By Noah Keur
Between their diverse shoe shelves, decade-old minifigures and colorful clothing racks, QuickStrike serves as both a blast from the past, as well as a present-day hotspot for all things modern apparel. While most enter with the intent to either buy, sell or trade, Remi Whittenburg walks in ready to get to work.
Founded in 2018 by Whittenburg and his two associates—Tanner Appling and Tanner DeHart, QuickStrikeTN is a clothing store located in East Brainerd that specializes in sneakers, streetwear and vintage clothing. From high-end Jordan 1’s to 40-year-old shirts, this store offers every category of up-to-date fashion within its walls.
“It’s a little bit of everything in here,” Whittenburg said. “It’s not the most of anything by any means, but it’s a curated selection of everything that’s brought to us within all three of the major categories.”
The market for this type of apparel has skyrocketed over the last few years—inspiring more and more people to try their hand at recreating what QuickStrike has done. But in Whittenburg’s case, this passion is no new fad; it’s been present for quite some time.
“In second grade, I had a teacher who read us a book about Michael Jordan, so I started wearing Jordans,” he said. “And then in like third grade, I got really into rap, so I wanted to dress like rappers. You know, just nice and obnoxious clothes.”
Although this love was always prevalent for Whittenburg, it wasn’t until he met Appling and DeHart that the idea of creating a store crossed his mind. Throughout college, Whittenburg and Appling worked together at Foot Locker—where they formulated the idea of creating an Instagram page to resell shoes. After doing this for about a year, DeHart, who was a regular customer at the Foot Locker, approached them and said they should open a shop together.
“Honestly, I didn’t know if it would work or not,” Whittenburg said. “I’m sure the Tanners would say they thought it would, but I didn’t. I always had that thought in the back of my mind saying, there’s a possibility this isn’t going to be able to pay for itself.”
But flash forward several years, and he couldn’t have been more wrong. Due to an increase in sales during COVID, Whittenburg and his colleagues were able to move QuickStrike’s location earlier this year. Although it’s just right down the street, their new location is larger, has more parking and is more visible from the road.
“Now, we get customers from every building in this strip,” Whittenburg said. “People will walk over in their Little Caesars uniform. Workers walk over from Goodwill. Customers walk over from Goodwill. And that’s just the people I know come from right around here—not counting the people they tell and whatever else that brings. Also, this spot is just a lot easier to advertise from.”
But there’s no shortage of inventory for these new customers. QuickStrike, along with almost all other resale stores, uses something called co-signing to help stock their shop. This means they often outsource their products, allowing other people to sell their goods in the store—leaving a percentage of the sale to the business.
“We have a co-signer for a better part of our sneakers right now, and then probably about half of our streetwear,” Whittenburg said. “Stuff just moves quicker in here than if a co-signer tries to do it all themselves. It really helps us both because it also allows us to branch out into streetwear and shoes. And then, if we want to tie our own money into it, we can use them to get even higher-end pieces that you don’t see as much.”
But there’s more to QuickStrike than worn-down shirts and freshly scented shoes. Putting the store’s contents aside, Whittenburg insists on providing an open-door policy for all his customers. Him, Appling, DeHart and Levi Powell, their only other employee, have made this a priority since day one, and to them, that’s the key motor behind all of their success.
“You don’t even have to buy anything, just come by and chill. All of our customers have become our friends, in a way,” Whittenburg said. “Stuff like that really goes a long way. We’re all into the same kind of stuff, so it’s pretty much just one big family.”
Meet The Storyteller
Noah Keur is a Junior Communications major, with a minor in Education, at the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga. Noah is a writer, specializing in all things sports, with experience through publications such as The Chattanoogan and UTC’s student run newspaper, The Echo. He excels in finding stories that tend to go unnoticed by the naked eye, and he thoroughly enjoys expanding on these findings, bringing things to light that otherwise never would. He hopes to exist somewhere within the athletic media world following his graduation. For any questions or collaboration, Noah can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.