Not too many young teachers these days can afford to dress in high-end clothing by designers such as Ralph Lauren, Armani, Oscar de la Renta or Dooney & Bourke. Nikki Price, 30, a third-grade teacher at Prairie Park School, hopes this may soon change.
She recently opened Closet 2 Closet, a gently used women’s clothing store at 116 E. 20th St. in Eudora. For now, it’s open from 4:30 p.m. to 7:30 p.m. Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays and from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturdays.
“The hours fit in with my full-time teaching schedule, but I have plans to open full-time during the school holidays,” she says. “I know firsthand what it’s like to live on a budget and have felt the frustration when I’ve been looking for professional-looking clothing and felt I couldn’t afford any of it.”
Price, originally from Columbus, Neb., moved to Lawrence after marrying Lawrence resident Jonathan Price, owner of Floyd’s Drain Cleaning. She worked as a para-educator at Langston Hughes School for two years, joined the Prairie Park staff in 2004, and received her master’s degree in education from Kansas University in 2007.
She enjoys teaching third-graders.
“They’re pretty independent and at that lovely age when they still love school and are excited about coming in every day,” Price says.
The seeds for opening the clothing store were sown when she visited her father-in-law and his wife in Chadron, Neb.
“They’ve had a secondhand clothing store there for several years,” she explains. “They get their clothes from a family friend in Darien, Conn., who has being selling second-hand designer clothes for many years.”
“She gets so much high-end designer clothing she sends the overflow to my in-laws. When we visited Chadron last fall and noticed the enormous amount of designer clothing they had in their store, we decided to take some off their hands and open our own store.”
The Prices have lived in Eudora for nearly three years, where they own a garage with attached storage and office space.
“We weren’t using the office space, and had been wondering what we’d do with it,” Price says. “We decided it would make a perfect place for a used-clothes shop. The economy is so tough right now, and people are looking for ways to save money any way they can. This shop provides people with a great opportunity to buy top-quality clothing at affordable prices.”
Price tells her in-laws what she’s looking for, what sizes she needs, and they send it her way. Even though the store only opened in February, after passing all the city’s required inspections, it’s already full of designer clothes, shoes and accessories; some of them look like they’ve never been worn.
Price says the shop is her new hobby.
“It’s completely different to anything I’ve ever done,” she says. “I’ve been involved in education all my life, and this business is perfect for me. I love it. It’s providing a great service. It’s just a short drive from my school, I’m able to continue teaching full-time, and it’s supplementing my teacher’s salary.”