Five years after launching her eco-fashion boutique, b. Resale, Allison Bross-White received an award acknowledging the success of the business. In an interview about the honor, she spoke of her love of hip-hop music, her passion for clothing design, and her desire to reduce the amount of fast-fashion items clogging up landfills as the inspiration for opening the shop. And then her eyes began to well up with tears. It was much more than that. With a lump in her throat Allison explained, “I’ve created a safe haven for people who might not feel comfortable shopping in other stores.”
At a young age, Allison began to notice that all things were not created equal. As a teen she started speaking out about the injustices she saw happening around her, and she wanted to make a difference. When she wasn’t thinking about how she could change the world, Allison dreamt of opening a nightclub in downtown Minneapolis, Minnesota, where everyone felt welcomed and accepted. She even began crafting her business plan while she was still in high school.
Her plans evolved over time. After college and corporate jobs in the retail industry, in 2010 Allison opened the doors to b. Resale, a secondhand clothing store in South Minneapolis. From the start it was different than other thrift stops. Allison is intentional about the items she curates in her boutique. She focuses on used and locally made goods with a streetwear vibe. The store offers lower price points than most used clothing shops, making it a place where quality fashion is affordable for all. As Allison sees it, everyone should be able to afford a Gucci suit.
b. Resale provides a different type of shopping experience as well, where anyone feels relaxed and welcome to shop or just socialize, without being suspected or accused of any wrongdoing. The sign at the front door says, “In our house we believe that black lives matter, women’s rights are human rights, no human is illegal, science is real, love is love, kindness is everything.” Allison is proud that her business is defined not just by sales but by how people feel there and by the number of connections members of the community are making with one another.
Eight years after first opening its doors, b. Resale continues to combine Allison’s passions for music, fashion and social justice. The store hosts special events that draw in people from all walks of life to enjoy a cultural experience and each other. This year, Allison launched a mini business incubator program that provides local makers with display space to showcase their goods and grow their brands. Allison says if money were no object, she would gift the shop to an up-and-coming entrepreneur or make everything in the shop free.
That warm, inclusive place Allison envisioned creating as a young woman? It’s now a reality, and her neighborhood and community are better for it.
For more information about Allison’s business visit bResale.com.
Photo: b. Resale
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