‘If you think it’s cool, you should collect it’: World’s Worst Expo

Sacramento exhibition brings out student vendors


Michael Pacheco

Vendors at the World’s Worst Expo on I St. in Sacramento setting up their kiosks on Sunday, Nov. 20 2022. The expo features many local businesses and entrepreneurs selling handcrafted clothes, accessories and food.

Hailey Valdivia

On I Street between a Goodyear garage and a vacant parking lot, rows of vendors line up. The smell of food wafts through the air and music plays as people go from vendor to vendor. 

The World’s Worst Expo, run by Worlds Worst Bodega, displays music, food and numerous clothing vendors — mostly vintage and thrifted pieces. The exhibition is a flea market that happens every third Sunday of every month. 

The World’s Worst Expo was created by World’s Worst Bodega owners Jamison Lyons and Casey Man in 2021 and has grown ever since gathering over 170 vendors from all over California. 

“We realized if we could create that opportunity for one niche crowd,” Lyons said. “There’s just so much more opportunity out there for a lot of people and that’s why it actually got to this size.” 

Lyons said the pair met when he sold Man his first couple of vintage pieces and Lyons said the two would eventually reconnect later and start the World’s Worst Bodega. 

Lyons said the World’s Worst Expo started with only 15 vendors and as the event grew more popular, the idea morphed.  Man said they wanted to create an event focused on vintage and thrifted clothing.

“There’d be an event with 200 vendors, but only five of them are [selling] clothing so we just thought it’d be really cool to create a space where all of the resellers kind of come together and just have it all in one place,” Man said.

Co-owners of the World’s Worst Bodega Casey Man and Jamison Lyons. The Expo hosts vendors selling handmade goods, vintage streetwear and food. (Michael Pacheco )

Kevin Nava, third year student photography major at Sacramento State, said he found out about The World’s Worst Expo through a friend. 

“I wasn’t too sure what [The World’s Worst Expo] was about, but he sent me a link and I opened it took me to the Instagram page,” said Nava.“I saw everything that The World’s Worst Expo had and it seemed to be really fun, so I went there I really enjoyed it.”

Nava said he’s been five times, stating there is a uniqueness to everything the flea market offers. 

Local vendors setting up their booths at the World’s Worst Expo in Sacramento on Sunday morning, Nov. 20 2022. The shops here offer many kinds of streetwear and handmade accessories. (Michael Pacheco )

Two of the vendors at the Worlds Worst have roots as students at Sacramento State: Three Word Thrifts and Deezy Got Heat.

Grant Staples, one of the three owners of Three Word Thrifts, runs the business with his twin brother and a friend.

“Me and my brother were like, ‘let’s just go in there, see if we can find some cool stuff,’” Staples said. “It’s cooler than newer stuff and so that’s how it started back in high school.”

By thrifting, Staples found his passion for vintage pieces and uses Instagram to share his appreciation for the pieces he found. Staples, his brother and their partner decided to make an Instagram account that’s enjoyed six years of trading vintage clothing.

“I think other people would enjoy what we do,” Staples continued. “They would love to see 90s pieces or solid 80s pieces.”

The Energy & Exchange booth at the World’s Worst Expo in Sacramento on Sunday, Nov. 20 2022. Some of the items they had included clothes, rugs and hanging flower pots. (Michael Pacheco )

One of Staples favorite finds was from a former surfer in his 60’s from Hawaii.

“He had all these super cool looking Hawaiian T-shirts with crazy colors on them and it was just stuff that you just never see,” he said. “You can’t find a single one of those pieces elsewhere and I was able to get 10 pieces just from one guy.”

Staples said it’s all about consistency. He finds it easy to find pieces he can sell based on his own tastes.

“It doesn’t matter what everyone else seems to think about it,” Staples said. “But if you think it’s cool, then you should collect it.

Darren Sze holding up a jacket from his kiosk at the World’s Worst Expo in downtown Sacramento on Sunday, Nov. 20 2022. World’s Worst holds a gathering of local vendors on the third Sunday of each month. (Michael Pacheco )


Darren Sze, senior and math major at Sac State, is the creator of DeezyGotHeat on Instagram and one of the recurring vendors at World’s Worst Expo. Sze said he’s been going to the event for about two years now. 

Originally from New York, Sze moved to Sacramento when he was 10.

“Growing up, I never was able to purchase a lot of clothes,” he said. “I was like, ‘oh, I can get clothes for a lower price then also, you know, have more clothes for myself.’”

Eventually, Sze made an Instagram to sell his wares to friends and eventually his followers grew. He said that thrifting was also a way to get his mind off school and to connect with new people. 

“It definitely influenced my way to connect since not a lot of people sell vintage,” Sze said. “It’s kind of a rare thing…it’s cool to make new connections with people who are into clothing.”

Thrifting and selling also helped Sze develop his sense of style. He has goals in the future of getting to make his own clothes.

“Once I started thrifting, I had an opportunity to try different types of clothes and try new things,” Sze said.“ “[Style] for me is not about a uniform; style is about diversity in your clothing. Selling at these events, I get to meet all different types of people who dress differently and that’s impacted how I dress.”