Lauren Rosso owns two Plato’s Closet® franchises in Brampton and Vaughan, Ont. Lauren opened her first Plato’s Closet location in her late 20s and just opened her second location in May of this year, in addition to owning three other stores alongside her husband.
As an entrepreneurial woman, Lauren loves Plato’s Closet because it gives her an opportunity to have a positive impact on the environment, network with her community, spread the word about sustainable fashion and operate a family business. Lauren’s sister, Leigh Anne Hayward, is her co-partner at her second location.
Lauren has always been passionate about fashion and recycling, and she loves the concept of sustainable fashion, which is why she chose to open her Plato’s Closet stores. She hopes to create a solution to better the environment and give back in any way she can.
“The message through Plato’s Closet is leaving a smaller footprint,” said Lauren. “You can still enjoy your passion and be a savvy shopper - without leaving a lasting footprint on our environment.”
It’s no secret that the fashion industry has a sustainability problem. Resale shops like Plato’s Closet allow consumers to purchase clothes that are trendy and new to them, but have a smaller impact on the environment. With the rise of fast fashion, recycling clothes is one way to keep clothing out of landfills.
Promoting Sustainability in Her Community
Lauren doesn’t just promote sustainability within her stores, she shares her passion for recycling with her community as well. Lauren said the community has been lovely and supports the store’s mission.
“The support is like nothing other, and it’s because people recognize the (Plato’s Closet) name and understand what they are all about – upcycling clothing. It’s really impressive to see so many people looking to recycle,” Lauren said.
In the past, Lauren has partnered with local shelters in Brampton to recycle clothing that the store has been collecting, and she usually does this several times annually. Lauren is also planning to network within her community and promote sustainability and recycling, sustainable fashion and creating a thrifting movement. She says that her store is an asset for people who wouldn’t consider thrift and recycling clothing as part of an environmental initiative – in reality, customers are doing something fantastic for the environment and they don’t even know it.
May of this year has been an extremely busy time for Lauren and her family. In addition to her own store opening, her husband Jason Rosso, a well-known chef, was opening a restaurant. Lauren and Jason also own a few other businesses: a restaurant, a pizzeria and a salad shop. To top it all off, Lauren was 8 months pregnant, and the couple had an 18-month-old at home.
Lauren said there’s no such thing as balance, but she is proud to be an entrepreneurial woman and uplift young women in her community.
“I think it’s a tremendous opportunity. Women bring something into business that is strong and compassionate,” said Lauren. “The creativity that comes from women entrepreneurs and women in business is great. I’m always looking for women in business. I have big shoes to fill. I have my staff that looks up to me and they are also able to do great things. It’s great to support young women.”
While Lauren and her husband do own a few businesses together, Plato’s Closet is her baby and something that she’s super passionate about. She hopes that her kids will also have an interest in the business.
As a multi-unit Plato’s Closet franchise owner, Lauren is able to thrive as an entrepreneur while making a difference for the environment and her community. Plato’s Closet has empowered Lauren and her sister to pursue their passions for fashion, sustainability and family. To learn more about owning your own fashion-forward, eco-friendly business, contact us today.