Vesler’s business career started when he was a student at Ohio University. He would visit thrift stores, buy the interesting vintage items of clothing he found there, and resell them on eBay.
“I did that for a couple years through college for extra money,” said Vesler. “It was a very valuable experience because I gained an appreciation for vintage. I would look at all these pieces that were one of a kind. I started to pay attention to their fabric, wash and graphics and I really started to gain a fondness and appreciation for an original piece.”
Vesler soon outgrew his eBay enterprise and looked to create his own pieces. In 2007 Vesler started Homage with the money he had received from a few credit cards as well as from selling clothes online.
“With credit cards, you can really extend your credit,” said Vesler. “If you get good terms from some vendors that you work with, you can really buy yourself a good 60 days to go out and try to make stuff happen.”
Vesler was able to do quite a bit in that time, despite entering a crowded business field with lots of competition. Vesler, a lifelong fan of the Ohio State Buckeyes, applied for a license to produce shirts for Ohio State University and got it.
“That is one of the more difficult collegiate licenses to obtain,” said Vesler, “and when we got that, people started to see us differently. It really legitimized us.”
The Ohio State license proved to be just the beginning; Homage designs are now also featured in TD Banknorth Garden (the former Boston Garden) as well as retail stores including Urban Outfitters, Zumiez, Lids, and Japan’s United Arrows. Homage has become a favorite of celebrities including Chris Rock, Will Smith, David Arquette, Jimmy Kimmel and NBA player Russell Westbrook.
More recently, Homage’s shirts have been featured in an advertising campaign with fast food chain Wendy’s. Homage re-created T-shirts from the company’s legendary “Where’s The Beef?” campaign.