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How Reddit Helped Me Open a Retail Store

I used to make fun of Reddit. I thought it was like a more “grown up” 4chan–and maybe it kind of is. But once you learn how to use it for your benefit it can be an endless wealth of knowledge and information.

I have been a Reddit user for about 3 years now, and the only reason that I joined in the first place was because I found /r/rawdenim. It’s a complete area of the internet where all anyone talks about is blue jeans. Over and over. Day after day. There are 23,000 people with accounts on a website where they talk about blue jeans, which means there are way more that just look around. I was hooked pretty quickly.

The moment I found the subreddit for raw denim and was excited about it was the moment that I realized how big of a nerd I really am. I always feel like I need to validate why I’m a nerd about jeans, because I always see the people at Audubon Park on Sundays who are LARPing (at a busy intersection), and I always want to ask them “Why this?”. But I don’t need to anymore; I get it. I truly understand being a nerd about something that doesn’t make any sense to other people.

Soon after finding /r/rawdenim I realized there was a subreddit for fashion deals/sales, and then I found that there was a place to get male fashion advice. I learned about fit, fabric, styles, and a ton more that I didn’t even know I didn’t know. It was interesting to use that time to learn about what I liked and definitely what I didn’t like. I would post different jean fades, or comment and help other people find a pair of jeans that works for them. It was in this little nerd world that I started to figure out that this is something that I enjoyed doing. I was reading AMAs with Cabby from The Classroom in Houston and other brand and store owners, and from then on it just stayed in the back of my head: “It would be cool to open a store…”

It was always just a cool idea to me, something that seemed fun. I don’t have clothing retail experience. I don’t have business experience–I’ve never taken a business class in my life. But I sure as hell know how to use the internet. And I lucked into a marketing job three years ago.

After around 2 years I had grown out of a majority of the fashion subreddits and I started to just focus on what I liked and develop what I wear. I started to find staples in my wardrobe, whether it was my Stantons, or my Ewing Dry Goods belt, or even the Birkenstock Boston, and I didn’t care about what was ‘in’ or ‘out’ or ‘trendy.’ I wanted timeless pieces that lasted.

Even now I go back to /r/rawdenim to take a peek in and see new fades, new products, new lines, new community members asking the age-old questions (How do you wash them…?), and I still feel a little giddy over cotton that is cut into pants.

But for me, it’s really something that runs deeper. It’s the place I go to tell a story. It’s the story of my first pair of Rogue Territory Stanton’s, it’s the story of the winter months when I get the Dark Stanton’s out and fall on ice in them while I’m walking down Main St, and it’s the story I see on other people’s jeans as they walk in Oxn or post their pictures on the internet.

The story is what makes me love this fabric and the brands that have the same passion I do.