Galloway, Trayce Jackson-Davis and Race Thompson, have posted in their Hoosier A1 Vintage clothing or taken part in a promotion.
This past summer, Humphrey and Crawford began a new clothing brand together called Gonzo Hydraulica.
“We teased with making a clothing brand for a little while because I’ve always been making art and he’s always been selling clothes,” Crawford said. “Last summer, we basically decided we were going to do it.”
Gonzo Hydraulica takes blank vintage clothing and prints new art onto them. Humphrey sources the clothes from his thrifting connections. Meanwhile, Crawford, who is a comprehensive design major, creates the art for the pieces.
“The overarching theme in all of Gonzo's artwork has been expressions of discontent with the powers that be, and that they don't really have our best interests in mind it feels like, especially as a young person,” Crawford said.
Unlike Hoosier A1 Vintage, Gonzo Hydraulica items are sold exclusively at community events in Bloomington.