Seaview Outfitters fits in Uptown
Published: Friday, October 4, 2013
Updated: Friday, October 4, 2013 00:10
Patagonia fleeces and Vineyard Vines baseball hats are no stangers to Miami students thanks to Seaview Outfitters’ owner Steve Thomas.
These are two of Seaview Outfitters’ top-selling brands, according to Thomas, the store’s 24-year-old owner and Miami alumnus.
Seaview Outfitters, located 22 West Park Place, is the culmination of an idea Thomas had when he was a junior accounting major in the Farmer School of Business (FSB).
“My two younger brothers and I, who also attend Miami, would spend all of our summers working at our aunt’s bar in Alaska,” Thomas said. “Seeing her run a small business and being so happy about it inspired me to open my own.”
Thomas explained that he spent most of his junior year planning the business until it finally opened at the end of his senior year.
After receiving a bachelor’s degree, Thomas earned a Master’s in accounting from FSB, which, according to the entrepreneur, made for “quite a year,” working toward an advanced degree and operating a new start-up.
Citing the immediate success of the business, Thomas said he declined a job offer in the accounting sector to fully devote his time to Seaview.
As displayed on Seaview Outfitters’ website, Thomas was motivated by and strives to share his passion for the outdoors.
According to Thomas, Seaview’s motto is, “gear people up for their adventures” by providing customers with top-selling brands like Patagonia, Vineyard Vines, Under Armour, Columbia, Ray Ban, Oakley and ENO Hammocks.
“We sell to both genders equally,” Thomas said, “[This] is good because before we opened there weren’t really any male retail stores in Oxford, only women’s boutiques.”
Thomas said he opened the store because, at the time, there was nowhere in town selling those brands, he foresaw the market for it. Thomas said another plus was the constant influx of new customers, made possible by having his store in a college town.
However, Thomas said Miami students are not his only customers.
“The summers have proved that Oxford locals are valuable customers,” Thomas said. “Our customers range from 18 to 80, male or female. We sell all lifestyle wear that everyone needs.”
Still, according to Thomas, the students bring great business, especially in the fall around Homecoming and Family Weekend.
Miami sophomore Emma Krauss said she enjoys shopping at Seaview, especially when her parents came to visit.
“My mom bought me a Patagonia vest over parent’s weekend for my birthday,” Krauss said. “They were so nice and helped me find the perfect fit.”
All Seaview employees are, or were, Miami students, according to Thomas.
High school senior Kieran Ellis she said was impressed to find so many student employees when visiting the shop Uptown after a university tour.
“We saw Seaview and decided to go inside,” Ellis said. “As a perspective student, it was cool to see Miami kids off campus, away of classes and working in a business outside the university.”
Bringing outdoorsy Alaskan aesthetic to Uptown Oxford and Miami with the help of Miami students has been an awesome and unforgettable experience, Thomas said.
For more information, call Seaview Outfitters at (513) 273-9988.