By Annie Pentilla The Montana Standard, Butte
WWR Article Summary (tl;dr) When someone brings clothing into "Overdressed" secondhand clothing store in Butte, Montana, owner Matison Hiner selects and prices the items she thinks she can sell and makes an offer. The seller can either get 30 percent of the clothing's value in cash or 40 percent of the clothing's value in store credit.
The Montana Standard, Butte
According to shop owner Matison Hiner, Overdressed secondhand clothing store on Park Street in Uptown Butte is where brand-name fashion meets practicality.
"Instead of throwing your clothes away, or not getting anything from them, it's kind of a way to recycle them almost," said Hiner, 19.
The upscale used-clothing store opened April 1 in the lower level of Beauty on Broadway hair salon, where Hiner buys and sells brand-name, gently-used women's clothing and accessories.
"No rips, no tears, no stains," said Hiner.
Labels include popular youth brands like Frye, Miss Me, BIG STAR, Rock Revival, Under Armour, Lululemon, Victoria Secret, Nike and private labels by The Buckle, in addition to quality on-trend clothing from less familiar brands.
Unlike many used-clothing stores, Overdressed purchases its inventory and doesn't sell on consignment.
When someone brings clothing to the store, Hiner selects and prices the items she thinks she can sell and makes an offer. The seller can either get 30 percent of the clothing's value in cash or 40 percent of the clothing's value in store credit.
Sellers have the option of donating their rejected clothing to charity.
Hiner said she plans to raise money for various charities of her choice through periodic bag sales in which customers are given a bag for $10 and are able to walk away with as much donated clothing as they can fit into the bag.
One hundred percent of the proceeds from the bag sales will go to the selected charity, Hiner said, adding that she's especially interested in donating to a cystic-fibrosis organization.
Any remaining items will be given to organizations that accept clothing donations.
"I just thought it was a really good idea," said Hiner, pointing out that she got the bag sale idea from a used clothing store in Missoula. "It's always good to give back to the community."
A native of Deer Lodge, Hiner said she's always had an interest in fashion and had a group of friends who liked to go shopping together in high school.
"I just think that everybody has their own fashion," said Hiner. "They just have to find it."
But Hiner started to notice that it was difficult to find trendy, brand-name clothing in the 3,000-person town and that she often had to go to other cities to find the styles she liked, sometimes traveling more than an hour away.
Hiner said those early experiences helped to form the idea behind her store. She said she wants to give Butte residents access to affordable, brand-name clothes and keep more retail sales in the Mining City.
When asked why she decided to go the used-clothing route instead of launching a store with new apparel, Hiner said it all comes down to affordability.
"Clothing now-a-days is so expensive new, especially higher end brands," said Hiner. "(But) maybe someone who couldn't afford it brand new can (now) still have it."
At only 19, some would say Hiner is ambitious for her age. But she's not the only entrepreneur in the family.
Hiner's sister Jessica Holmes, 27, is the owner of Beauty on Broadway, located in the same building as Overdressed at 449 E. Park St. Jessica started her business on Broadway Street but later moved to a property on Montana Street to accommodate a growing clientele.
Afterward, she moved to the Park Street location. Recently Jessica was named Female Entrepreneur of the Year by the Butte Local Development Corporation for the expansion of her business.
Matison Hiner, meanwhile, attributes the entrepreneurial spirit she shares with her sister to her parents, who Hiner said always encouraged their children to work hard.
"My mom's a really strong person," said Hiner. "She always taught us to always just go for it, but be smart about it at the same time."
"To push for what you want in life," she said.
A former Montana state legislator, Hiner's mother is currently the Medical Services Bureau Chief at the Montana State Prison, while Hiner's father works for the Montana Department of Transportation.
Hiner said her family has been crucial in providing the advice and support she needed to launch her own business.
"They just supported me through it all," said Hiner. "They've spent tons and tons of hours down here helping me hang clothes, price clothes, go through clothes. They helped me to manage my money and keep my books."
Hiner's ultimate vision for Overdressed is for it to become a Mining City mainstay, a place where people leave with something they love.
She said she's learned a lot through the process of starting her own business, including the ins and outs of the apparel industry. But most of all, she said, she's learned that becoming an entrepreneur isn't as easy as it looks.
"I've learned how much effort it takes to start your business," she said. "But it's all going to be worth it."