Elite Fashions, a new downtown clothing store, is planning its grand opening for Saturday.
In conjunction with festivities, a fundraiser for breast cancer research is planned.
In front of the store, 76 E. Market St., owner Ken Sims is planning raffles, a bake sale and a barbecue, as well as giveaways and breast cancer products are to be offered for sale. Hours are 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m.
PHOTO BY VICKI JOHNSON
Ken Sims with some of the clothing in his store, Elite Fashions, 76 E. Market St.
Twenty percent of store proceeds Saturday also go to breast cancer research.
Sims said he chose that charity because a friend's mother survived breast cancer and he knows other survivors.
The store opened its doors Sept. 1.
Sims, a native of Memphis, Tenn., attended high school in Fremont. He said he has friends who attend Heidelberg and Tiffin universities who asked him to open a store catering to young people. While Sims has owned businesses with partners, this is his first business on his own.
Previously, he was the silent partner in a Tiffin business that was destroyed by fire.
"I've learned it's sometimes better to do things on your own," he said.
Sims carries casual wear appealing to high school and college people - but not only young people - such as not-too-expensive jeans and basic shirts.
"Something anybody can wear," he said.
He also has a variety of children's clothes.
Sims said he would like to get requests from customers so he knows which items may sell before he orders them.
He said he plans to stick mostly with basics.
"It could be 30-50 years from now and people are always going to wear a polo shirt," he said.
"We don't have any jeans over $28," he said. "I try to keep my prices low so everybody can afford them.
"When I was growing up, I couldn't afford a lot of things the other kids had, so I don't sell my stuff so high."
Profits are to go back into the business, he said.
"We don't like debt," he said.
Sims said he first became involved in the clothing business because of a family member.
"Because I have cousins that have clothing stores and they did pretty good at it," he said. "And they showed me how to go about it.
"After a while I met enough people that I decided to try it here. Everything takes time. I realize that."
He said people who purchase items would have their names added to a monthly drawing.
"I want to do something good in the community at least once a month," he said.
In addition to clothing, Sims said he has non-prescription colored contact lenses available.
"They change the color of eyes, but they're not prescription," he said. "I've been selling those for two years."
He said he also sells custom laser-engraving on T-shirts, dog tags, mirrors, wood or plastic items onto which he can transfer pictures to the items. A T-shirt is $12.50.
"It could be a baby picture or a football star," he said.
Store hours are 11:30 a.m.-8 p.m. daily.