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TCU 360

TCU 360

All TCU. All the time.

TCU 360

Fans Vintage started as a class project and turned into a booming business

Dixon+in+her+warehouse%2Foffice+with+all+of+the+vintage+merchandise+%28Madeleine+Thornhill%2FSenior+Staff+Writer%29
Dixon in her warehouse/office with all of the vintage merchandise (Madeleine Thornhill/Senior Staff Writer)

What began as a class project in an MBA course has turned into a growing business and a source of vintage TCU gear.

Lindsey Dixon founded Fans Vintage while she was earning her MBA from the Neeley School of Business.

Her final semester was affected by COVID-19, so the class was virtual.

“The hardest thing was no in-class time with students, which is key to building a relationship,” said Micheal Sherrod, the course’s professor, of the struggles COVID-19 presented. “Relationships are key in everything we do in life, business, entrepreneurship, education, family and so on.”

The class is called “Venture Ideas,” and its entire purpose is to create a business and make a profit in one semester.

Lindsey Dixon and a customer at her most recent pop-up shop! (Whitney Dixon/Silent Partner)

“Since the entrepreneurship students could no longer do business or company visits, I engaged in a class project with Professor Sherrod’s Venture Ideas class instead,” Dixon said.

The class was challenged to come up with an idea for a small business and execute the business idea within the 90-day shortened semester.

“Students come to class eager to test an idea for a business they’ve had for some time,” Sherrod said. “They need little encouragement; they are so eager to see if they can make their idea profitable.”

Once the students have had the opportunity to choose a business that they want to pursue, the class is then broken into three parts.

Dixon was passionate about her idea from the very beginning.

“I wanted to choose something I could reasonably execute very quickly and remembered that I’d often received questions and compliments about the vintage TCU gear I would wear at games,” she said.

With an eye for style, knowledge of progressive advertising and potential merchandise already on hand, Dixon went for it.

“I had a few extra vintage items at my house that no longer fit me, so I started an Instagram account that day and had sales our first week,” Dixon said.

Sherrod shared his thoughts about Dixon’s drive.

“Dixon is a wonderful person and a natural entrepreneur,” he said. “She was the first student in her class to make a sale in her business—she did it in the first week, which is a record.”

Dixon was able to bring in business by starting a website and hosting socially-distanced pop-up shops near campus with partner businesses such as Common Grounds, Dutch’s, Ampersand and Rogers Roundhouse.

Fans Vintage is a retail business that offers highly curated fan apparel and memorabilia you cannot find elsewhere. Its one-of-a-kind, old-school TCU items make a clear statement of “if you know, you know.”  

Vintage “Hypnotoad” head being shown off at a bowl game (Lindsey Dixon/Owner of Fans Vintage).

From rare to vintage, team-exclusive merchandise not normally sold in stores and original, custom, fully-licensed TCU throwback items, there are plenty of authentic options.

“We have something for every fan looking to stand out in the crowd,” Dixon said.

Dixon and her spouse are huge sports fans, especially of TCU athletics.

“Our target audience is the most passionate Frog fans who want to rock gear that helps them stand apart from the more generic offerings of the larger retailers that sell TCU gear,” she said.

Dixon has received a ton of love and support from the Horned Frog nation. Her merchandise remains sought after and keeps her fans coming back.

“After initial sales of roughly $25,000 in our first 90 days during our class project, we’ve grown to just under half a million in all-time sales as of September 2023,” Dixon said. “Not too bad for a solo-preneur!”

Dixon explained Fans Vintage is owned by passionate TCU sports fans.

“We put tremendous thought and care into not only providing unique fan apparel to our customers, but also constantly seek out opportunities to positively grow and enrich the Horned Frog community,” she said.

Dixon’s current goal is to open a brick-and-mortar retail space that captures campus foot traffic.

“It’s been over 2 years of searching with several spaces falling through, but we aren’t giving up,” Dixon said. “From there, we’ll be seeking investment and support to scale this concept to other schools and teams.”

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