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Success Story
REAP Women's Business Center

New Clothing Business Displays a Positive Attitude in Name and Deed
A 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 Glennis 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 needs them.

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!

Contact: Glennis McClure, REAP Women's Business Center Director, for more information, 402.645.3296,
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Center for Rural Affairs -- Rural Enterprise Assistance Project
145 Main St.    PO Box 136    Lyons, Nebraska  68038
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