MISSION (KVEO) – Mission Veterans Senior Justin Rodriguez does it all. So when the pandemic forced him away from the sports he loved playing, he knew it was the perfect time to make another passion come to life.
“It’s something i’ve always dreamed of,” Rodriguez says. “Something I always dreamed of having.
Rodriguez’s father says it started when he was about 15-years-old. “He just started saying “hey you know what dad i want to start going into buying vintage stuff.”” Jesse Rodriguez, Justin’s dad and defensive line coach for the Patriots.
Justin and his dad regularly would visit rag houses in Hidalgo, or consignment shops where large amounts of clothing items are up for grabs. Justin worked as a receptionist at a nursing home to make cash during the pandemic, and all of that cash went into starting up his own thrift shop.
“It’s always been on my mind, it’s something I’ve always liked,” Rodriguez says. “It’s something I want to pursue, and this summer with everything happening I just thought to myself just go for it you can’t hold back now.”
Starting his own shop was no easy feat. He would wake up at early hours, and be out late hand picking every item he wanted to sell in his shop. He would spend money made from the nursing home at the dry cleaners, washing and drying every piece so it could then be priced and up for sale.
“He puts in a lot of time, and a lot of passion,” Jesse Rodriguez sats. “So when he does sell things and price things, it’s something that the community has taken ahold of and embraced.”
Finally, his hard work came to fruition when he opened the doors to his store two months ago.
“The first day there was a line like going down the hallway and i just thought it was crazy,” Rodriguez said. “I didn’t think it could be this big and it’s getting there.”
Justin says when he’s at practice or on the field for the Patriots, he has two friends who help run the store and make sure everything is in line. The jerseys he wears for the Patriots have and always will be been apart of Justin.
“If you do different things you’ll meet different types of audiences and make different friends,” Rodriguez says. “And outside of sports there’s a lot of opportunity you can see as well.”