Me and The Throwback Store
The date was February 16th 2018 and I'd just watched the reply of the 76ers and Heat game from the night before on NBA League Pass (Sixers won 😊). I was doing what I always did on my day off work, anything possible other than cleaning to pass the time until my wife got home from work. I had some bits to put on eBay including some of my old Basketball jerseys as I'd stopped playing about 3 years before and had no use for them. I had taken the pictures and put them on, within a couple of hours I'd had offers, messages and even sold a couple for much more than I expected... This was the start, an idea or possibly a brain fart but I had nothing better to do on my day off.
I'd been following @WarmingTheBench on Depop and Instagram and thought following his lead was probably the right way to go about it. I thought of a name (The Vintage NBA Jersey Store), made a logo on Microsoft Paint and I changed my personal Depop picture to my terribly amateur logo. I then opened a new Instagram and added everyone I knew aswell as @WarmingTheBench and a couple of other Basketball related pages. @WarmingTheBench really stood out to me above all the other pages as it was such an authentic look into what being into Basketball was like for me in the 90s.
I started to speak to Sammy who ran @WarmingTheBench and he helped me out massively when I first started getting stock onto my page. Questions about shipping prices, legit checks and Basketball in general, nothing was too much trouble for Sammy. I found it strange at first as realistically i was his rival, the new kid on the block attempting to recreate the same feeling of nostalgia that Sammy had with his page. I soon realised that what I thought I wanted to do with the page and what I actually wanted to do with the page were two completely different things.
I could never match the authenticity or personality of Sammy and @WarmingTheBench. What I could do is get jerseys to the people that will truly love them like I used to. I started small and started to get the odd message here and there from people looking for specific jerseys. I had minimal stock and no money for new stock so sourcing jerseys for people with guaranteed sales was the best way to get new stock on the store. The jerseys I had on my page sat and weren't particularly selling. People I knew started to ask how my "business" was doing I said brilliant, it wasn't... it was slow... very slow... thankless at times but I loved the community and this helped me fall back in love with Basketball so I wasn't about to quit and throw them all on eBay.
I used to have a bet on the Football on a Saturday over time this progressed to a Sunday and then a Tuesday and Wednesday when the Champions League was on. You're probably thinking what's this got to do with anything here but my 1 £5 bet on a Saturday soon progressed to about £300 a month and sometimes more! As I was busy sourcing stock, chatting to people about Basketball and running the page I started to forget to put money on the Football and instead all the money I would lose on the Football was now going towards stock for the store. £300s worth of stock in a month I bought on eBay, Depop and from vintage shops. I had 50 jerseys on my page and I was hooked, a name change, two new logos, a couple a trips down to London to meet the friends I had met through starting the page on Instagram and as they say... The rest is history!
I dont know what's next for The Throwback Store but this business has given me much more than just a financial gain, its given me a sense of community I didn't think we had in the UK Basketball scene, its stopped me from gambelling my salary away but most of all I've gained friends and a love for Basketball that I thought I'd lost.
So I'm thankful to everyone who takes the time to chat to me or read this blog. You the real MVP!