Driven by her passion for fashion and hard work, University of Nebraska-Lincoln alumna, Allison Wetig, opened a traveling pop-up shop to sell exclusive and vintage Husker apparel.
Wetig graduated from UNL in May of 2018 with a pair of bachelor’s degrees in advertising & public relations and graphic design.
Wetig’s courageous and curious personality has helped her achieve many successful goals. She has dedication to working and creating great experiences in the world of fashion, such as her work at beyourself boutique as a marketing manager, designing weekly shirts at Barry's Bar and Grill and her pop-ups.
Her sense of fashion formed when she was in high school at Millard North in Omaha. Wetig bought high-waisted denim jeans from thrift stores and cut them into shorts. After turning enough heads with her frayed statement pieces, she started receiving custom requests from people to sell them wholesale to a vintage shop in Benson called Lion’s Mane — formerly known as Paper Doll.
After graduating from UNL, she realized she accumulated too much clothes throughout high school and college, so her abundant wardrobe would not fit in her new studio apartment. Subsequently, she decided to have a sale in her dad's garage in October 2018.
“The garage sale was super successful,” Wetig said. “I was shocked how many people showed up and how much I made.”
Rolling off the positive results, Wetig and a friend had another clothing sale in April 2019 at her apartment, which was yet again successful. After learning lessons from the first two sales, Wetig hosted another in July 2019. The third pop-up shop was even more successful as the first two, according to Wetig, as the customers swarmed her apartment.
“It was insane,” she said. “People were waiting at my apartment when the doors opened.”
Other than selling thrifted clothes at her apartment and garage sales, Wetig also sold Husker apparel. According to Wetig, the sales of Husker merch were a smashing success.
Wetig realized the Husker merchandise piqued the most customer interest and sold quicker than the other clothing.
“I was like — ‘wait, the things that have made me the most money and exposure were Husker Gamedays, Barry's t-shirts and clothing pop-ups,’” Wetig said. “‘I just needed to combine these concepts.’”
The successful garage sale was the beginning of a new passion for her. Wetig started thrifting, ordering online and going to warehouses in order to accumulate Husker clothing from all over Nebraska.
“I knew I would actually have time to pull off gathering hundreds of items for the first Husker pop-up,” she said.
She sells all types of clothing — tanks, t-shirts, long sleeves, crewnecks, sweatshirts, quarter zips, hoodies, jackets, windbreakers and pattern-printed pants.
She washes, dries, inspects the clothes for damage and tags them all by herself. Due to the steps of ensuring quality clothing, Wetig said she is very reasonable and fair with pricing for her target audience of college students.
“I want to provide them with great clothing, but at a fair price,” she said.
Wetig sells the products on an application called Depop in-between the pop-ups. According to her, the application is a better way to sell online because it is more affordable and profitable for her.
“Every single person [on the app] is a potential customer looking to buy stuff from you,” she said. “So people can come across you so much better.”
Although Wetig likes the process of selling online, she loves meeting customers in person. The pop-ups allow customers to physically see the clothes and try them on.
At her first pop-up at Drips Coffee, she had more than three hundred items and had spent thousands of dollars to invest in her small business.
Now, with future pop-ups planned for the Friday before each game, she hopes that the results can pay off and reward her for the money and energy that she put into it.
Brad Horky was a regular at Barry's during Wetig’s days designing shirts for the bar and grill. He's a fellow collector of Husker gear.
“It's amazing the market for any Nebraska items and clothing that has any age to it at all,” he said. “Allison has hit on something there and will do well.”
Wetig doesn't reveal where she finds all her vintage Husker apparel, but she said she often scours thrift shops and even has access to some used clothing warehouses where she buys in bulk — sometimes finding exclusive pieces.
“I don't really want to reveal all my secrets, otherwise I don't have a business,” she said.
She also repurposes pieces by cutting them into crops, adding flannel to the sleeves and adhering patches to a denim jacket in order to the items become more authentic.
“When I'm looking for Husker apparel I am really focused on unique items,” she said.
According to Wetig, it’s hard work to find enough of those exciting pieces for the pop-up. Despite this, she wants to keep growing and having the pop-ups as long as she has merchandise.
“I would absolutely love to keep having pop-ups. I want to have enough of them to maximize my profits, but find a balance so I don't overwhelm and bore customers.”
This article was modified at 4:47 p.m. on Sept. 16 to correct Wetig's date of graduation, Horky's relation to Wetig and the caption's spelling of Wetig's first name.
This article was modified at 8:40 p.m. to correct the amount of pop-up shops hosted at Wetig's apartment and the ways she acquires her merchandise.