In episode 2 of our Somewhere in Missouri podcast we sat down with 5 Pound Apparel owner, Brina Thomas. We talked about her background, how she got involved with 5 Pound, the importance of brand loyalty, and the strides they are making in sustainable clothing.[the following is an abridged transcript from the podcast] [sgf] For those who do not know, can you provide some insight into your role with 5 Pound and how you got involved.
[bt] My husband and I bought 5 Pound Apparel two years ago. I was actually in my senior year of college at Missouri State University. My degree is in fashion merchandising and marketing and the store came up for sale and we kind of just took a leap of faith. I’ve owned the stores now for two years. I run the day to day, I do all the buying, all of the marketing and all that good stuff. We have nine employees that are my backbone they help me all the time.[sgf] What made you put down roots and get involved in a business in Springfield versus say going elsewhere?
[bt] There was no way I was leaving Springfield. I love the city itself. I was born here. My husband’s from here, we just love Springfield. It’s just, it’s small enough to where you can go places and still know people, but it’s also big enough to where you’re not like seeing the same people everywhere you go. I truly love Springfield. I think it’s definitely the best city in Missouri.[sgf] What do you think some of the advantages are of having your business here in Springfield versus, say, Saint Louis, Kansas City, or really anywhere else.
[bt] I think that definitely since it is that small town fee you kind of build that network of friends and family and people here just value shopping local so much. We have people that have been lifelong customers since the very beginning and even though it’s changed ownerships, I’ve really tried to keep the essence of the brand the same.[sgf] I remember reading in an interview, when you guys were acquiring 5 pound, you mentioned wanting to maintain just how awesome it’s always been. What was some of the challenges of maintaining that brand integrity and the entire mission statement so to speak of 5 pound while also making it your own?
[bt] The previous owner definitely left big shoes to fill. I mean, he is a super creative entrepreneur at heart. I think that definitely my plan was to keep the store the same for the first year. I really was just like learning. I just wanted to learn everything about it, how they did everything before changing anything. Because sometimes, you know, people can walk into a business and be like, oh, I would rather do it this this way, and then they realize later we already tried that.
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