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SAGAMORE HILLS -- Teens have a new local shop in town to find trendy clothes at a discount.
Plato's Closet officially opened its doors June 29 for sales and purchases. Owner, Christina McCrossin, said the store targets ages 12 to 24 and sells casual clothing. But the store doesn't only sell clothing and accessories, they buy them too.
No appointment is necessary to sell items to the store. The store pays cash on the spot for goods it purchases from consumers. Typically, Plato's Closet buys items that have been in retail stores within the past 12 to 18 months and are current styles seen in the mall for around 30 percent of the cost of the item and resells it for 50-70 percent off the cost of a regular retail store McCrossin said.
"If you have a pair of jeans that cost $100, I will buy them for $15 and resell them for around $35," she said. "It's a good way for people to get great deals on clothes and it puts money back into the community."
She added for those who sell their items, it's instant gratification because they get paid in cash.
McCrossin said she worked in a Plato's Closet back in 2002 and randomly revisited her old stomping ground in April 2016. She found out the former owner had died and began wondering what would happen to the store and decided to look into it. While that store went to the man's daughter, she found there was open territory in and around the Macedonia area. She said she decided to attend the training and found the 7,000 square foot store in Sagamore Square and was off and running. She said she picked the spot in the plaza next to Marc's with 4,500 square feet of retail space but plans to knock down a wall in the future to expand the store. McCrossin added the people in the area have been very welcoming.
Along with her significant other and business partner, Dr. Hassan Malik, both of whom have experience with business, as well as MBA's began renovating the 4,500 square foot store. McCrossin said Malik's name isn't on the franchise paperwork, but has put in countless hours and effort building shelves, installing flooring and helping out.
"This is his blood sweat and tears going into this too," she said.
McCrossin worked as an administrator for pulmonary critical care at Akron General Hospital, but changes with the organization left her with the choice to commute to Cleveland or start fresh. She chose to start her own business. Like McCrossin, Malik also worked in the medical field. As a physician, he owned his own medical practice. He decided to sell his practice, and went to work for Phizer, a pharmaceutical company.
"We both just wanted to do something different, that wasn't medical," McCrossin said adding she is excited to own her own business. "I look around the store and think I bought every single thing in here. It's weird but it's awesome owning my own business."
McCrossin said she grew up poor, hardly ever getting new clothes and so she understands the need for less expensive clothing.
"There wasn't a Plato's when I was young," she said. "There wasn't a place I could go get Abercrombie jeans as a kid and you get made fun of because you don't fit in, and you don't match. I remember having 10 T-shirts total for a period of time, and I rotated them. As a kid it would have been awesome to have a store like this where you could go and get current styles and trends for 50 to 70 percent off retail."
She said while there is a stigma associated with purchasing used items, Plato's is very conscientious of the items they purchase looking for "style, condition, demand and brand." McCrossin said at least 2-3 of the 15 employees go over all items carefully, and make sure all items are in ready-to-wear, freshly laundered condition.
"We make sure everything is in the best possible condition, and we authenticate purses," McCrossin said.
Items the store is still in need of currently include jeans, athletic wear and dresses.
The store is located at 500 West Aurora Road next to Marc's in Sagamore Hills. The store is open seven days a week with hours Monday-Saturday from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. and noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays.
Briana Barker: 330-541-9432