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Meet Sae-Vheon and Tae-Vheon Alcorn of The Vintage Hawks

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sae-Vheon and Tae-Vheon Alcorn.

Sae-Vheon and Tae-Vheon, we appreciate you taking the time to share your story with us today. Where does your story begin?
We’re both first-generation college students and rising junior student-athletes at the University of Kansas majoring in finance. Growing up, we loved to run. Many of our friends would argue that the only athletic thing we can do is run fast, which is a joke that many of our close friends enjoy sharing. Our love for track almost feels like it’s in our blood. Our mother ran track growing up and is also an immigrant from Mandeville, Jamaica. Furthermore, our great-great-uncle, Arthur Wint, was a Jamaica sprinter and the first Jamaican to win an Olympic gold medal.

Growing up, we’ve been blessed to have parents and role models who taught us the importance of having a great work ethic and giving back, which has remained important to us as we pursue our aspirations. As mentioned earlier, our mother is an immigrant from Jamaica. Our father was from Kansas City, Missouri, and owned two businesses after graduating high school. Seeing how hard our parents worked motivated us to work hard to achieve our goals and aspirations. In addition, growing up as twins, our mom taught us to take care of each other and always “mirror” each other, which was a way for her to have us make sure we both were overall ready for the day.

When our father unexpectedly passed away in 2010, this type of pain was unbearable at the time. However, we have been able to use our tribulations and challenges as motivation to succeed throughout the years.

Our entrepreneurial journey began at the age of 12. We both accumulated 2 million followers on our own and leveraged our followers to follow our accounts on other social media platforms. By doing this, we have monetized our platforms and partnered with large companies such as Badoo and JORD Wood Watches. This entrepreneurial experience has been an excellent foundation for us as we start our professional careers and new business ventures.

Can you talk to us a bit about the challenges and lessons you’ve learned along the way. Looking back would you say it’s been easy or smooth in retrospect?
Wow! Our journey has not been a smooth road. We started our business, The Vintage Hawks, amidst a global pandemic that brought several challenges, such as difficulty generating sales and building an online presence. However, we are thankful that we started our business when we did because it has grown to be bigger than what we would have ever expected, and we are beyond grateful for everyone who has taken the time to support us.

Thanks for sharing that. So, maybe next you can tell us a bit more about your business?
The Vintage Hawks is a vintage and retro clothing reselling business with items primarily focusing on the University of Kansas, and of course, the greatest NFL team, the Kansas City Chiefs. We both had internships planned for summer 2020, and unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, our summer internships were canceled – leaving us with a free summer schedule. However, we wanted to take advantage of our time, so we began to think about our passions. We’re Jayhawks and have always been naturally attracted towards vintage, stylish, and trendy clothing. We spent most of our high school years selling clothing merchandise online, and reflecting on that, we came up with the idea of The Vintage Hawks and began to source vintage KU clothes.

What differentiates us from other vintage reselling businesses is our purpose and background. We love being Jayhawks and have spent the past two years emerging ourselves within several KU campus organizations and the Men’s Track & Field Team. Being student-athletes has truthfully taught us many transferable skills that we use within The Vintage Hawks – we put our best effort into everything we are involved in. KU’s legacy and tradition are something that we always take pride in, which leads us to the purpose of The Vintage Hawks. Our main purpose for The Vintage Hawks is to source KU clothes from the 70s, 80s, 90s, and early 2000s and place them back into the hands of KU students, alumni, and those who support the university. We both view this experience as unifying and also a way to highlight the importance of how vintage clothing is sustainable.

We are most proud of our ability to use our platform to raise money for local charities in Kansas City and Lawrence. We want readers to know that as a student-owned small business, we value and prioritize our customer’s needs, which is why we strive to offer high-quality vintage apparel. Furthermore, we want our customers to feel like they are a part of a family: The KU Family.

Any big plans?
Great question! In simple terms, we plan to continue growing and giving back to local communities. Something that we recently launched and look forward to building is called “Vintage Hawks Athlete,” where we partner with KU Student-Athletes to help promote their name, image, and likeness (NIL). We’ve recognized that many student-athletes lack a platform to share their journey, and we hope that we can promote them through our platform.

Moving forward into this upcoming school year, we’re excited to be working with KU student-led organizations and raising money for charity events.

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