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Penn State Student & Founder Of Chute Laundry Opens Vintage Pop-Up Shop On Beaver Ave.

Two years ago, Reid Moncada founded Chute Laundry while taking an entrepreneurship course as a sophomore at Penn State.

“It was one of those things where I hated doing laundry, everyone else hated doing it, and I thought I could make a business out of it,” he said.

Fast forward to 2020, and Moncada’s wash-and-fold laundry program is now available at thirteen different universities, expanding from Happy Valley to campuses in or near Philadelphia. What was once a side hustle is now a full-time gig, generating serious revenue and reinventing the way in which college students take care of their laundry.

But for Moncada, this is just the beginning. In fact, the young entrepreneur has turned his focus toward a brand new project: operating a pop-up vintage clothing shop in downtown State College.

Inspired by countless pop-up stores in New York City — and one in particular called Recess — Reid and his friends worked to transform a once completely gutted space into a welcoming and unique storefront at 113 E Beaver Ave.

“This was by far one of the riskiest things I’ve ever done,” Reid said. “We’re building something from nothing.

“A month and a half ago I didn’t know how to open a can of paint and now we’re putting in shelves, [my coworker is] putting in floors, carpeting.”

Now, beyond the cracked glass door at the front of the shop is an intriguing and cool atmosphere that offers ~vibes~ unlike anything State College has ever seen.

Racks of vintage clothes from streetwear collectors and other vendors — some from Instagram — line the walls, featuring brands such as Adidas, Converse, and Reebok. There’s also a substantial amount of thrift store clothing and “custom pieces designed and curated by Penn State students and professors,” according to store manager Alex Grosek.

For the most part, prices range anywhere from $15 to $35, but the back of the store houses quite the collection of higher-end products. From $800 Yeezys to various Supreme, Givenchy, Gucci, and Burberry products, there’s something to satisfy fashion tastes of all kinds.

What’s more, the pop-up shop accepts all forms of payment, including Venmo and LionCash+, to make it more convenient and accessible for students.

Chute Laundry also plans to organize several clothing drives at the pop-up shop, partnering with local homeless and youth shelters in the area to donate clothes to those in need.

So far, Reid says he’s been pleasantly surprised with how well the store has done since it first opened in early December. In fact, he’s currently working alongside Grosek to create a website that catalogs every item in the store. And it doesn’t stop there.

“The other thing we’re kind of in the process of is developing a system for reimplementing this pop up strategy in different college towns and different cities,” Grosek said.

State College is merely the starting point, but the sky truly is the limit for the Chute team.

“I’m trying to build a billion-dollar business,” Reid said.

The pop-up shop will remain open from 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. every day, with an ending date, falling possibly during February or at the end of the semester, which Moncada said is to be determined later.

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About the Author

Rory Pelella

Rory is a senior from Binghamton, New York majoring in Spanish and journalism. She's been bleeding blue and white ever since her older siblings decided to create a family dynasty in Happy Valley in 2006. So, as you can imagine, she loves absolutely everything Penn State (especially the Cheese Shoppe downtown). She's also a die-hard Yankees, Knicks, and Giants fan (it's brutal), and would do anything for a good old fashioned New York slice. Feel free to email her at [email protected] or follow her on twitter @rorypelella.

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