Transitioning from running an auto business in West Bend to a vintage clothing store in Port Washington, Craig Kasten said he has had to tune up his fashion eye — and so far the new store, Mobocracy, fits him well.
"I hurt a lot less," he said. "And I'm clean every day."
Kasten said business ownership runs in his family, and he had been looking to transition to a new area when he saw the Port building at 307 N. Franklin for rent.
"The opportunity presented itself," Kasten said. "The owner was looking for a tenant, and my wife had the idea for this store."
But Kasten's wife is a third-shift nurse, so Kasten said he has been most involved with Mobocracy, which opened Dec. 19. He said he has the sense of style to pull it off, though, and stays abreast of trends by talking to businesses on the east and west coasts.
"The style fit what we usually wear," he said. "I'd like to consider myself relatively in tune."
Kasten said they got much of their first batch of inventory from California and online, but he said he's open to buying clothing from individuals, too.
In addition to second-hand clothing, the store has products from local artists, such as jewelry by Barton Artel, the Wisconsin Skinny clothing line, and handmade soap. Kasten also sells Mobocracy products on eBay.
Opening in mid-December, Kasten said the business had a strong start with the holiday season, though things have slowed down since then.
"Other business owners here have told me that it slows down after the new year," Kasten said. "It's a continual learning process."
He said he appreciates the advice from other business owners, who have come in to shop and support him.
"Any decent venture, business or personal, carries a risk," Kasten said. "And running your own carries more because it's all up to you."