CLEVELAND — A new upscale, boutique secondhand clothing shop has come to Cleveland’s Tremont neighborhood and will have its grand opening during Walkabout Tremont on Friday. Priscilla Florin, the owner of Refold, was named the winner of Tremont West Development Corporation’s business incubator program, which offers discounted rent, business advice and accounting support for aspiring small business owners and entrepreneurs.
A Tremont West committee selected Florin’s proposal from a pool of seven applicants.
Although Florin’s secondhand clothing shop has been open for several days, the business will have its official grand opening on Friday.
“I’ve run little businesses my whole life. I sold drawings in elementary school. I feel like my whole family is pretty entrepreneurial,” Florin said. “I think that this is a great space and the program’s reduced rent is a fantastic opportunity but there is just so much I didn’t know that I’ve had to learn in two weeks.”
As a new small business owner, you often don’t know what you don’t know. However, because Florin’s business has had a successful online presence on Poshmark.com for the past three years, she is confident her boutique shop – and keen sense of fashion – will immediately take root in Tremont. She also expects the store’s focus on sustainability to be a big selling point.
“Everything is as sustainable as it can be. We don’t offer bags. We encourage the use of reusable bags by offering a discount,” Florin said.
The 400-square-foot storefront that Florin moved into is in the heart of Tremont, flanking some of the area’s destination shops and restaurants. The location has built-in marketing opportunities and comes rent free for the first three months. The remaining seven months of the lease will be $400 per month.
By offering the opportunity but with less risk than a traditional small business start-up, the program can help an entrepreneur determine whether the business venture is feasible.
“Those are the kind of businesses that we look for so somebody that already has an idea and has something going and how does that transfer into successful brick and mortar space for a neighborhood like Tremont,” said Michelle Davis, the assistant director of Tremont West. “Incubators work well for a business that has an idea and they just don’t know if they are able to transfer that to a brick and mortar.”
Davis said Florin has hit the ground running by wasting no time to spruce up the once empty storefront and install Refold signage on the front windows.
“Once I found out I won, I said, ‘okay, I have a list of things to do. I know how to execute. This part I’m good at,” Florin said.