Entrepreneurs Heart Hartford - TopNotch LLC

Nov 19, 2015

TopNotch Vintage LLC was created by Bennett Szames and is a throwback sports headwear and apparel one stop shopn from the 80's-90's.

Tell us about TopNotch Vintage LLC

TopNotch Vintage specializes in selling throwback sports headwear & apparel from the 80s-90s. We take pride in hand picking our inventory. Costumers who lived in that era really enjoy purchasing from us because these items came from their past and represents a part of history. We have an eBay store as well as a large following on social media with over 4,300 followers on Instagram alone. Using social media helps us attract a number of new costumers who may not have known we were in business.

Why did you decide to start your business in Hartford?

I was born in Stamford, CT but now live in Cincinnati, Ohio where my business was created. I have been growing my business in Hartford since becoming a student at the University of Hartford, majoring in Entrepreneurial Studies.

How does your business impact the community?

We are an online business so we impact many communities around the state, country and globe. In terms of Hartford, many of our customers are UHART students who may live on campus or in the area. We bring our new inventory out into Hartford and use the city as the background for our promotional efforts. We also try and sell our merchandise in Hartford store fronts. By making the connections with these stores many of them donate their boxes to us. We save cost by not having to purchase our own. It's a win - win for both of us.

What words of wisdom would you give to aspiring entrepreneurs who may be hesitant to take the plunge into entrepreneurship?

Always follow your dream and don't let others tell you your idea is bad. Hard work pays off in the long run.

What is it like being an entrepreneur in Hartford? What difficulties or challenges have you faced?

The only difficulties we've faced so far is attracting new customers within the City of Hartford.

What is your vision for your business over the next five years?

In the next 5 years I will be out of college and will most likely continue my business on the side. I would like to expand TopNotch's website and hopefully have an etsy account/page. There is a possibility that I would be able to open a storefront. 

Follow TopNotch Vintage LLC on Facebook, Instagram, and shop on their Ebay account!

This blog series, posted in partnership between HYPE and reSET, offers a platform to showcase the commitment that Hartford Entrepreneurs have for their work and this City. It will examine how young entrepreneurs have chosen their work, and give examples of the ways in which they are having an impact in Hartford.


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