Plato's Closet Couple

Shannon and Kevin Melton plan to open a Plato’s Closet in Boone in early September.

A Boone couple plans to open a new clothing store in town: Plato’s Closet.

Plato’s Closet, which has locations in Hickory and Johnson City, Tenn., buys gently used brand-name clothing and accessories for cash and resells them in the store.

The Boone store, which will be located in the New Market Centre next to Capone’s Pizza, will be owned by Boone native Shannon Melton and her husband Kevin Melton.

“We wanted to do something together because we are a late in life marriage,” Shannon Melton said. “We are still newlyweds. We’ve been married for eight years and we just can’t get enough of each other. We wanted to do something that would help our youth learn business skills and customer service, which is dying in our society.”

Shannon Melton said they plan to employ high school and college students in the store. She also said their oldest daughter would be working in the store as well.

Outside of wanting to work together, Shannon and Kevin Melton decided to start a Plato’s Closet because their daughters have frequented Plato’s Closet stores in the past.

Shannon Melton said a Plato’s Closet hadn’t been considered in Boone until they brought it to the attention of the national company.

“They did all their analytics and came up with ‘yes, that would be a great area,’ which we already knew because we have a college here and our high school,” Shannon Melton said. “They got back to us very quickly. So we were excited about that.”

The couple said while they are excited to open the new store, they are also nervous.

“I’m thrilled to do something in this community,” Shannon Melton said. “We’re so excited. We really wanted to do something to change our family tree and to change our kids’ lives so that they have an opportunity to be involved in a family business.”

Kevin Melton had been involved with family businesses as his parents held a variety of businesses — such as a furniture store and trucking company. Shannon Melton on the other hand has been a hairdresser for 37 years.

“I’m very late in life changing careers,” Shannon Melton said. “My husband’s retired from the Air Force so he is also taking a leap of faith into this new career. It will be an adventure for everyone.”

The build out of the new 4,200-square-foot space, which Kevin Melton said used to be a Rent-a-Center, would occur in the last week of August and will only take seven days.

He said that Plato’s Closet contracts with a company to assist in building their stores; the plan is to bring in three crews for eight hours shifts so construction is taking place for 24 hours a day to execute the needed renovations to the existing building.

After the build out is complete, the store plans to start buying clothes from community members during the first couple of weeks in September. Once their inventory is full, the store will then open for customers to purchase clothes.

“It’s a true recycling operation, true sustainability in our community,” Kevin Melton said.

The store only takes certain name-brand items, which can be found at www.platoscloset.com/home/what-we-buy.

“We’re excited to close one chapter and open another,” Shannon Melton said.

More information and updates on the store can be found on the store’s Facebook page at tinyurl.com/yn4hmndm.

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