EAGLE -- There's a brand new resale clothing store in Eagle that caters to teens and young adults. It carries the most popular styles and brands, such as American Eagle, Hollister, Abercrombie and Fitch, Nike and Element. It is called Fashion City Exchange, and it just opened on June 4 in the same plaza as Albertson's on the corner of Eagle Road and State Street.
"We buy lightly-used, name brand clothes and we sell them for a lot cheaper, affordable price," said co-owner Jordan Hepton.
"We get a lot of people in here that are frugal," said co-owner Clancy Johnston. "They care about their money, especially in these times when people are trying to save a couple bucks."
A new store opening during an uncertain economic time, and offering popular styles at affordable prices, is interesting, but something else about the business is what really caught our attention -- the co-owners themselves. Jordan Hepton is 17 years old. Clancy Johnston is 16.
"Yeah, a lot of people are surprised," Hepton said about their ages.
"I get some pretty good looks a lot of the time," said Johnston. "First surprised, then a lot of support, like 'Wow, that's cool!'"
Jordan Hepton is homeschooled, and has already taken some college classes. Clancy Johnston is going to be a junior at New Plymouth High School in the fall. They have been friends basically since Clancy was born. They even showed a couple pictures of them together as little boys. In one, they are about 3 and 4 years old, hugging cheek to cheek. In another photo, they are dressed as cowboys, complete with hats and stick horses.
Like a well-matched pair of brand name shorts and a T-shirt that they sell at Fashion City Exchange, they complement each other. They also compliment each other.
"(Clancy's) kind of, I would say, the dreamer in a way," said Hepton. "He has a lot of good ideas and stuff."
"Jordan is the finite guy. Attention to detail," said Johnston. "He likes everything spic and span."
But why a clothing store? Neither of them has a background in fashion besides knowing what their friends like. They say they just like the business model. It seemed do-able. Plus...
"It's something we've always wanted to do, said Hepton. "We've always wanted to open a business."
"This summer really isn't about making money," Johnston added. "It's more about making connections and learning stuff."
Speaking of money -- They say they didn't get a dime from their parents.
"This is all our money. All on us," Johnston said, smiling.
"We thought that was kind of important," said Hepton.
They raised the money over the years by selling the animals they raised for 4-H and FFA projects and mowing lawns.
"We've seen the statistics for business failure," said Johnston. "It's kind of scary actually to see it."
"We wanted to start small and really get a foundation to start on and then work out from there," said Hepton.
They are pragmatic and realistic, but also optimistic. They say things are going well so far, and they both would love to see the business grow. When school starts back up they will consider hiring somebody to manage the store.
They are open only Wednesday through Sunday each week. They say that's because they are still teenagers and they want to balance the work and the fun in their lives.
It sounds like a good plan because, even after several months in business together, they are still as close as ever.
"Oh yeah," said Hepton. "We're still friends!"
"You know, everyone has their moments, but we get over them," Johnston added.
Judging by the strength of their friendship, this business investment may just work out.
Hepton and Johnston also started an organization called Teen Entrepreneurs of Idaho. They say it connects teenagers who want to start a business with a mentor to give them support and resources they need to succeed.
They say they love to see other teens succeed. If you are interested in finding out more about Teen Entrepreneurs of Idaho, Jordan and Clancy would love to talk with you. For a link to their store with contact information, click here.