By Ezekiel Ramirez
SAN MARCOS- For San Martians looking for hidden gems, Vanilla Bean Market, a new student-run, vintage market, opened up this past summer. David Ixtabalan and Cooper Philpot, co-creators of Vanilla Bean, hosted their second market last Saturday and already have their next event in the works.
Ixtabalan and Philpot are both Texas State students who had the vision to bring a market to the community of San Marcos, but their journey into vintage selling started way before college.
They each had previous experience selling clothes from their high school days. Philpot decided to flip some items that were found at local thrift shops and make a profit, while Ixtabalan created a side hustle that included purchasing old clothes and selling them to friends and family for a fair price.
“We met freshman year,” Philpot said. “I was taking pictures of some clothes in a parking lot and he drove up in his stupid Mustang and he was like, ‘yo, you sell clothes?’ and I was like ‘yep’, and yeah, we just hit off from there.”
“We wanted to open something here for the students and for local vendors so that they don’t have to drive an hour to San Antonio or an hour to Austin or whatever,” Philpot said. “We really just wanted to develop an outlet that wasn’t too expensive.”
The market was open to the public from 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. on Aug. 26 and included 25 different vendors selling vintage items for residents and students to purchase.
“We always knew we wanted to start a market, but we never actually did anything about it,” Ixtabalan said. “And then one day, we’re just like, ‘okay, I think we should do something about what we say we’re going to do’.”
According to Philpot, the market was a success, with more doors of opportunity opening for future events.
“We thought the market did very well,” Philpot said. “We had close to 1000 people come out and we are almost sold out of spots for the next market.”
Many goals were made going into the market on Saturday, but for Philpot and Ixatabalan, the focus was the happiness of the customers and vendors.
“The only goal is for every vendor to be happy,” Philpot said. “Obviously we have money goals for us what to make, but I mean that’s just beside the point like I want everyone to be happy.”
Vanilla Bean focuses mostly on clothing items but is always open to sell other items that will fit the theme of the market.
“If we find like a little cool accessory or like a bag or like a little food tray of vintage food trailers and toys sometimes, we pick them up and sell them, but our main thing is clothes,” Ixtabalan said.
Vanilla Bean used to stay in one category of clothes, but as time went on, a wide variety was introduced to content the wants of every customer and for every individual to feel welcomed.
“I think by doing the market, it adds something to the city and helps to make it an all-year-round kind of city,” Ixtabalan said. “Whether you know we have people traveling from Austin and San Antonio, specifically coming to the market, and then checking out what our city really has to offer.”
Vanilla Bean encourages anyone and everyone to check out the market.
“It’s a good opportunity to just try different things and meet new people like a social gathering,” Ixtabalan said.
Local vendors who are searching for a market to sell are highly encouraged to sign up for the next event, with Philpot and Ixtabalan reassuring the intentions are nothing but positive.
“We’re here for them and we’re here to like, you know, provide this floor and this opportunity for them to you know, expand,” Ixtabalan said. “I think we have a very good sense of what a vendor just expects from an event and how we would want to get treated by these event coordinators and just want to make sure everybody knows that we’re here for them.”
The next market is set to take place on Sept. 30 at Kissing Alley 121 E Hopkins St.
To sign up to be a vendor at the next event, click here. Check out their future markets on their Instagram @vanillabean_market.
Written by: Danielle De Lucia