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Meet Sam Kendig of Salvage Wear in Downtown Riverside

Today we’d like to introduce you to Sam Kendig.

So, before we jump into specific questions about the business, why don’t you give us some details about you and your story.
Salvage Wear first started out with one jacket, hand painted in my grandma’s kitchen. As I painted, her and I talked about life and shared laughs and made memories. I searched and searched trying to find a jacket to wear to Long Beach PRIDE back in 2018, and when I came to a dead end I realized this was something I could make myself! Little did I know, this was the start of a new adventure!

I wore my hand painted rainbow jacket with pride and it brought a huge smile to my face hearing people tell me they loved it too! Later that day my girlfriend, Christina, suggested that I make more and try to sell them. After sitting on this idea for months, I finally pulled the trigger. I bought a couple of jackets from thrift stores and got started painting.

With help from my friends and family, a business name was born, logo’s and graphics were created and we did our first small photoshoot.

This small business has brought me so much joy. I have met people through social media who have shared their stories and journeys with me. They’ve shared how much these jackets mean to them. I can’t put into words what that feeling is like, but I can tell you, it’s priceless.

Salvage Wear has started out slow and continues to slowly move along and I am ok with that at this time. I’m not looking to make millions off of my hand painted rainbow jackets. What I’m looking for is what I already have. Beautiful, loving, strong individuals wearing my creations with pride.

Rainbows have a different meaning for everyone. Salvage Wear is not for just one, it’s for everyone. And each person who owns one of my jackets has known the rain that falls before a rainbow appears. These are my people and they are my tribe.

Great, so let’s dig a little deeper into the story – has it been an easy path overall and if not, what were the challenges you’ve had to overcome?
Honestly, I think we can all agree that no path in life is smooth. Each destination we come to has only been successful after seeing the twists and turns, the bumps and the hurdles. Right? for me personally, the biggest struggle I’ve encountered is the struggle I’ve created for myself. Our minds are capable of being our own worst enemy. And this has been true for me. I’ve let myself believe that this isn’t something I was capable of. But it’s when we power through these moments that we see the beauty that’s on the other side.

I’m sure there will be many more twists and turns, bumps and hurdles and that’s all part of the process and each one will make me stronger.

Salvage Wear – what should we know? What do you do best? What sets you apart from the competition?
Salvage Wear is known for our hand painted rainbow denim jackets and vests. I have not ventured into any other projects at this time but with time more will come!

What sets my small business apart and what makes me the most proud are one in the same. This small business is a place of love, where you can share your story, where you will be heard and cherished. I put love into making these jackets. I learn about the person who will be wearing it and what it means to them. Salvage Wear represents love for everyone.

What moment in your career do you look back most fondly on?
I’m simply proud that I’m on this journey.

Contact Info:

  • Email:
  • Instagram: @salvage_wear

Image Credit:
Models: Christina Swanson, Brittany Bell-Cox, Josie Cabrera; Photographer: Summer Shea Photography by Summer Berriel

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