If the cap fits, share it: how a Gungahlin sports fan used lockdown to build a side hustle

Michael Weaver21 July 2020
Tom Falco

American sports clothing fan Tom Falco is bringing fashionable items to Canberra. Photo: Supplied.

Working from home has given many of us the chance to live in our old clothes, but one Canberran has decided to instead use the lockdown to sell clothing.

After returning from the United States, Tom Falco knew there was a market for fashionable clothes from many of the top US sporting teams.

“It’s a business idea that I’ve had for a while but never had the time to properly establish. But thanks to COVID, I was given the time to really have a crack at it,” he told Region Media.

Having just graduated from the University of Canberra with a double degree in sports media and communications/public relations, job offers weren’t exactly flooding in.

Tom took a contract in the public service but also took the time to develop his idea to sell clothes emblazoned with logos of sporting teams such as the Chicago Cubs baseball team and the Pittsburgh Steelers in the NFL.

He put his marketing skills to good use and started a business – Primetime Pickups – specialising in American sports-inspired vintage clothes business.

“I operate Primetime Pickups out of my bedroom in Gungahlin,” Tom said. “Essentially, what I do is gather inventory for collections from the United States and promote it through Instagram, before releasing it on the website on a certain day and time.”

His first collection of about 30 items sold out within eight minutes, while a collection of items for less than $25 sold out in four minutes.

The recent lockdown in Melbourne has also proved beneficial, with sales going to AFL footballers Jaidyn Stephenson of Collingwood, and Jack Steele and Luke Dunstan who play for St Kilda.

A fan of American basketball, and particularly the college circuit, Tom has largely purchased items that he would wear but has been surprised by the demand for items he didn’t think would sell.

“I just buy clothes that I think are cool, but there have been items that have arrived and I haven’t really liked the look of it too much, but you upload a photo to Instagram and people go crazy over some of the shirts in particular.

“My next collection that will drop on Wednesday, 29 July will be 50 pieces, so I’m gradually going to expand it as I go and grow it from there,” he said.

Jaidyn Stephenson

Collingwood AFL player Jaidyn Stephenson with a Cleveland Browns shirt from the collection. Photo: Instagram.

Tom said he has a number of suppliers through online sales websites such as eBay and Depop, the latter boasts more than 18 million users.

“The business has quickly gained a fair bit of traction nationally, with close to 2000 followers in just over a month.

“I’ve had orders from all across Australia, even rural Western Australia, but only a few in Canberra, where I’m hoping to grow the market.

“It’s still early days but I’m very excited about where this business I run out of my bedroom could go,” he said.

Tom hopes to have a pop-up store with a line of popular clothing items and possibly a permanent store here in Canberra.

“At the moment, it’s something I do on the weekend or in the mornings, but my contract ends in two weeks so I’ve been looking at taking it full-time if I can,” he said.

Eventually, Tom hopes to work for an AFL team with their media content while continuing his love for American sports clothing.

“For the first collection, I was sitting there wondering if it would sell, but once I unlocked it and saw all the orders come in, it was absolutely insane and fairly humbling too.

“The demographic of people I see interested in the clothes are 18 to about 30 and many of them aren’t even interested in the sports – they buy it just to look cool.”

Find out more from Primetime Pickups or check out the range on Instagram @primetime.pickups.

Original Article published by Michael Weaver on The RiotACT.

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