Hey everyone! My name is Jess and I am the owner of Arnold's Walk-In Closet. I wanted to jump on here and introduce myself to some of you who don't know me and also tell you a bit about the blog we are attempting to make. The team and I will be creating posts for the blog at least once a month, hopefully more often. We want to connect deeper with you and be able to share content about resale, fashion, style tips, and general day-to-day operations at our busy resale boutique. If there's ever a topic you'd like us to dive into, please share it with us. After all, this blog is for YOU!
For those of you who don't know me, I'd like to introduce myself to you and give you some background on how Arnold's Walk-In Closet came to be.
I am native to the Arnold/Imperial area. I love this area and have never ventured away. I went to elementary school at St. Joseph's in Kimmswick and graduated from St. Pius X in 2002. After high school, I attended Jefferson College. I wasn't sure what I wanted to be when I grew up and my indecisiveness led me to end my college career and start working full time in the hospitality industry.
I like to say I was too young and dumb at the time to even know what I was getting myself into when I decided to open a resale shop at the age of 25. If I had been older and wiser, I don't think I would've had the guts to take so much risk.
People commonly ask if it was always a dream of mine to own a resale shop. Honestly, no. This sounds crazy, but the idea just popped into my head when I was shopping at my favorite resale store. I thought to myself, "why am I always driving far from home to shop at the good resale shops? We need a cute, trendy, name-brand resale shop in our area that is more of a boutique than thrift store." That one shopping trip in May of 2009 really was the catalyst to start the store. I did not stop thinking about opening a store from that day forward. It became my obsession.
Have you ever been so passionate about something you can't even sleep at night? That was me. My family thought I was crazy but they were also very supportive which I will forever be thankful for. I started journaling about it, planning it, crunching numbers, reading business books, and researching other successful stores. Quickly, things moved from just being on paper to actually collecting inventory, finding a location, signing a lease and getting a business license. Within three months, Arnold's Walk-In Closet was open!
Grand Opening 8-8-09
It took a lot of time, energy, sacrifice and commitment to get the store to where it is today. It was a very long and hard first winter. I quickly learned that owning a business was not all fun and games. In 2009, social media was not as prevalent as it is today. We did not start with a Facebook or Instagram page so getting your name out there as a new business was tough. I had no advertising budget so my two main strategies were to try and make a connection with every customer who came in so they would keep coming back and to always make sure my store was clean and organized. I really believed that if I just worked hard enough, it would pay off.
Slowly, but surely, when spring rolled around in 2010, business was steady. Word had spread that the store paid cash for clothes on the spot. I was getting a great selection of items coming in daily and I had developed a very loyal customer base who shopped frequently. Things just continued to grow and it was so awesome to be consistently busy and make enough money to pay the bills and have a little bit left over to live on. Eventually, I was able to hire staff and take a few days off once in a while.
By 2012, I knew it was time for a bigger space so we doubled our size by moving into the corner spot in the Astra Way plaza. Also, in this year I purchased a second location on Washington Ave in St. Louis called The Glam Attic. In 2015, I opened a location in Festus. In 2019, we opened a formal consignment shop called Edie & Attie's Formal Consignments. I was one busy business owner!
Luckily, my husband Jon came on full time to help out. It was good to have our whole family invested in the business. Speaking of family, while we were growing our business, we were also growing our family. My son, Logan, was 3 when I opened the store. My daughter, Atlas Ann, was born in 2011 followed by Eden Maxine in 2016. As many of you know, I really expanded the family by giving birth to twins in December 2021. Henry and Sylvie are doing great and getting bigger every day!
I have been so fortunate to have a great team throughout the years. Many of the girls who have worked for me remain close friends and I feel like I will always be their work mom. In 2018, we hired a store manager, Liz. This was a total game-changer. Liz is a true sales professional and has brought so much new energy to the store. She is not only an amazing manager but has become a close friend!
Arnold's Walk-In Closet wouldn't ever exist without such great loyal customers. We have retained many customers since the original opening and seem to gain new ones everyday! With over 12 years in business, it's been fun and a pleasure to see your families grow as well. The store truly has been a blessing from God from Whom all good things come.
The future plan for Arnold's Walk-In Closet is to keep doing what we've been doing: buying and selling trendy, name-brand clothes and accessories at great prices in a clean, organized & friendly environment! We continue to keep this our main focus. At the same time, we have a goal this year to expand our online store, social media engagement and Facebook Live selling. This blog is another example of new growth we are exploring,
I hope this post gave you a little insight and history into Arnold's Walk-In Closet. I truly thank you for reading and supporting the store! Be on the look out for our next post.