Old is the new new. At least that’s the case when in comes to vintage. From clothes, to shoes, to oddities and everything in between, the vintage culture is continuously growing around the world — and Dallas isn’t far behind. Which is why events like the DFW Vintage Swap Meet are becoming so prominent.
“DFW Vintage Swap Meet is a transcendent buy, sell, trade vintage experience unifying enthusiasts-connoisseurs from all over the world to share their passion for timeless vintage pieces and create an organic network amongst business-savvy entrepreneurs,” founder Jason Won explained.
Though in his 20s, Won, who works in the medical field by day, is anything but a newbie when it comes to the vintage culture. And it’s safe to say his upbringing is the reason.
“I was born in South Korea,” Won says. “My parents came here when I was like 3 years old. We didn’t have a lot. We went to a lot of bazaars and flea markets, because that’s a place where you don’t have to speak English or have an education to make money. I grew up in the bazaars. Big-T Bazaar, Bruton Bazaar, Community Mart. After school I would go there and be influenced by a whole different world.”
Won was subconsciously fed the culture, which led to the creation of the Swap Meet. But it’s his knack for knowing what guests want — or more so attracting different types of guests — that make the shows successful.
“There’s so many ways to be a guest. You can be the guest that’s just the consumer, just buying stuff for the enjoyment of looking fresh for the next season, or the next week, or the next day," he says. "Vendors love that because they can charge them retail price and they’re used to paying that because they’re consumers. Some guests come to bulk buy and stock up on inventory for their own stores or businesses or side hustles. And some consumers are so knowledgeable they’ll buy stuff and know it’s worth way more. Those are the connoisseurs-enthusiasts.”
Another important thing Won wanted to enforce was making sure the DFW Vintage Swap Meet was vendor-friendly.
“Our first couple of shows people were nervous about putting TVs and boom boxes up and making it look like an installation,” Won explained. “But that’s what I was trying to lead them up to. Most of them were used to getting a table, because they’re so used to those sneaker conventions where you just get a 10x10. My show is the other way around. Some of these guys have storefronts, some of them don’t. With this show I’m trying to provide them with their dream store without the pressures of the expenses that come along with running a business.”
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The DFW Vintage Swap Meet, which is Won’s eighth, takes place Saturday-Sunday, Aug. 3-4, from noon to 7 p.m. at Dallas Market Hall.
Won anticipates continued growth for DFW Vintage Swap Meet's future, and for now is focused on making a safe haven for those who have the same passion for fashion.
“We’re inspired enough by the West Coast and the East Coast from people who actually know fashion. No offense to us Texans, but we get influenced by them," Won says. "So I feel like with this show we can now be the front-runners of fashion because we do have World Trade Center, we do have Dallas Market Hall. We have all these fashionistas in DFW, but we don’t have a place for them to hone in on their skills if they’re young entrepreneurs. I feel like the Swap Meet is the perfect place for them to do so — and make money.”