We all have dreams of Instagram glory, but at Oxford Pennant, Dave Horesh and Brett Mikoll are living the dream.
What started out as a “Where can I get that?” question, turned into a lit Instagram account, a full-blown online business, and now a retail store. Oxford Pennant is officially open for business after hosting a grand opening for its first brick-and-mortar location on Saturday, September 29th.
Mikoll recently told us the inspiration for Oxford Pennant came during a business trip for a previous job when he and Horesh saw an old Harvard pennant in the window of a shop.
“He turned to me and asked, ‘Do you know where we could get that made?’ – the old-style pennant?” Mikoll said. “We thought it would be a fun project, to make a Buffalo pennant, a Boston pennant and a Pittsburgh pennant because we had friends in all three cities. Once we started posting photos of them to Instagram, we started getting messages asking, could you make that but with this color scheme or with my city or my last name?
The whole idea of customization caused a lightbulb really to go off. Mikoll said he and Horesh realized they had a legit business on their hands, all thanks to posting their work on Instagram.
Then, shit got cray.
“The biggest surprise has been the kinds of companies and the kinds of clients that reach out to us,” Mikoll said. “We’ve worked with Adidas and Abercrombie. We made stuff for Under Armour that The Rock has in his gym now. Weird Al emailed us and ordered like 1,000 pennants.”
Mikoll and his staff are clearly drinking from the fire hose right now. In light of all this success, the guys thought it was time to open – pardon the dad pun – a “flagship” store. While you can order Oxford Pennant products from the comfort of your cell phone, the retail store offers you a chance to browse and design custom pennants, banners, and patches.
In addition, there are collectors’ item framed pennants from the early and mid-20th century you can buy as one-of-a-kind gifts. A lot of these vintage pieces have seen better days, but that’s part of the charm, Mikoll said.
“The shitter the pennants look, the better,” he mused. “Like this Notre Dame one is beat to hell, but it looks so nice in a clean frame. If you’ve got a friend that went to Notre Dame, or a really special person in your life, in my opinion, that is a very thoughtful gift.”
You can even come into the store and design your own pennant or patch face-to-face. If you’re looking to get a custom item made, walking into the Oxford Pennant store is kind of like walking into a tattoo shop. There are premade works that you can make your own, or you can work with a designer to create something original. You can also get a new denim jacket, vintage denim jacket or a canvas bag, and cover it in custom patches that you designed.
More than anything, Mikoll said, the new store is meant to further Oxford Pennant’s mission to ‘celebrate everything’. The store will stay open into the evenings on weekdays for people walking around Main Street before a show at Shea’s, concert at Town Ballroom or dinner at EXPO.
“The biggest thing that we want to do with the store is to invite people in, talk with them and engage with them,” he said. “If someone has a bar mitzvah or getting married, and they want a banner or a pennant or just brag about it – we’re like, hell yeah! We want to tell other people’s stories and help them celebrate.”
731 Main St, Buffalo, NY 14203
Hours: Tuesday to Friday 12 p.m. – 8 p.m., Saturday 12 p.m. – 6 p.m., Sunday & Monday CLOSED