Wildcat Vintage, a student-run clothing store, opens its doors
Walking down Sheridan Road, pedestrians can count on a constant sight of student after student decked out in Northwestern attire.
Students have several options for purchasing new merchandise, including the Norris University Center bookstore or the Campus Gear store on Sherman Avenue. But there are few places where they can buy authentic and old wares.
Now the all-new Wildcat Vintage fills that niche. The student-run store is an online one-stop-shop for authentic NU clothing, and it’s rapidly gaining traction, with the store’s first delivery on September 1 selling out within an hour.
Weinberg sophomore Varoon Enjeti founded the startup over the summer before coming to college in the fall as a transfer student. Wildcat Vintage’s Instagram page has become particularly popular, gaining nearly 450 followers since July. Enjeti said his vision for the account is to integrate posts showcasing new pieces he sells alongside historic imagery capturing NU’s sporting victories and important cultural moments.
“This brand is not for just one person,” Enjeti said. “I don’t want people to feel like if they’re not into the sport they can’t buy the product. We have articles about history and cultural things around campus. That’s for anyone and everyone.
Enjeti’s inventory includes a wide selection of oversized sweatshirts — a trend he called “linear” across student styles — priced between $45 and $60.
He also prioritizes sourcing high-quality second-hand pieces and always checks labels on clothes before deciding to sell them for authenticity. Any part that is not in perfect condition is accompanied on the site by a disclaimer mentioning its defects.
Weinberg sophomore Jonathan Mazor bought a piece from the first drop of Enjeti and said he appreciated the fair price for the quality item he received.
“The sweater I received mentioned how the inside lost a lot of lint,” Mazor said. “They’re very outspoken about it and they’re very committed to transparency, which is good to know.”
Mazor said he found Wildcat Vintage on a Reddit page while researching NU before arriving as a transfer student. Adept at buying second-hand, he signed up for notifications for the September 1 drop.
At 7 p.m. that day, Mazor said he found a room he liked and reserved it. Wildcat Vintage then contacted him via email for payment and shipping options. Mazor was lucky: he was one of the privileged few to have reserved a room before the sold-out sale.
“I’m not surprised it sold out – today’s generation is super into vintage,” Mazor said. “There is this perception that the clothes are of better quality and more beautiful. People can achieve style versatility with vintage clothing in general.
For its next delivery on October 6, Enjeti said it expects many customers to choose the on-campus delivery option. It still plans to list the same number of coins – around four to seven – despite the high demand that led to the sale of the first drop.
Enjeti said he plans to stick with his monthly dip strategy, but wants to expand the company’s visibility by partnering with campus sports organizations like Northwestern Wildside.
“I try to create a unique and different collection every month,” he said. “That way people know I’m not just putting 40 items on my website and hoping a few sell. I try to think of this from the perspective of another Northwestern student.
Molly Smith, Enjeti’s girlfriend and sophomore at the University of California, Los Angeles, helped him get the idea off the ground.
Enjeti has always loved entrepreneurship, especially since he designed the startup’s website himself, she said.
“He’s had success with startups in the past,” Smith said. “People always say it’s not about the business, it’s about the entrepreneur, and for that reason I think it will be really successful.”
Although Enjeti runs Wildcat Vintage on his own, he said he uses the startup as a way to get to know his new community better.
“As a transfer looking for my own niche on this campus, I want Wildcat Vintage to be a way for anyone to feel welcome in the Wildcat community,” he said.
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