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Fashion reseller Clothes Mentor targets Philly

Founder Ron Olson helped start Play It Again Sports and Plato's Closet

Havertown insurance-company veteran and grandmother Terri Waters is opening a 4,000 square foot franchise store for Clothes Mentor at 61 E. Germantown Pike (near U.S. 202), East Norriton, on Thursday March 19. The Minneapolis-based chain is founded by Ron Olson, who was previously a cofounder and former partner in resale chains Play It Again Sports, Plato's Closet and Once Upon A Child.

Same idea: Waters buys good-condition designer clothes, from area women, for cash, and offers them at discounts a fraction of the new price. "The company provides intensive training, a computer system, pricing for all items by brand, quality and age, and really intensive support,' says Richard Brill, a spokesman for the chain. Clothes Mentor plans five Philadelphia-area locations in all, 125 across the U.S.

Clothes Mentor calls itself "America's largest upscale-resale fashion chain carrying 40 better brands in excellent resale condition for only $15 average prices," including Talbot's jackets at around $15, Ann Taylor shortsleeved blouses at $10, Lily Pulitzer dresses at $40 (vs $200 at list), Coach bags at $30-150. "Regular, maternity, petite and plus... Chico's, Michael Kors, J. Crew, Louis Vuitton, Lane Bryant and Anthropologie," shoes and jewelry too.

In a statement, Waters said high-end resale fits "the style, brand and value consciousness of Delaware Valley women." She says she held a fashion show for a women's networking group "to show members how they can dress for business success at one-third the cost." Credit cards accepted. More information at