Clothes Mentor brings shopping experience online

NOW: Clothes Mentor brings shopping experience online

MISHAWAKA, Ind. --- Small businesses in Michiana are getting creative to keep their doors open during the pandemic, even if that means taking business online.

Through the pandemic, it is evident how difficult it can be for many small business owners to stay open and keep their employees working.

For one local retail business, they decided to meet customers where they are—at home.

“People love our store,” Stephanie McCoy said, co-owner of Clothes Mentor Mishawaka and owner of the Goshen location. “And so being closed, you know, they were kind of missing their retail therapy.”

That is what inspired Clothes Mentor in Mishawaka and Granger to launch its own online shop.

Clothes Mentor sells secondhand women’s apparel and accessories, but with people at home these businesses had to get creative to reach customers.

With over 24,000 pieces in-store, it was not necessarily an easy task.

“Per piece it’s maybe taking us about 45 seconds,” McCoy said. “Which sounds quick, but when you have over 2,000 pieces, it’s very it was very time consuming, so we’re very excited that we are where we are.”

The way it works is the team over at Clothes Mentor takes a photo of the barcode, along with photos of the item and uploads it to the site for customers to shop through.

Creative an online shop was something the store had always hoped to do.

“We just never had the time or the manpower,” McCoy said. “So we were blessed I guess with this time to be able to put the, the effort and attention that needed to go into it to get it to be a successful online shop.”

With over 2,000 items now available online, customers can find everything from shoes, handbags and even bathing suits.

Customers can then pick up their order curbside, have it shipped or they can even shop from either location’s site.

“If you buy it out in Goshen we bring it here,” McCoy said. “You can pick it up here in Mishawaka and vice versa.”

With double the shopping comes double the fun, taking a team to get the online shops up and running with the latest trends, but courtesy of a PPP loan, both locations were even able to bring back their team of employees.

“Some people do live paycheck to paycheck,” McCoy said. “So being able to bring them back knowing that they are in a safe place and we’re going to do everything we can to keep them safe—it’s a great feeling.”

The most rewarding part of it all is getting to see their customers—social distance style—for curbside pickup orders, according to McCoy.

“We miss them so much so it’s so fun to be able to just wave to them and say hi to them and, you know, we can’t wait until they’re able to come back in the store and see us,” McCoy said.

The online shopping experience has been such a fan favorite that the team plans to keep it going in the future.

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