Entrepreneurial Carthage sophomore opens store in downtown Kenosha
Less than halfway through his time at Carthage, Aydan Hughes-Massey ’26 is already a successful entrepreneur who’s helping people find and own their style through his vintage clothing business, The Wild Goose Exchange.
Aydan recently opened a second storefront in downtown Kenosha, near the Carthage campus, joining a successful one in his hometown of Appleton, Wisconsin. He sees Kenosha as an up-and-coming city with a great location and hopes his store will draw more young people downtown by giving them a place to hang out with friends and shop.
The sophomore has turned his multiple passions into a career path, majoring in music with minors in business administration and social justice. A lot of his time is dedicated to the Carthage Choir, and he plans to pursue a career in music therapy after graduation. On the side, he continues to grow his business.
Aydan started his entrepreneurial journey about three years ago in his hometown of Appleton, Wisconsin. While working at Goodwill during high school, he witnessed the need for affordable clothing and was excited by the unique style that comes from shopping secondhand. He started to acquire thrift items and sell them at small pop-up shops, and from there his brand took off.
The Wild Goose Exchange connects with its customers through a buy, sell, and trade business model. The store buys its clothing from other storefronts and the public, and focuses on current trends, designer pieces, vintage and unique clothing. One of their favorite expressions is “the weirder, the better!”
The business’s tagline, “You Never Know Where The Wild Goose Goes,” stems from banter between Aydan and his “Bumpa” (grandfather), a central figure in his upbringing. His grandfather would answer with, “But, the Wild Goose Does!”. Adding to the family connection in this venture, Aydan’s mother is his business partner and another big supporter in his life. Aydan hopes the brand evokes wonder, inspiring others to “own their style, own themselves.”
Aydan was featured in the first Innovators Night Out in November, an event the Aspire Center — Carthage’s career development office — co-sponsored with the Kenosha Area Business Alliance, gener8tor/gBeta of Kenosha, and TechPrize.
Grateful for the support he and his business have been given, Aydan incorporates charitable donations and partnerships with local nonprofits into his business model. A core value of the brand is sustainability, and, by reusing and recycling clothing, The Wild Goose Exchange helps lessen the environmental impact of overconsumption, fast fashion, and otherwise discarded clothing.
One of Aydan’s future goals is to open more storefronts of The Wild Goose Exchange across Wisconsin, but for now, he is enjoying the community he has built. Check out Aydan’s storefront in Kenosha or find him on campus to learn Where the Wild Goose Goes or what big things Aydan is accomplishing today.