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The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

The Student News Site of Texas State University

The University Star

TXST students host recurring thrift market in downtown SMTX

Kobe Arriaga
Event goers at the Vanilla Bean Market browse the multitude of showcases on display, Saturday, Jan. 20, 2024, outside Hays County Historic Courthouse.

Two juniors have created and arranged Vanilla Bean Market, a recurring local thrift market in downtown San Marcos. David Ixtabalan and Cooper Philpot were motivated by the goal of creating a more accessible option for college students who want to sell or buy clothing without traveling outside of town.

“The original idea was to make a market here for San Marcos and for the college kids because we’ve been to markets all over San Antonio and Austin and everything, but we had to drive that far for the markets,” Philpot said. “We knew vendors that lived here that we wanted to put something on for the residents of the city and the college kids, so they don’t have to drive so far.”

Since August 2023, Ixtabalan and Philpot have hosted the market five times in Kissing Alley. Through social media, ads and networking with local sellers they tripled the participants of vendors from their first five markets. On Jan. 20, Vanilla Bean Market had 65 vendors and has since relocated to the courthouse lawn.

“We used to have a location in Kissing Alley, which was about 20 to 25 vendors,” Ixtabalan said. “So almost tripling the amount of vendors was definitely a big change and a lot of pressure. But thankfully, all our vendors are super nice, considerate and they know it’s our first time doing something this big.”

Ixtabalan and Philpot started collaborating their freshman year, selling different clothing items. Philpot believes that vintage apparel is popular right now among college students, and being in a college town, he wanted to make buying and selling vintage clothing more accessible.

“When we got here as freshmen, we had trouble finding outlets to sell our stuff and we had to drive 30 to 45 minutes to either San Antonio or Austin,” Ixtabalan said. “Even then, the prices were really high. So eventually we’re like, ‘Hey, you know what, let’s try and start something here for us and for local vendors,’ cause we knew a bunch of people who were also doing the same thing as us. So I [thought] let’s just make something in [the vendors] backyard.”

The market on Jan. 20 took three months of planning. There were around 10 people from Houston, San Antonio, Dallas and Austin. Vendor Zozo Huvan came from out of state.

Huval of Pickled Okra Aesthetics traveled from Lafayette, Louisiana to sell at the market on Jan. 20. Huval specializes in 1950s, 60s and 70s vintage and western wear and heard about Vanilla Bean Market through an ad on Instagram. They said their selection is different from the style in their town which is predominantly street wear clothing. They said they choose to acquire clothes strictly through a method of thrifting.

“I know a lot of people will buy bulk online and stuff, but I’m not about that,” Huval said. “I like to go in and at thrift stores and find stuff. That’s where the locals donate so there’s a lot more history and culture that goes into the sourcing aspect.”

Gina Sanguineti heard about the event through Instagram and made their debut as vendor at the market on Jan. 20. Sanguineti’s shop Retro Revibe, features loud colors, patterns and retro statement pieces. Their collection comes from thrift stores and estate sales local to San Antonio and from over the country from their and their family’s travels. They normally sell in Austin.

Daniel Kenika of Kenika’s Kloset heard of the event through word of mouth from other friends who sell clothes. The San Antonio local said he does most of his buying online or through relationships with other sellers.

“My target audience I definitely cater to is street wear, vintage Y2K, primarily a main focus on streetwear,” Kenika said.

Ixtabalan said he and Philpot realized, over the course of being in San Marcos for three years, the pattern of students leaving town during the summer break and returning in the fall. Since students are a large target audience, they decided to time their markets with this in mind.

“Over the last three years that we’ve been here, San Marcos has really turned into our home,” Ixtabalan said. “We want to make something that brings people into our city and shows them what we have to offer.”

The next Vanilla Bean Market is from noon to 5 p.m. on March 16 at the courthouse grounds.

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