REAP Women's Business
New Clothing Business Displays a Positive Attitude in Name
and DeedA sound business
plan, commitment, and determination helps this business turn out
customers in style.
Attitudes Apparel opened in September 2001
on the square in downtown Fairbury, Nebraska. Its slogan is,
“Attitude is a little thing that makes a big difference.”
Rita Riensche likes the
challenge that her new retail clothing business brings her. The
store offers quality clothing at moderate prices for juniors,
missy, petites, and plus-size women.
Inventory has grown and the business has stayed in a positive
cash flow situation in its first year. Sales projections in her
initial business plan have been on target.
Rita and husband Glen
worked with REAP Business Specialist
McClure to complete a
detailed business plan and obtain a REAP Direct Loan to help
with the start-up.
Rita did a lot of research before opening the store. She talked
to retail clothing business owners in other rural communities
and searched for vendors that could provide the proper inventory
for this mid-western market.
Rita truly enjoys the travel to markets. She’s been in Kansas
City, Los Angeles, Denver, Dallas, Minneapolis, Kearney, and
Omaha. She loves to see the runway of fashions and to learn of
the current styles.
“Being in the business keeps life exciting,” states Riensche.
Her biggest stress and worry is whether the merchandise will
move. She’s learned that she can’t buy for just her taste. She
has to consider her varied customers’ desires as well.
About half of her customer base is from the local Jefferson
County area. She’s been pleasantly surprised to have the other
half of her customers come in from out of the county.
Rita is the only full-time person in the store, but she’s
fortunate to have three dependable gals to call on when she
Words of wisdom from Rita on opening a business: Make sure it’s
what you want to do and weigh all the options ahead of time.
Once you make that initial business investment it would be hard
to turn back.
Rita feels that being a woman in business is doable. She has
long believed that women are more capable than society gives
them credit for.
As far as doing business in a rural community, Rita is positive
there are good opportunities out there. You just need to search
them out. It’s a great feeling to contribute to the livelihood
of commerce in a town like Fairbury!