Q&A with Indiana Vintage Market co-organizer Sam Brann

In December of last year, two vintage vendors decided they wanted to see more vintage markets across Indiana. Brandon Douthitt, from Indianapolis, and Sam Brann, from Akron, Ohio, joined forces to create Indiana Vintage Market, a business that organizes and plans vintage markets. 

“Indiana Vintage Market’s mission is to provide a space to connect all vintage enthusiasts in the state of Indiana,” says Brann. 

Now, for the first time, they’re bringing that mission to Fort Wayne. On July 20 at the Grand Wayne Convention Center, over 50 vendors will be set up to sell a variety of vintage goods from noon to 5 p.m. Admission is $5, but those wanting early access or more time to shop can buy Early Bird Admission online for $10.

Input Fort Wayne sat down with Sam Brann of Indiana Vintage Market to learn more about their first event in Fort Wayne and his tips for vintage shopping.

Indiana Vintage Market co-organizers Sam Brann (left) and Brandon Douthitt (right)IFW: How was Indiana Vintage Market created?
SB: Indiana Vintage Market was started in December 2023 by myself and my business partner Brandon Douthitt. Brandon and I have known each other for a few years, mainly just from vending at the same events. I have hosted vintage markets in other states for a few years and Brandon had mentioned to me that he had wanted to do something like this in Indiana, so at the end of the year we decided to start to pursue it.

IFW: What can shoppers expect to find at your first event in Fort Wayne?
SB: Indiana Vintage Market at the Grand Wayne Convention Center will feature over 50 vendors. The event is mostly vintage clothing, but it does include vendors that sell home goods, vinyl records, and other vintage items. 

General Admission from noon to 5 p.m. is $5 and Early Bird Admission is $10. Early Bird gets you into the event one hour early at 11 a.m. and can only be purchased online.

IFW: What inspired you to bring your vintage market to the Summit City?
SB: I’ve always been a fan of Fort Wayne. I vend at events in Chicago and driving from northeast Ohio, it's the halfway point, so I always stop for food here on the way there and back. 

Brandon and I have both vended at smaller events in the city and we’ve always done well. The people of Fort Wayne seem to come out to support the vendors and with the success of our Indianapolis event, we wanted to try to replicate it in Fort Wayne. 

Indiana Vintage Market flyerIFW: What advice would you give to a first-time vintage shopper at your market?
SB: It can be overwhelming coming into an event like this for the first time. There are lots of options and it’s hard to pick a place to start. I would suggest taking a lap around first, figuring out what booths you want to visit, and then coming back and starting to go through the booths that you think you might be able to find some stuff in. If you come it’s hard to not find some stuff that you like and if you look hard enough and bargain a bit you can get some great stuff for great prices. 

IFW: What would you say are the benefits of buying vintage?
SB: For me personally, I shop vintage because most brands that are currently producing clothing are basing their new designs on past garments from other brands. Most of the time buying vintage is cheaper and you’re getting a better quality garment on top of that.

Another benefit of shopping at vintage markets is that all of the vendors are small businesses. For most sellers, this is either their full-time or part-time job to help them provide for themselves. It means a lot more supporting a small business versus any big chain. 

Indiana Vintage Market in Indianapolis.
IFW: Your markets feature a variety of vendors. What are the guidelines for becoming a vendor?

SB: Vendor spots are by application and are subject to availability. We don’t have too many requirements. We only accept vendors that sell some type of vintage, whether it’s clothing, home goods, vinyl, toys, etc, we will consider any type of vintage. 

IFW: Does Indiana have a large vintage scene?
SB: I think it’s growing. Indianapolis I can for sure attest to being a big vintage scene, but all around the state most of the major cities have multiple vintage stores. I think thrifting and vintage have become so popular that now every major city in the country has a scene for it.

Vintage items on displayIFW: Can you tell us about your history with thrifting and vintage markets?SB: I started thrifting and selling vintage in 2018 when I was 17 because I love fashion and clothing, and I had a gut feeling that vintage was going to be the next big thing to hit the mainstream. Towards the end of the pandemic in the summer of 2021, I started setting up at vintage markets almost weekly and started my event, Ohio Vintage Fest, for my capstone project in the entrepreneurship program at Kent State University. Since then I’ve hosted and still am hosting events throughout the state of Ohio, briefly hosted an event in Tennessee, and now am hosting the Indiana Vintage Market events with Brandon. 

IFW: Do you have a favorite vintage find?
SB: The day I was planning on quitting selling vintage, I found a 1991 Nirvana Nevermind Album Promo Shirt for 50 cents. It has the album cover with the baby on the front and all of the songs on the album on the back. 

IFW: What’s next on the calendar for Indiana Vintage Market?
SB: We will be in Lafayette on August 24th at Tippecanoe County Fairgrounds! We are currently working on our fall/winter dates which will be announced once they are all finalized. 

Follow Indiana Vintage Market on Instagram and Facebook for more information and to see future market dates!

Buy tickets for the Indiana Vintage Market at the Grand Wayne Convention Center here.
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Read more articles by Brittany Smith.

Brittany Smith is Input Fort Wayne's Managing Editor. Previously she served as Assistant Editor and participated in the College Input Program. She also volunteers for Northeast Indiana Public Radio.