With $200 billion in buying power, millennials are an important demographic for retail concepts. Some may struggle to reach this audience, but for millennial business owners Jordan and Seth Prater, it’s easy to relate.
“If anything, I feel like our age has been a benefit,” Jordan said. “It’s helped with social media and (knowing) what to buy. I never look at the racks and think, ‘I don’t wear any of this.’”
Jordan was 26 and Seth was 27 when they opened their first Plato’s Closet®. The married couple went on to open four stores — two Plato’s Closet and two Style Encore® locations — in just five years.
From Employee to Owner
Jordan and Seth graduated with degrees in chemical engineering and agricultural business, respectively. Although it may seem like a drastic career change, Jordan felt passion was more important than an area of study. She also had a close relationship with retail, working in retail jobs her whole life and at a Plato’s Closet in college.
Just a few years after beginning their careers, they both quit their jobs to pursue their own retail business.
“I really enjoyed retail,” Jordan said. “When I worked at Plato’s Closet, I got to know the owners. I saw the numbers and the potential, and it just seemed right.”
Being familiar with the brand, the couple explored their options with Winmark’s resale concepts. Originally, Jonesboro, their location of choice, was not an established territory, but the Praters have an eye for demand. In under a year, they established a territory and opened a Plato’s Closet with the largest grand opening in the area.
The popularity of the store is apparent within the community.
“We’ve had customers come in and thank us for opening our stores,” Jordan said. “One woman told us she couldn’t afford nice clothes for her kids before our Plato’s Closet.”
The Praters also opened a Style Encore in Jonesboro and have since relocated and expanded both of their Jonesboro locations due to increased demand.
A Hands-On Approach
Jordan and Seth have worked hard to build the multi-unit, multi-brand operation they have today. The timing of it all was important.
“We established ourselves first before expanding,” Seth said. “We had a great location the first time, but once we were a destination, it gave us the freedom to move outside of that.”
The couple has devoted the right amount of time to make their growth possible, seen through their in-store presence. Each tries to visit one store a day. Their in-store and customer interactions make their passion for the business apparent.
“We were both raised to find a good deal,” Jordan said. “If it’s something you believe in, like we do with resale, it can really drive you.”
The couple dove in head first in their first five years. Now that they have established their locations, they look forward to fine-tuning their approach and continuing their growth.
If you’re interested in a resale clothing franchise brand with room for growth, visit Winmark’s site and download our free franchise report.