Posted By: Katherine
John Migala is the man behind SCOUT VINTAGE Mpls, a brand that caters to men who appreciate simple style and that are looking for utilitarian wardrobe pieces that have charm and a midwestern smirk. I’ve had the pleasure of corresponding with Mr. Migala and have found him to be a very ambitious and dashing person; Via email I learned all about where this gentlemanly brand came from, obviously I would have loved to meet this amazing soul in person but due to both of our schedules being insane, we weren’t able to… yet! Migala’s mission for SCOUT is to curate a wonderful assortment of vintage goods that he hand picks, “I do all of the scouring, thrifting, hunting and searching myself. I carefully choose each piece looking for the highest quality merchandise that really stays close to my vision for what SCOUT is.”
A Photo of John Migala at Taylor’s Fall
“As a kid, thrift stores and garage sales were a huge part of my life. Our family was extremely frugal out of necessity and that has always stuck with me. Once I got to high school it really became more about the fashion. I distinctly remember saving up to buy a sweater from a popular mall store at the time. I was so excited when I was finally able to buy the sweater, however, the very first time I wore it out I saw another guy wearing the same exact sweater. I was so embarassed! I had been so used to having a look that was different from my peers that it didn’t occur to me that this could happen. After that I pretty much stuck to thrift stores exclusively for my clothes. This mindset is something that has remained an important part of my life and eventually became my primary source for clothes as well as household items.”
The retailer’s branding is perfection. The website has a clean, throwback feel with beautiful graphics and a user friendly format – which is key because currently the website is the only place that you can always go to shop SCOUT.
“Having a shop online allows me to sell through my product at a more steady pace throughout the year and gives me the freedom to put effort in as I have the spare time. It also allows me to reach a much larger audience. One of the things that I have found to be so exciting about having my online shop is all of the locations that I end up shipping my pieces to. Often times they are areas of the country that do not have a lot of vintage readily accessible to them for one reason or another.”
Migala’s parents are most likely responsible for his entrepreneurial spirit, while he was growing up they were knowledgable and hardworking restauranteurs. After Migala was introduced to Minneapolis’ growing vintage scene his path became more clear until it manifested into his pop-up shop, it was only within the last five or so years that he decided to turn his passion for vintage into a business and pop-ups served as a perfect vehicle for the venture.
“For the first couple years, SCOUT functioned nearly exclusively as a pop-up shop here in Minneapolis. I was the first Men’s exclusive pop-up vendor to hit the scene in this area and because of that there was a lot of excitement that really fueled my drive and fed my passion. I absolutely love the excitement and buzz that builds around this kind of exclusive event and really enjoyed being able to interact with my customers and see how excited they would get about the pieces that I was bringing to them. Ultimately though, pop-ups require a lot of work. […] I had built something really special and was very proud of the recognition I was getting. In November of this past year I had the opportunity to do a vintage pop-up shop in an Urban Outfitters store in Manhattan. The amount of press and exposure that I was able to generate from that collaboration allowed me to jump start my online shop which has turned out to be a much more manageable amount of work.”
When I asked Migala about his lifestyle as a whole and if there are aspects outside of his business that are intentionally sustainable – he explained, “Whenever possible I will purchase what I need second hand. My home is full of thrifted furniture, decorations and household necessities. I think that when you thrift regularly you get a real sense of the excessiveness of our consumer culture.” That excessiveness that Migala refers to is so much more detrimental than people realize and that is why we are so glad that people like him are creating businesses around products that are already in circulation. What sets SCOUT apart is catering to men who have an ‘authentic, classic, American – Vintage’ style but who might not have time for thrift store adventures. Migala does all of the hard work and offers amazing pieces at prices that respect his extensive efforts but allow the consumer to avoid guilt.
“Most recently though, I have started selling my pieces wholesale to Urban Outfitters for their online store. This is a project that I am extremely excited about and am really looking forward to exploring more.”
This handsome man is married to Rachel Roff, designer of deLange designs and Member of Sol Inspiration’s Board of Directors. Mr. Roff ordered these shoes from SCOUT after Rachel won a gift card that Migala so generously donated to our Student Scholarship Fundraiser’s Silent Auction, we greatly appreciated the donation and are so glad that Mr. Roff now has these awesome kicks to show for it!
SOL INSPIRATIONS could not be happier for this great brand and we are so excited that Migala’s goals are large and that his successes are mounting. The kind of change that passionate people like Migala can bring about in the world of consumption is unstoppable. Earlier this year SCOUT was featured in the MIA’s Third Thursday Rockin’ Retro Fashion Show and there are other things on the horizon so make sure to check out the Facebook page.
What is more attractive than a man with confidence and a defined, personal style? A man who dresses himself with ethics and standards – that’s what!
– xo kp