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Thursday February 20, 2020
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Clothes Mentor Opens at Maple Village

Gently used designer women's fashions

by Anita LeBlanc

From the February, 2020 issue

"When we opened the door at ten, the place just filled with people!" exclaims Jan Johnson, owner of the Clothes Mentor franchise in Maple Village. On a cold day in December, more than fifty people were waiting in line for her grand opening.

Clothes Mentor replaces a portion of the funky, much-missed Value World, where thrift shoppers foraged for bargain-priced merchandise and sometimes created impromptu changing rooms in the aisles. Its successor plays the used-clothing game at a much more selective level: it displays trendier, pricier, gently-used designer and name-brand (think J. Crew, Michael Kors, Gucci, Chanel, and Coach) women's clothing (including maternity and sizes zero through twenty-six), shoes, handbags, and more, all neatly arranged by size and color, selling for up to 70 percent off retail prices. Four fitting rooms--one with wheelchair access--and a restroom are available.

Like Plato's Closet, Clothes Mentor buys and sells merchandise from customers. Johnson explains that Plato's is for teens and young adults, while Clothes Mentor caters to women twenty to fifty-five. Though they share historic links, each is a different corporate franchise operation.

Unlike consignment, where sellers wait until their merchandise sells to receive payment, Clothes Mentor pays cash on the spot at a third of what they hope to sell it for, or a bit more in store credit. Johnson accepts in-season garments from the store's opening to an hour before closing.

A self-professed shopping aficionado, Johnson chose accounting over fashion design as her college major because it promised "more money right away." She eventually earned her master's in finance, working in corporate America and retail.

As she neared retirement, she decided to indulge her fashion passion and love of people. "I'm all grown up, and I can do something for fun," she smiles.

Clothes Mentor, 339 N. Maple Rd. (Maple Village). (734) 263-2150. Mon.-Sat. 10 a.m.-8 p.m., Sun. noon-5 p.m. clothesmentor.com/ann-arbor-mi     (end of article)

 



 
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