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By Lindsay Lawrence
Point Park News Service
Recent college graduate Molly Walters needed a professional look for her new career, but knew that what she needed would be too expensive at the mall. To solve this dilemma, Walters went to Clothes Mentor, a new resale store in Bridgeville.
“I came to Clothes Mentor on the grand opening day because I needed to buy an outfit for a job interview,” said Walters. “I bought an Express blouse, New York and Company dress slacks and Guess shoes all for under 60 dollars. I know I would have easily dropped 200 dollars on similar items at the mall.”
Store manager Sandy Calloway and her employees have been busy buying back and selling thousands of women’s name brand clothing and accessories as they celebrated their grand opening Oct. 12.
“Every day, Clothes Mentor is looking to buy all women’s clothing,” Calloway said. “We are looking for current styles and brands that have been purchased in the last year or two. Anything that you bought too much of or just don’t feel like wearing anymore, whether it be shoes to purses to sweaters etc., we are looking to pay cash on the spot for.”
Clothes Mentor was originally created by Ohio natives Lynn and Dennis Blum. The franchise founders also own the distribution rights to Plato’s Closet and Once Upon A Child.
Jamie and Cindy Martin are the owners of Clothes Mentor. Jamie Martin said he believes that “Clothes Mentor is a women’s resale store like you’ve never seen before.”
The store is housed in an approximately 4,000 square feet former Christian book store. The crisp tan and black color scheme along with several black clothing racks lining the aisle ways tie give the store a clean, professional look. The business opened to start buying items on September 4th and the inventory has been growing ever since.
The store’s business strategy is to offer a deal on both ends of the spectrum. Customers can anticipate paying as much 70 percent less for gently used item that they would normally purchase at most retailers. On the other end of the deal, the person selling their items will be paid 30 percent of the item’s expected selling price. The cost of an item is entered into the company’s computer pricing system that takes the style and brand of the item into account and generates a price.
To ensure this process, employees are trained to scope out the most current items in mint condition. “Our employees work off of label and style guides which are updated every few weeks or so,” said Calloway. “They process the customer’s items, determining such issues like whether zippers are broken, buttons are intact, or any other signs of wear and tear. Whenever the employee determines the item is in excellent condition and can be sold in the store, we enter the item into our computer system, which then prices it at about 70% off the retail value.”
The key to keeping this store stocked with current apparel for shoppers is their attention to fashion trends. The store features the most sought after brands for attire, purses, jewelry, and other accessories for women of any age. Items customers wish to sell must be less than two years old, in excellent condition, and have a recognizable brand name or style. The inventory supplies customers with a large selection blouses, dress slacks, jeans, dresses, jewelry and many other items from popular name brands including New York and Company, Express, Cache, and even Coach purses, just to name a few.
Calloway says the store is a perfect option to shop and sell things from your closet in excellent shape. Clothes Mentor carries stylish business and casual apparel in Women’s Sizes 0 – 26 and maternity styles ranging from a variety of items such as an Ann Taylor Loft blazers for as low as 20 dollars or Nine West shoes ranging from $20 to $13.
“Throughout the store, we carry a selection of items that cater to any women’s style. We especially have a huge selection of purses and even designer hand bags so far,” Calloway said. “For example, right now we have a Michael Kors purse in stock that originally sold for 250 dollars. We are selling it for 72, who can beat a deal like that?”
Unlike consignment shops, where it may take weeks or even months to receive money for your items, re-sale offers you the cash immediately for all of the accepted items. “In today’s fast paced environment, many women don’t have the time to wait for each of their items to sell. That is why re-sale is the better option” said Calloway.
According to Calloway, it’s never been more convenient for women to sell their clothes. “We offer Cash on the spot,” she said. “We don’t make our customers wait too long for appraise their items. Usually it takes about 20-25 minutes for us to decide if we can purchase anything from the customer. Clothes Mentor is the only store in the area that gives the money upfront for women’s clothing. At Clothes Mentor, we appreciate our customer’s busy schedules and take the hassle of waiting out of the process. This makes selling your items that you no longer need or use efficient, convenient and above all, rewarding!”
Since its grand opening, the store is stocked with approximately 11,000 items. Calloway says she has high hopes for the store’s success and believes customers will appreciate the money they are saving while still sporting fashionably trendy attire.
“Ladies should always choose Clothes Mentor for all of their fashion needs because after all, their friends and family won’t know what they’ve bought is gently used, but they will definitely notice their style.”