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By | August 27, 2021

Cameron Thompson wants his store to appeal to shoppers seeking the thrill of the hunt.

Thompson, who opened Old Habits Vintage, a vintage clothing store in Gilbert last month, believes “Thrifting is like treasure hunting.”

“It’s always a hunt and no matter what you find you get excited. It often leads you to things you weren’t even looking for.”

Thompson spent five years collecting clothes for his store at 1661 S. Val Vista Drive, which is open noon to 8 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.

Thompson, 21, grew up with a Goodwill nearby, which sparked his passion for thrifting.

“Whenever I went shopping for clothes, I had a budget of how much I could spend,” he recalls. “One day, I went to Goodwill and got 10 times the amount of stuff as I would going to a department store. You could get so much, so it became a hobby for me.”

The small business owner continues to comb through rack after rack of discarded clothing looking for hidden treasures.

“Realistically, just about anyone can come in here and find something,” says Thompson, who frequently restocks Old Habits with new discoveries.

Before opening his store, Thompson sold clothing out of his home to friends, then at markets such as Ivory House, Rose Bowl and Melrose Trading Post.

“From there, sites like Depop took off, so I sold clothes online,” he says. “It got tiring to take pictures, write a description and ship it. My buddies had opened up shops and pushed me toward it, so once I had the idea in my head I just ran with it and it’s been great.”

Once he got the keys, Thompson and a small team of friends worked on Old Habits day and night for a month straight then took some time for themselves before opening.

Now, the store sees 50 to 100 people a day walk through its doors, Thompson says.

With a retro, groovy atmosphere and wide selection of vintage jeans, graphic tees, jackets and more, it’s no wonder that the store has racked up nearly 3,000 Instagram followers and is most popular among teenagers and twenty-somethings.

Besides word of mouth, Thompson exclusively relies on social media, primarily TikTok and Instagram, to promote Old Habits.