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Mobocracy Brings Vintage Clothing to Port

New second-hand clothing store fills vacant building in downtown Port Washington.

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."

Robert B. January 28, 2012 at 04:19 PM
Good luck! I was glad to see you have a website and sell your good online as well. In my opinion that's a must these days. Online sales can help when foot traffic and in store purchases are low. You can sell to the entire world and not just the people who happen to be walking around Port.
James Meyer February 12, 2012 at 04:28 PM
If you're doing online sales remember that a website is an island. Without advertising and promotion it won't get traffic. If you have an e-commerce site be sure to do your product feeds, and update or take ownership of your Google Places listing. I have dozens of free tools available on my blog at http://netprofitsmedia.blogspot.com To your success! Have a great day! James Meyer Net Profits Media, LLC Port Washington, WI I help small business owners connect with and attract new customers e: netprofitsmedia@gmail.com

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