Spotlight: Young Entrepreneurship with Anthony Vanheyningen

Spotlight%3A+Young+Entrepreneurship+with+Anthony+Vanheyningen

Leanna Willett

These days multiple opportunities await the younger generations. From becoming famous on TikTok to taking a shot on a business opportunity. Inspired by one of our own Wildcats, Anthony Vanhyeningen is entrepreneurship in one of its purest forms. Anthony has a shop called Lanky Boy Vintage. His business consists of thrifted and vintage clothing that he collects and alters himself. 

Anthony told us about the backstory of his business and gave us a glimpse into how he runs it.

What was your inspiration to start LBV? 

“When I was little my parents didn’t have the means to buy me a lot of clothes, so when anything was bought it was meant to last for a long time. [However,] since I grew so quickly I’d often run out of clothes. It got to a point in 9th grade where I wanted to go buy my own, so I began tagging along with my sister whenever she went to the thrift store. The first time going I found a really cool shirt and was so excited about finding it, but when I showed it to my mom she didn’t approve and told me to get rid of it. Instead of throwing it out I placed it on the market. It sold in as little as 15 minutes…which is insanely fast especially since it was my first item. After doing some research it turned out that it was a rare piece that should’ve sold for much more. And it did, I gave the guy a refund and resold the t-shirt. After that I asked my parents for permission to sell clothes, they said yes, and that’s basically how I ended up starting my business. I’ve never worked a standard job, it’s always been like I’ve worked for myself.”

What platforms did you start off on? 

Grailed was the first app that I downloaded, and then a week later I started on Depop. I feel like Grailed is closer to actual fashion than Depop. It really just depends on what type of clothing you want to sell. You aren’t going to make a killing off of Grailed selling Pacsun t-shirts or Champion hoodies. There is a prominent age gap between the user bases on those platforms. They both definitely have their own markets, like Depop is advertised more to people at your High School and Grailed has more for adults or collectors.”

How did you rise up?

“Initially it was difficult, it took me a while to reach actual profitability. For two years, I had to consistently keep a routine before I got to a point where I could consider this as an actual job. It was tedious for a while, but now I’m a verified seller on Depop and I’m able to do what I really love. Now I did have to have a strategy to get my account on the explore page. The main thing that differentiated me was pricing because I took a very mathematical approach. Making sure to keep up with finances and checking for things I could save money on was key. Good customer service is a huge contributor, things like communication, and adding the personality of your ‘brand’ into the packaging will cause buyers to remember you.” 

Do you enjoy it? 

“I love it. Working with clothes is never a chore for me. I spend most of my time around clothes. For example, the way I have my week structured right now is thrifting on Mondays and Tuesdays, taking pictures on Wednesday, posting items on Thursdays and Sundays, and then on Fridays I ship. Saturday is the only day I have off and I still go to estate sales and yard sales as much as possible. So, With that being said there is definitely no way I could do all this without having an actual passion for fashion.”

What thrift stores do you recommend locally?

“I can’t give out exact locations but a Goodwill is not the best place to go. Goodwill is very overpriced, I recommend looking around locally and getting to know people who sell clothes. I guarantee you everybody who sells clothes has somewhere else they go to. Once you have the means to, bulk buying is a great way to get a lot of inventory and is helpful in building connections with sellers in the community.”

Why did you name your store “Lanky Boy Vintage”?

“My sister was the one who called me ‘lanky’ all the time, which is funny because my entire reason to go look for clothes was because I was so tall and couldn’t find anything that fit. The original name was ‘Anthony V’ and I wanted to change it to something more interesting, so [LBV] ended up being the [verdict].”

What advice would you give to other students aspiring to become entrepreneurs? 

“Consistency is the most important thing. You will not get anywhere if you are on and off your game. There have been multiple times where I’ve felt like ‘man, I don’t want to take pictures’ or ‘I don’t want to go do this,’ but I’ve just had to get up and do it anyway. You will meet those challenges, and you’ll get to decide whether to face them or not. Again remember that [in the long-run] the work does pay off. Even if it feels tough for a while. Presentation is really important in making your mark, so back to what I said about packaging, just try to stand out. My last piece of advice would be: Please do not get this kind of job if you don’t love clothes. You won’t do well at a job like this if you aren’t interested in clothing. You’ll literally be around them 24/7. For people who do love clothes, don’t stagnate on your progression just continue to explore creatively, allowing yourself to try new things.”

What are you envisioning for the future? 

“I see Lanky Boy Vintage as the ultimate goal. College is gonna give me a lot more time to do what I want and to expand. I plan to go to Georgia State and it’ll be a much better location for my goals. Giving me opportunities to promote my business and reach new contacts. A lot of the work I’m doing now will pay off plans I have for after High School. [Lastly,] once I leave college I hope to open up my own store.” 

I hope you found this article informative and inspiring. If you are interested in seeing more from Anthony, you can find him @lankyboyvintage on Instagram, Grailed, and Depop