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Putting the lessons into practice

The student who built a fashion franchise

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Chelsea Sloan, has decided to put what she was learning on her business major into direct practice, and set up a business with her brother Scott at the same time. But having to juggle her studies with setting up the company, Uptown Cheapskate, was not always easy.

Going to classes for an hour and a half in the morning then rushing back to the office to work on business plans, having to miss classes for business trips – even her friends would ask her how she had time for everything. Chelsea describes herself as  "A glutton for punishment".

The idea for Uptown Cheapskate – a franchise "fashion exchange" – came about when Chelsea took a year and a half off from her studies to serve a church mission in Alaska.

"While I was there I started talking to my brother about starting a business. There were some [companies] out there doing something similar but not very well and we thought we could do better," she says. Uptown Cheapskate is a very simple concept – bring your designer brand clothes, shoes and accessories into a store, the staff will assess them and if they think they can sell them on, will offer you cash for them. The idea is to make upmarket brands available to young adults at an affordable price. They worked on it for another six months and opened the first Uptown Cheapskate store in Salt Lake City in 2009.

Chelsea is excited about the prospect of expanding outside the US – she has already been in discussions with people in Australia, Sweden and Ireland – and believes the resale industry has plenty of room to grow.

Source: BBC News

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