By Janet H. Cho The Plain Dealer, Cleveland
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) "Althea Young, the founder of NoBasis, a local source of customizable T-shirts, hoodies, aprons, and backpacks, is set to open her first brick-and-mortar store after winning the Battle of the Pop-Up contest at Great Northern Mall."
NORTH OLMSTED, Ohio
Young, who has been running NoBasis as an online business for two years, including working at local festivals and community events, is celebrating her grand opening 3 p.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday in a new rent-free space in the Sears wing of the mall near Regal Cinema. The first 50 customers will win a loyalty bag, while the first 100 customers will be entered for a chance to win a holiday-themed raffle.
As the winner of Great Northern's contest, Young will have use of the space, including fixtures and free utilities, for six months -- a prize valued at $18,000. Eight entries were judged on their business strategy, concept creativity, hiring plans, and likelihood of profitability, and had to agree to operate the business during regular mall hours through April 30, 2018.
"Althea is such an inspiring entrepreneur, and we're thrilled to showcase NoBasis' customizable hoodies and T-shirts with their humorous, tongue-in-cheek messages," said Kristin Cala, general manager of Great Northern, in a written announcement.
NoBasis' clothing includes items with phrases such as "Currently Procrastinating," and "Sorry I'm Late, I Was Taking Selfies." NoBasis' Facebook page has photos of T-shirts with slogans such as "Happy To Be Here," "I'm Here for the Vibes," "Free Wifi?" and "I Wore This Shirt Yesterday."
"Her drive, creativity, and business acumen are what we look for in local business -- and those are just some of the qualities that make her a great fit for our mall," Cala said.
NoBasis' 1,499-square-foot store also includes an Instagram photo booth where shoppers can snap and share photos of their purchases, an in-store runway for their first catwalk in their new duds, and an hydro-dip bar with bright colors for personalizing gifts.
"I can't wait to celebrate the grand opening of NoBasis' first brick-and-mortar location," Young said in the announcement. "NoBasis epitomizes the idea of self-expression, and I'm expecting that some of the customer favorites, like graphic T-shirts that show off personality traits, will be popular here as well."