Dozens of vendors, thousands of students, food trucks, and other local businesses all invaded Division Street on Saturday afternoon to participate in one of East Lansing’s hottest events. On April 16, More Than Vintage hosted its second annual Vintagefest. Vendors sold a range of products from MSU gear, vintage items, handmade goods and cool accessories.
More Than Vintage opened its doors in April 2022 and after a successful first summer, it hosted East Lansing’s first Vintagefest the following September, an event for fans of vintage and unique clothing to come together and find items all in the same place. Customers got to support locals and MSU students as most of the vendors fell into this category.
Megan Timmerman of Bluthreads and Co. is currently pursuing her Master of Social Work degree at MSU and always makes sure to incorporate her ideals into her brand. Timmerman’s brand is named after her emotional support dog Blu, and many aspects of the brand are very personal to her.
“I needed a coping mechanism and that led me to embroidery. I saved forever to get my first embroidery machine and when I finally got it, it became the favorite part of my day,” said Timmerman while explaining how grief brought her to start her brand.
Timmerman creates all her own merchandise whether it is embroidered, knit, or crocheted. This was her second Vintagefest with MTV and said it was her biggest pop-up of the year.
“I have done many pop-ups over the past year, and I always love the opportunity to sell in person, especially at Vintagefest. MTV always puts on great events and this one is always a big hit with the entire community, I have done extremely well marketing both times,” said Timmerman. “There are so many parts of the business that I love, but all the people I meet and the creating I get to do is the best. I wish I could spend all my time doing this work and interacting with our community.”
Alena Buterakos is a junior at MSU and runs the Instagram account @vintagebyalena. She has been selling merchandise online since 2016 on websites like Depop and Mercari. When Buterakos moved to East Lansing for school she started selling MSU merchandise along with vintage clothing and streetwear, and started offering to do drop-offs to locals.
“I attended Vintagefest last fall and I had a great time. I thought it would be really fun to be a vendor but at the time I didn’t see it being a possibility,” said Buterakos. “However, as I started to sell more I knew I eventually wanted to have a pop-up shop or do an event like Vintagefest. The festival had a great turnout last year and I figured since most of the attendees were people my age they would be interested in pieces I’ve curated.”
Buterakos decided that the spring Vintagefest was going to be her first in-person event and got to work. She had more than 200 clothing items to sort and tag with her custom logo, and a table full of jewelry and other accessories.
“Working with MTV was great. They were very responsive throughout the process of preparing and super supportive. I was nervous that I was in over my head but they made the process of vending a breeze,” said Buterakos. “Overall I had a great time. My favorite part about running my small business is getting to have creative freedom. I love designing logos, marketing my items, and presenting them in a way that fits my personal style.”
Even if you weren’t looking to sell, Vintagefest was still the place to be. Thousands of students stopped by Division Street to check out the commotion. Along with vendor merchandise local restaurants had sent food to sell, and there was even a Kona Ice truck. MTV also hired multiple DJs to play live music for the six hours the festival was going on.
Nick Lennex is a sophomore at MSU who spent his Saturday checking out merchandise. “I had a lot of fun going to Vintagefest over the weekend. The weather was great and it was really nice seeing so many people out and about,” said Lennex.
He went to the first Vintagefest in the fall and when MTV announced the second one, Lennex knew he would be there.
“Even if I don’t buy anything, I really like going to support other students. It’s a good way to find new sellers and by following their socials you can keep up with their merchandise and buy from the brand anytime.”