If you were to take a stroll through downtown Newburgh, sipping away on a Lucid vanilla latte, you would eventually happen upon a rather simplistic white sign that reads ‘The Come Up Shoppe’, accompanied by a swooping black arrow pointing skyward.
Clever branding doubles as both a stylistic introduction to a brand that has become iconic in the Southern Indiana area, as well as a directional -- you literally walk up a flight of cobble stone steps to come up to the shop.
Hip hop, 90’s Rap music and a door that is always open welcomes you into a small venue that sits snugly on the balcony above the stairs. Once inside, you will be met with hangers upon hangers of some of the best vintage you can find. Brands like Marlboro, Polo Ralph Lauren, Tommy Hilfiger and Nike can be pulled from the walls in handfuls -- each of which is hand-picked gems from the owners and co-founders Angelo Butturi and Sam Curtis
The pair of 20-something entrepreneurs and fashion aficionados that many would argue were born in the wrong era, grew up playing hockey and lacrosse in high school, where together they went on to compete collegiately at Hanover College.
As some of the first NCAA Lacrosse players to ever come out of Evansville, Angelo and Sam are both fierce competitors and avid sports fans -- which is made very apparent in the rapid success of The Come Up Shoppe.
I had the opportunity to sit down and talk shoppe with Angelo and Sam over an ice cold cup of joe from none other than Lucid Coffee Bar. It was on the front deck of Newburgh’s favorite coffee spot where I picked the brains of these young hustlers.
“I used to thrift shop with my dad in flea markets. I continued that through high school -- I would check out Goodwill and different thrift shops to look for polo and Tommy; keeping up with trends and styles, but at a cheaper price,” said Sam.
While in college, Sam began to notice people were making some serious money buying and selling vintage through social media sites like Instagram and Facebook. It was around this time he realized there was a serious opportunity to monetize his passion -- for two whole years all he did was buy vintage and build his inventory.
One day, Angelo was buying a few clothes from Sam’s apartment, “I was looking through his inventory and was like ‘Sam, you should have some people come over and buy some of this stuff’. I invited a few of my friends over and they loved everything and bought quite a bit of clothes. Seeing that, I realized the potential. I was the one friend that didn’t think he was crazy. I remember writing him a huge text one night at like 2 a.m. -- I want in, I want to be a part of this. That summer after I graduated, we hit it hard.”
The two of them paused for a moment, almost as if Angelo’s words allowed them to reflect on how far they had come in such a short time. I asked them why it is they are so passionate about their store and what is that fuels them.
Sam took a sip from his iced coffee before answering, “Ultimately, we want to bring a culture to Evansville, spice things up a bit. We have turned a passion of ours into a business and we just want to share it with people. There is so much more to our store than meets the eye. When people ask questions about the history behind some of our merchandise, that is what really gets us excited. Telling people why it is in the store, why it is special and why it is vintage. There is so much that goes into each of the pieces we pick, we hand pick every article of clothing that is in our store. Every piece. Every piece has a reason it is in our shop. All we want is to get that one person to find that one piece they really connect with.”
While Angelo and Sam have seen a ton of success in a very short time with The Come Up Shoppe (open for a little under 8 months), they would be the first ones to tell you that running a business is anything but easy.
Sam works over 30 hours a week waiting tables on nights and weekends; while Angelo spends any extra time he has coaching youngsters in Lacrosse -- all on top of running a full-time store.
Be on the lookout for The Come Up Shoppe, the sky's the limit for these two 90’s loving, Hip hop blaring, thrift store diving hustlers.
I don’t foresee anything standing in their way.