CLOTHES MENTOR: Ardmore Store has Treasures for Everyone
Check out the Mainline Media News article about the soon-to-be-open Clothes Mentor store in Ardmore, Pennsylvania:
Clothing has the power of transformation. A new little black dress, shiny red heels or a tailored coat can make a woman feel like a million bucks. Yet, why spend most of a paycheck on expensive clothing? Clothes Mentor, a franchise of stores based in the U.S., buys and sells previously owned designer clothing at 70 percent off the original retail value.
“Clothes mentor is unlike consignment, we do pay cash, on the spot. It’s a resale shop like you’ve never seen before. It’s not a thrift store, it’s not a step up from that, it’s really a concept where the modern, fashion-conscious woman can come in and be outfitted in something that’s new, fresh and exciting,” Sharon Nagy, owner of Clothes Mentor Ardmore, said.
The store, at 50 Greenfield Ave., Suite 56C, is set for grand opening on Thursday, Feb. 4 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. During the grand opening event, the first 25 customers in line will receive mystery gift cards, ranging in value from $10-$25 dollars.
Stepping into the store is equivalent to opening up a fashionista’s dream closet, full of rows of color-coordinated clothing, designer handbags, heeled boots, vibrant scarfs, and sparkling jewelry. The pieces range from items from well-known department stores to high-end designers.
“When you come in and you find a Calvin Klein dress that sold for a hundred dollars and it’s thirty in our store, they feel really pretty in it and they are equipped for whatever is out there, whether it is an interview, meeting friends or going out for dinner with their husband,” Nagy said.
The store has treasures for everyone at every budget.
Nagy explains, “We have costume jewelry, we even have some Tiffany pieces and David Yurman. We have in the store everything from Old Navy, Target, Kohl’s, Penny’s all the way up to Dior, Gucci and Christian Louboutin.”
The inventory is created by the community. Anyone can stop by and bring in new or gently used woman’s clothing, shoes, accessories and handbags. Clothing must be laundered and brought in without hangers. People can take advantage of curbside service where they drop off their items and call the curbside number so that they do not have to carry items from their cars.
“We do an inspection, and then we put it into our very sophisticated matrix system that we have that is supported by our franchisor and it tells us the price,” Nagy said.
Clothing that meets requirements will be placed in the store and the previous owners will be paid a portion for the clothing, about 30 percent of the resale price.
However, Nagy explained that for handbags that are mechanized for $50 or more as well as garments mechanized at $200 or more, previous owners will receive half of the resale price. They may also choose to receive store credit which adds an additional 35 percent of the sale to their credit.
Clothes Mentor has items for sizes 0-26 and is looking for more items, especially plus and active wear. “We are setting the store for spring so I’m looking for more summer items that have been in the stores the last few years,” Nagy said.
Opening the store is a lifelong dream that has been in the works since Nagy was a little girl, living in North Carolina. Nagy worked as a nurse up until five years ago. She also has a passion for theater and has performed in 15 shows in both the local community and city since moving to the area over a decade ago.
Nagy, joking about how she was able to explore the glitzy world of theatre before embarking on her business, said, “So then I got that out of my system and now I was like, “OK, now what do I want to do when I grow up? I think I’ll have a store.’”
Nagy was inspired by the mission and concept of the Clothes Mentor franchise.
“When I discovered this concept, where they pay cash and it was for women, and it’s supported by a franchise, it’s not something that I had to do totally on my own. It’s nationally known but locally owned and operated…It’s a concept where we get the support of marketing, advertising and training from the franchise. They helped me get this going but it has been a dream of mine forever.”
Helping others score amazing deals and find beautiful items that can have a second life is also a thrill for Nagy. “I always had resale in my blood, growing up finding that treasure and loved the concept of consignment shops and resale shops,” she said.
Nagy was an entrepreneur from a young age. At 7 years old, her father built her a Kool-Aid stand and she sold the fruity refreshment for a penny. A local reporter took a picture of her, proudly sitting at the stand, which she found in the archives and created a poster of the article.
“I played store a lot as a little girl, I used to put price tags on everything in the house and make my parents shop,” Nagy said.
Her father’s Kool-Aid stand inspired her to open her own business. She hopes to give back to her father and plans to use some proceeds from the store to fund Penn Medical Center’s research.
“I’m going to implement a one cent [buy one, get one for a cent] sale to raise money for a particular disease that my father had. He built this Kool-Aid stand for me, he was terminally ill. I’m going to use this to raise money to study the very rare diseases that he had.”
In this new business venture, Nagy combines her compassion for her family and community.
“It’s all about helping each other, I guess that’s the nurse in me, too,” Nagy said. “I still have that desire to help people feel better about themselves, and that’s what this is all about.”
During the year, Nagy plans to have several exciting events including a “Girls Night Out” partnering with local vendors as well as events for teachers and private parties.
Clothes Mentor Ardmore will also be developing a Personal Shopper program down the line. Eventually, customers will be able to fill out a form online and “the personal shopper [selects] items for them based on their style, their color their preferences, sizes, their lifestyle, what they have interest in.” The program will be free of charge.
Nagy is also looking for talented people who are welcome to apply online to be part of her team in the store. Her vision for the store is a place where the customers and store team thrive together and make the Ardmore location a staple in the community.
“I want it to be a place where people can come and hang out. Every day it’s a new store because things are flying in and flying out. People are excited to bring new things and stop by and see what’s the latest and greatest. But just to be able to say, “Hey how’s it going?” and see your team members making friends with the community and just be a warm atmosphere.”
Nagy is thankful to everyone in the community who has contributed to making her dream a reality.
“The community feels a little ownership of this, I love that… They’re so supportive. We have such an eclectic demographic area around here, it’s great. We’ve got all kinds of folks. Just to see what they were going to help me create in the store, and seeing the team, the excitement, it’s a contagious excitement,” Nagy said.
For more information, visit the Ardmore store website.
Article by Jessica Paradysz, Correspondent for Mainline Media News