Student Launches Vintage UT Apparel Company

Baker Donahue, left, and Will Reynolds wearing vintage UT shirts.

Baker Donahue, left, and Will Reynolds wearing vintage UT shirts.

What’s old is new again for Franklin, Tennessee, native Baker Donahue, a junior in communication studies at UT. His newly founded company, In With the Old, specializes in finding vintage UT apparel and reselling it on Instagram.

Donahue and his team—Will Reynolds, Marlow Payant, and Eric Rees—call themselves the party planning committee. None of them wanted stuffy titles to put on business cards.

Actually, they don’t have business cards. Or an office. They operate from their mobile devices and keep inventory in their apartments and residence hall.

They regularly scour thrift stores for gently used UT apparel and use a bidding system to sell their unique finds. The team sold their first item in July and have interest from other SEC schools wanting to replicate their business model.

The Instagram page of In With the Old.

The Instagram page of In With the Old.

“I’ve had random people reach out and say they want to work for me,” said Donahue. “Students are starting to recognize me in class and then proceed to tell me they just bid on something. The interest from the students has been awesome.”

In just eight weeks, the company has acquired more than 5,100 followers on Instagram. They also have fun competitions like “Free T-shirt Friday” and “Best Dad Quote” to win free apparel.

“UT has so many business-friendly support systems in place for its students,” said Donahue. “The hardest part is just getting started.”

One of Donahue’s biggest near-term goals is to buy a Jeep Wrangler and convert it into a pop-up shop and DJ booth.

He wants to franchise the company and pass on day-to-day operations to underclassmen at UT but retain ownership.

“If this works out, we’ll grow from there,” he said. “It’s fun to have an idea and run with it.”

CONTACT:

Tyra Haag (865-974-5460, tyra.haag@tennessee.edu)