We're excited to celebrate the success of student entrepreneur, Kelsey Kleinhen, a graduate of James Madison High School Online whose' currently enrolled in Ashworth College's Business Management Bachelor's Degree program.
Story courtesy of Sara Toth-Tribune
At the age of 19, most women aren't worried about business plans. But Kelsey Kleinhen isn't like most young women.
Kleinhen, of North Laurel, is the owner and only staff member of Kelsey's Kloset, a high-end, secondhand boutique that offers affordable designer clothes for women on tight budgets. The store opened Nov. 6 in the Cherry Tree Center, located at routes 29 and 216.
"A lot of people are really excited about this, and I think it's a good market, especially with the economy," Kleinhen said. "If you're in high school, or on your own, your parents don't pay for your stuff, and it's the same at college. You can't afford these things, normally, with a minimum-wage job … You have a smaller budget, so this is helping. It's also helping the moms that want to buy their kids nice things."
Most of the merchandise in Kleinhen's store sells for about 50-80 percent off the retail price. Coach purses line the wall near the entrance, while sweaters and dresses from Abercrombie & Fitch and Charlotte Ruesse hang in the back. Kleinhen said she'll take anything a person can find in the mall — as long as it's high-end, she said.
Most of the merchandise currently in her store came from Kleinhen's own closet, or the closets of her sisters, mother and friends. "I've been holding on to a lot of my stuff over the years," Kleinhen said. "My friends and I have always traded stuff throughout the years and I was planning on selling some stuff on eBay, but I'd rather deal with people face-to-face." Kleinhen's father, Kevin, said his daughter came to him with the idea of opening a store in August. "My first response was, 'Show me a business plan,' " Kevin Kleinhen said. "She's always wanted to do her own thing; she took guidance very well, but she wanted to learn it and do it on her own. "She sold me on the idea. I felt that it could work, so I went ahead and told her I'd invest in it, and if things go well, in a few years she'll be able to pay me back and be on her own."
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