A Kansas City teen and his brother are opening a vintage clothing store on the Westside
Reade Rex, a 17-year-old senior at Olathe Northwest High School, has been buying and selling vintage clothing online and in pop-up markets for about two years. His brother, Thomas, graduated college and is handling much of the business side of The Rex Catalog, which is having its grand opening Saturday.
A pair of brothers are rolling open the garage door on their first brick-and-mortar venture this weekend, turning a curated online source for vintage clothing into a physical storefront in Kansas City’s Westside neighborhood.
Thomas and Reade Rex are set to host The Rex Catalog’s grand opening 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 14, at 2645 Madison Ave.
Reade, a 17-year-old high school senior at Olathe Northwest High School, has been buying and selling vintage clothing online and in pop-up markets for about two years. The brothers signed a lease for the storefront this summer.
To set themselves apart from other stores in the vintage clothing market, The Rex Catalog will keep a smaller, more refined selection of clothing in their shop, Thomas Rex said.
“That was Reade’s vision and mission going into it, was to create something that doesn’t exist in Kansas City currently,” he said.
The store will incorporate different themed sections, Rex continued, with vintage selections from the 1960s to the 1990s. The Rex Catalog also will work with other local vendors to sell their products from the shop, he added.
Thomas Rex has taken charge of many of the logistical aspects of running the business, while Reade continues to lead the curation of the store itself.
“Most of the sourcing that Reade does is from garage sales, estate sales, thrift stores, stuff like that,” Rex said.
Pathway to production
Thomas Rex just graduated college this spring — in only three years — and is already well into his second small business venture in Kansas City, he said. The entrepreneur and filmmaker has successfully managed his production company, Mountain View Pictures, since founding it as a high school senior in 2020.
As a student at Olathe Northwest, Rex honed his craft through classes in film and media studies via the Olathe Career Pathways program.
“I started down that film media path and just kind of got more into that as I went on,” Rex said.
The Career Pathways program offers Olathe high school students the opportunity to specialize their education in ways that prepare them for careers in fields such as media and technology, health, and business. This program helps prepare students for the world of work by combining student interest with student learning through hands-on experiences, industry standard resources, and real-world partnerships fusing academic and technical skills, knowledge, and training necessary for future careers, according to the district’s website.
“That’s where I met a lot of people that I’ve worked with to this day on dozens of commercial and film projects, professional and otherwise,” Rex said. “They provided a real foundation of the material and everything in film media that you’d need to know to have a basic idea of what you’d want to do with it as a career.”
Big client energy
By his senior year, Thomas Rex and a group of friends believed they were ready to take their film careers to the next level and founded Mountain View Pictures.
“We decided to go out and really just start shooting anything we could for anyone,” Rex said.
After taking on some unpaid jobs to gain experience, he and his business partners were able to turn their small project into an actual LLC.
Leveraging their personal connections, Rex and his team landed their first job with Major League Soccer team Sporting Kansas City and local business InStore Design Display. After meeting the owner of InStore Design Display, a company that curates sales displays for retail businesses, Rex was invited to create a promotion for a new display at Children’s Mercy Park.
The success of that project helped propel his business forward and land other clients, like local comedian Jamie Campbell, whose comedy special “Big Dad Energy” gave Rex the opportunity to serve as assistant director.
“I would say that’s the No. 1 thing for anyone looking at being an entrepreneur in any sense. Connections like that are some of the key points to getting work early in your career, and really throughout your career,” Rex said. “Almost all of those early jobs and future references come through those channels.”
The main contributor to Rex’s entrepreneurial success: persistence.
“Persistence has definitely been needed to get it somewhere in an industry where there are quite a few media production companies that are large and better, or at least larger, much larger than me,” Rex said. “When you don’t have a wide base of clients, that persistence has definitely paid off.”