Forwarding Fashion: Style Encore
Growing up in New Orleans, it was Tracie Grubb’s passion to hunt for great fashion finds. Every shopping spree was an adventure, a treasure hunt for unique items or signature pieces. “My best friend and I were always repurposing things we took from our own homes or thrift stores and inviting friends over to shop,” says Tracie.
While Tracie realized the benefits of recycling one’s style at a young age, she had no idea that her hobby would become her career. Today Tracie and her husband Brian, along with her mother Cyndi Seruntine and her husband Earl, are co-owners of Style Encore®, a resale boutique in the heart of Mandeville.
The latest concept from Winmark®, Style Encore joins sister store Once Upon A Child® in providing gently used merchandise to the public at 50–70 percent off regular retail prices. Style Encore specializes in buying and selling women’s casual and business apparel and accessories. “Because we cater to women in their late 20s to mid 50s, there is a little something for everyone. I love that we can help people find great pieces that fit their lifestyle and budget,” says Tracie.
Tracie and Cyndi have over five years of experience with Winmark, owning the local Once Upon A Child since 2009. “It was always my dream to open a resale store,” Tracie says. There was tremendous interest in providing a similar retail experience specifically for women in the community. “Moms loved the value we provided for their children in clothes and merchandise and wanted the same values and opportunities in their own wardrobes. When Winmark decided to launch the women’s brand, I couldn’t have been happier to partner with such a dynamic company that we’ve already had so much success with.”
Style Encore customers will find a wide selection of the latest styles at great prices in a pleasant environment organized for ease of shopping. “We have hundreds of brands in the store and the inventory is changing daily,” Tracie said. “We look at style trends and buy accordingly, just as any retail merchandiser does.”
Their most popular brands include Banana Republic, Ann Taylor Loft, J. Crew, Gap, Lane Bryant, Chico’s, Talbots and Nine West just to name a few. Tracie comments, “I love that on any given day you can walk into our store and see all of your favorite brands in one place.”
We strive to offer a wide variety of items at greatly reduced prices without compromising style or trend. It can also be a great way to make a little extra spending money.
Style Encore accepts gently-used casual and business apparel, shoes and accessories every day during operating hours, making the process convenient and easy. Because Winmark uses a standard formula for accepting and pricing items, women are able to get paid cash on the spot.
“We’ve seen the benefits of the resale concept firsthand, through our experience with Once Upon A Child,” Tracie said. “From the very beginning, I saw the potential in offering the same type of service to working women and mothers alike. The timing was serendipitous. Just as we were looking into ways to bring this type of store into commerce, Winmark started considering a similar franchise concept.”
Tracie and Cyndi were selected to be a part of Winmark’s Trailblazers’ Group, responsible for developing the concept and bringing it to fruition. Style Encore Mandeville was the first franchise to open and has led the way for other stores that have opened this past year. There are currently seven stores open throughout the United States and Winmark has over 30 slated to open in 2014.
While neither mother nor daughter saw herself in the fashion merchandising industry, both are certain they have found their calling. Their stores are truly a family business. Tracie’s sisters, Tammie and Tricia, also live on the Northshore and their children are frequent visitors. Cyndi joked that, “the older ones pitch in when needed, and the younger ones think they run the stores.” “Our employees have also become our family,” says Tracie, “Between both our stores we employ over 20 people and know how important it is to support the community and stimulate the economy.”
“Everybody has a story…a different reason they come to the store. It is a joy to see each one find what they need while they are here. They may want a new outfit, they may be interested in recycling, or they may choose to make extra money for their families,” Cyndi said. “We offer so much more than fashion.”
Located next to Once Upon A Child in Azalea Square, Style Encore is very active in the community. They often hold fundraising events at the store with a portion of the proceeds being donated to area charities. Support groups and women’s organizations also hold “Ladies Night Out” shopping parties as well. “We cherish the relationships we have made with so many of our customers and feel fortunate to contribute to our community in such a positive way,” says Cyndi.
“The Northshore is where we have chosen to live, raise our children and run our business,” Tracie said. “We see it as our responsibility, and privilege, to contribute to the betterment of the community.”
Style Encore is located at 4244 Highway 22 in Mandeville. For more information, you can contact Tracie at 985-674-7776 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also visit them on the web at style-encoremandeville.com.