Sad Boi Thrift founder Lex Maynez is beginning a new venture called 504 Drip to provide job opportunities to individuals in Honduras.
Maynez applied to the Ballard Center’s Social Venture Academy and pitched an idea for his social venture project and said this new project would be a way for the Provo community to give back to people around the world.
The project aims to provide job opportunities for people in Honduras while he works to supply them with the resources and materials they need to create designs and screenprints on clothing. Their designs will then be sold in Provo at Sad Boi Thrift.
The idea for 504 Drip can be traced back to Maynez’s service mission in Honduras for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, he said.
“All the money from the clothing that they find and make will go back into paying them and buying the equipment so they’ll be able to keep those jobs and maintain them,” Maynez said.
Maynez, a BYU communications major, first started selling his clothes online in 2019. A year later, he created Sad Boi Thrift and began selling thrifted clothing at pop-up events around Provo.
While Maynez originally started Sad Boi Thrift as a way to save up for law school, the venture is “not just for money now,” he said. “It’s to be able to help people that are in need.”
Despite some hiccups throughout the past few years, Maynez has been able to keep Sad Boi Thrift in business.
Admitting it was sometimes difficult to balance school and dating with his spiritual and work life, Maynez said there is more to life than just working on projects.
Sad Boi Thrift opened its first storefronts in 2020, opening on Center Street and then again above an ice cream store after there were issues with the first lease. Most recently, Maynez and his crew signed a three-year lease on their newest location in downtown Provo.
“It’s a bigger location, and it makes more sense for the store,” said Ellee Lott, a returned employee at Sad Boi Thrift. Lott took a break from working at the thrift store to focus on her full-time job but recently found time to work at Sad Boi again.
Lott said the environment at Sad Boi Thrift is less intimidating and more accessible than other stores may be, especially because everything is more affordable.
The store’s Instagram account promoted the new location as the “same drip, different space.”
Maynez said he wanted to create a space where everyone would feel comfortable enough to look around, saying the store is not too cool for anyone. “We want everyone to feel welcome when they come to the shop,” Maynez said.
One thing that may have helped customers feel more comfortable throughout the years is the company’s humble beginnings.
Maynez’s first intern, Trent Pomar, said the pop-up events were the key to making the business grow to what it is today.
“We started hosting our events in Lex’s parents’ backyard,” Pomar said. “I helped create the idea of hosting pop-up sales events which helped to naturally boost our exposure to our target market by bringing the clothes to the people.”
Pomar said the pop-up events hosted by Sad Boi Thrift had an influence on other small businesses in the area and showed how effective pop-up events could be. In 2020, Sad Boi Thrift also collaborated with other local venues that were struggling because of the pandemic.
“He wasn’t just focused on his company, but he was focused on small businesses in general and getting them seen,” said Christina Halversen, who started working with Sad Boi Thrift as a social media intern and later became one of the first employees.
Halversen said Sad Boi Thrift is not trying to be a big, flashy business, but Maynez focuses on the product and giving people more affordable clothing.
“It’s not just a business, it’s a business that impacts other people,” Halversen said.
Chris Prinster, a former intern for Sad Boi Thrift, said he feels Maynez is now comfortable having more inventory because he has a few years of experience and knows what will sell.
When Sad Boi Thrift first started, Prinster said it was harder to know whether the store would be open or not. As Maynez hired more interns and employees, Prinster said the hours have become more regular and there are always new items when the company promotes new clothes.
“One thing that it has gained since its inception is definitely stability. I think that stability has brought more accidental customers and more repeat customers,” Prinster said, noting the difference since working as an intern for the company in 2021.
Maynez said the company would not be the same without the relationships it has been able to foster, saying lasting friendships created through the company have led to unwavering support from customers.
“Us being able to have those relationships with our customers is genuine, it’s real,” Maynez said. “And that is always something I’m going to cherish so much.”
For those who want to help support and further the nonprofit ventures in Honduras, Maynez has a simple request.
“Just come to the store. Support us,” Maynez said. “With more exposure and more people coming into the store, that gives us more opportunity to be able to help grow our social venture goal that we have of being able to give back to the community that is in need.”