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Business offers fashion-forward, gently used clothing

Hannah Baton, left, and Parker Weiss, right, both 18 and from Winchester, browse through a rack of clothing inside Plato's Closet in Kernstown. Rich Cooley/Daily (Buy photo)

By Katie Demeria

A new shop in Kernstown Commons is offing young people the opportunity of buying the clothes they want at a price they can afford.

Plato's Closet opened late last week at 241 Kernstown Commoons Blvd. According to co-owner Christine Clark, 100 people were waiting to come inside when they first opened the doors.

The store caters to young people, mostly teenagers and twenty-somethings, buying and selling gently used, brand name clothes.

"It's not consignment because you're not bringing in things and waiting for them to be sold. We're buying them right from the public," Christina Clark said.

She added that the combination of reasonable clothes and contemporary styles is "ideal" for young people.

"It just seems to be a really popular idea, we've had really great, positive feedback," she said.

Plato's Closet is a franchise, with around 300 locations across the country and Canada, according to Christina Clark. But this location is the only one for at least an hour in every direction, she added.

The clothes Christina Clark and her husband Paul Clark purchase are only 12 to 18 months old, allowing them to offer current, fashion-forward options to their customers.

They also check each item thoroughly for any holes or damage, and require that the clothes must all be freshly laundered before arriving. In return, the store offers cash for their items.

Christine Clark said she thinks that is the reason so many people are interested in the store.

"I think they really love the concept of getting cash right away and not waiting," Clark said. "I think it's a combination of both ends of what we do. We have a steady amount of people coming in with their items and we have a steady amount of people coming in to shop."

Business has already been doing well, she added. They have had a steady flow of customers since they opened, and many have complimented them on the store's organization.

Clothes are organized by size and color, with all pink clothes together and ranked from largest to smallest.

Christina Clark said this is her and Paul Clark's "first business adventure." They have always wanted to own their own business, she said, and hoped to jump right in, since they are new to the area.

Right now they have 19 employees in the store, including a mix of full time and part time.

The store is open from 10 a.m. until 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and noon to 6 p.m. Sunday.

To find out more, go to www.platosclosetwinchester.com or www.facebook.com/platosclosetwinchester.

Contact staff writer Katie Demeria at 540-465-5137 ext. 155, or kdemeria@nvdaily.com

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