2096 The Store
Vintage clothing popularity is on the rise and because of the love for it themselves, Johan Fortosa, Javier Fortoso, and Austin Layman created 2096 The Store. They wanted to create a place where they could showcase unique vintage clothing for men; a business concept they thought was missing from the Battle Creek area.
Prior to the creation of 2096 The Store, Javier had started an online business of his own and he felt one of the biggest challenges was that he was going it alone and did not have the support of a valuable team. Online sales is a very popular way to conduct business today, but Javier envisioned more with his business. Hence, partnering up with his brother Javier Fortoso and friend, Austin Layman to create 2096 The Store. Coming together with Johan and Austin has opened the doors for new ideas and teamwork. The team saw BC Cargo as the opportunity to create an environment that people wanted to experience; to see, touch and feel the product and interact with the owners.
The team noted that they felt and “edgy aura in the air” as they started to set up their BC Cargo unit noting the excitement funneling into reality. That opening day came and with the first sale and the excitement about their new venture grew. Javier referenced how elated they all were when their first paying customer pulled out a navy blue windbreaker from the rack and immediately said “Oh yeah, I’ve got to have this!” Having someone validate their products with a purchase solidified they had made the right choice together to launch 2096 The Store at BC Cargo.
“John and Valerie’s [Small Business Development Fund team] encouraging words and entrepreneurial guidance on things like social media marketing, registering a business, and thinking outside the box has helped us to overcome so many obstacles” Javier remarked. “Our marketing skills have improved and we have been able to reach a broader audience through Instagram and Facebook” he noted. He also included that those same customers that visited on opening day continue to visit 2096 The Store. The team is receiving positive feedback through social media about the great client experiences and it is creating a wider attraction to the store.
The team is off and running by creating the friendly space they envisioned that includes not only men’s vintage clothing, but an inviting space where like-minded individuals can feel empowered to shop for the clothing they really want to wear.
Looking to the future, Johan, Austin and Javier want 2096 Store to be a showcase for men’s vintage fashion, music and art as well as a platform for local artist and musicians to display their talents. And as an added bonus, the Fortoso brothers will carry on their father’s entrepreneurial popularity by managing a food cart at BC Cargo as an extension of Torti Taco. Shopping AND Tacos? Seriously, a great multi-sensory experience.
"“Chase the vision, not the money; the money will end up following you.”"--Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos