In 2009, Kelsey McLain was a high school student on a mission. She had clothes she didn’t wear and needed some extra money to pay for college. Little did she know that her plan to pay for school would turn into a lucrative business.
Selling her own clothes turned into selling her friends’ clothes, which turned into selling clothes in general.
“I would spend most of my afternoons at Goodwills and Salvation Armys, going through each women’s apparel item,” McLain says. “Most days I would come up with nothing. Others would be an Yves Saint Laurent wool pea coat, circa 1980s, purchased for $16 kind of afternoon. I listed it on eBay with a starting bid of $0.99, and it sold for $900 three days later.”
Cha-ching. Light bulb. Ah-ha moment. She knew she was on to something good.
At first, McLain handled the product listings, photos, customer service and shipping herself — from her apartment. When she began sending out 30 to 40 packages per day, she realized she couldn’t do it on her own anymore, and she needed to get off eBay and onto her own e-commerce platform.
In November 2012, ShopMieux was incorporated. In December, she signed the lease on a 700-square-foot Victorian home in Uptown, which would become her storefront. In January 2013, she hired her first employee, and McLain opened for business in February. Talk about a whirlwind!
With all her success on eBay, why did she need to open her own shop?
“Though eBay is a great selling tool, its policies make it very difficult to establish a brand with returning customers,” says McLain, 23. “We decided to make our own selling platform, which of course is ShopMieux.”
Thanks to social media, the website grew very quickly — so quickly that McLain needed more square footage to operate. In May 2013, she moved into the 3,000-square-foot warehouse on Commerce Street where she operates now. ShopMieux can ship to 50 states and 56 countries.
As for the consignment bit, ShopMieux accepts pre-owned women’s mid-market and high-end items that are in excellent condition. It sounds like your everyday consignment shop until you look a little closer. Sure, ShopMieux has a storefront — and locals are welcome to visit — but if you don’t have the time or the patience, simply visit the website, fill out the sell form with shipping information, and request a free prepaid wardrobe bag.
Within a couple of days, you receive an envelope containing your wardrobe bag, step-by-step instructions, and a few free goodies. Simply fill up the bag with clothes, drop it off at your local post office and wait for ShopMieux’s team of experts to review your garments. ShopMieux emails an offer to you; when you accept, your money goes into a Paypal account immediately. You may also choose to accept 50 percent more in store credit to trade in your clothes for something new.
With 5,000-plus items in stock, there is a wide array of prices, pieces and styles that you can shop for online or in-store. We recently spotted hot items like a cozy Zara Sweater for $12, a Michael Kors Saffiano tote for $98, Tory Burch ballet flats for $42 and red-bottomed Louboutins for less than $500.
ShopMieux is the only one of its kind in Dallas-Fort Worth, and its savvy young owner says the business is on track to be the world’s largest online retailer of women’s secondhand clothing. Quite an accomplishment for a business just shy of its one-year anniversary.