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Monday, June 27, 2022

UF student takes thrifting business to Gator games

<p>Josh Rittenour, a 20-year-old UF economics junior, lays out a portion of sports hats that he has collected through thrifting at his house on Sept. 24, 2015. Rittenour restores the old hats. “It’s something that I have and can bring back to life and let someone else enjoy as much as the original person,” he said.</p>

Josh Rittenour, a 20-year-old UF economics junior, lays out a portion of sports hats that he has collected through thrifting at his house on Sept. 24, 2015. Rittenour restores the old hats. “It’s something that I have and can bring back to life and let someone else enjoy as much as the original person,” he said.

Friday’s temperature reached 88 degrees, but to one student, it was sweater weather.

During Gator sporting events, UF economics junior Josh Rittenour hunts for vintage team apparel, leaving with sweaters, shirts and hats that, just moments before, were worn by someone else.

Rittenour started his business, Dave’s Freshly Used, to sell classic and restored vintage apparel. The business was named after his high school nickname, which started in 2012, when Rittenour was in high school selling his finds out of his trunk.

The Gator games bring in the most business, he said. The 20-year-old weaves through the crowds, sporting his vintage Gator gear and scouting out potential bait for his collection.

"I know this is weird, but what would it take to buy that hat off you?" he asks strangers at the game.

More often than not, he walks away happy.

Since the new season started, Rittenour has sold about 30 vintage apparel items and hopes to cash out another 100 items before the season is over.

He typically buys them for as little as 10 cents and as much as $10.

To make them look new again, he reshapes hats and washes and mends clothes. Then, he sells them for between $10 and $130, depending on the item and its rarity.

College students are a big part of his business, Rittenour said.

He’s a regular on UF’s Free & For Sale, a Facebook page for students to buy and sell items. Among his customers are students looking to buy Gator apparel to wear to themed parties.

UF senior Chelsea Ogugua said she impulsively bought an old Gator baseball jersey and other sports apparel when she saw Rittenour post on Facebook.

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"I said, ‘I have to hit this guy up,’" the 21-year-old said.

The telecommunication major said multiple people have offered to buy the jersey from her, but she thinks it’s too fashion-forward to part with.

"It’s, like, really fresh," Ogugua said.

UF finance junior Tapan Patel, 19, said he collects Gator basketball jerseys — and Dave’s had a rare one that caught his eye.

It was an Al Horford jersey, complete with his name and number.

"I was excited about buying and keeping it for my collection for the long term," Patel said.

Dave’s Freshly Used started as a way to fund Rittenour’s thrifting habit.

He said he drives as many as three hours to visit thrift stores. His Gator gear turned into a collection when he came to campus in Fall 2013.

To thin it out, he sold from his dorm room, on campus and online.

Last year, he met up with about three people a day.

Today, his inventory consists of around 200 hats and a couple hundred clothing items.

He doesn’t do this for the money, he said. He has a job at Publix.

Rittenour flashed his favorite hat, which he bought off someone’s head after Gator Growl last year.

He immediately knew it was one-of-a-kind: a Gator Growl hat with the word "sample" on the inside.

"I can’t put a price on that," he said.

Josh Rittenour, a 20-year-old UF economics junior, lays out a portion of sports hats that he has collected through thrifting at his house on Sept. 24, 2015. Rittenour restores the old hats. “It’s something that I have and can bring back to life and let someone else enjoy as much as the original person,” he said.

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