February 21, 2017
One glance at Ike Ewell, and one might think – sophisticated, stylish, smart.
This man is tailored from head to toe. His handkerchief compliments his vest, and his blazer, his tie tack. Yet, none of what he dons bears over-the-top designer labels or expensive price tags.
In late October, Ewell co-founded and launched HUNTRS with his cohorts Jason Green of Philadelphia, and Sam Seidel of Providence, R.I. HUNTRS is a peer-to-peer e-commerce platform for men to buy and sell gently used clothing and accessories. The online buying and selling platform creates a curated consignment experience allowing users to exchange hand-me-downs in a few easy steps.
Originally from Trenton, N.J., Ewell said he and his siblings didn’t grow up with a lot of money, but, like many young, black men, wanted to dress the part.
“Sometimes, there can be a stigma around buying things that are gently used,” said Ewell.
“Growing up, we didn’t have a lot of resources, but my mom was always stylish and my dad was too, so style was always something my mom taught me. We started thrifting. I was a hunter at a very young age. We would go to Princeton and buy the used clothing of wealthy people. I wanted to look wealthy…You can look like a million without spending a million.”
The users who are currently on board start like this: they can “begin hunting,” where they can search for clothing, shoes, and accessories of all kinds. Once a “hunter” has selected an item he wants, he can move that item to his cart, purchase, and it’s that simple. To advertise an item he wants to sell, the item has to meet certain qualifications. The seller must photograph the item, describe it in detail, upload it to HUNTRS’ “closet,” and then wait for approval.
But Ewell said that HUNTRS doesn’t discriminate. They’ll take everything from Armani to Zara to K-Mart brands.
“If it’s of good quality and in good condition, more than likely, we will take it,” he said.
“If someone has a Tom Ford suit but they’ve trashed it, that wouldn’t work for us because it doesn’t meet our quality standards.”
In exchange for gracefully displaying these items and apparel on its site, HUNTRS offers an 80/20 split. The buyer and seller then work out the shipping and exchange details.
“We make style and substance synonymous,” said Ewell.
“People don’t realize that they’re recycling, repurposing and reusing – that was key for us. You don’t have to be brand-specific to be stylish. We really want to dispel that myth.
“It’s about patience before you pounce."