Marcello Ramirez of Marshalltown said it was time to be his own boss.
Ramirez and his wife Melina, opened Urban District Clothing & Apparel store at Marshall Town Center Saturday.
"I am ready," Marcello said Friday, while taking a short break from setting up the store for Saturday's opening. "I worked as a customer sales rep for a national cell phone company in Marshalltown for three years, and learned the importance of providing quality products and good service. And now I found something unique in these clothes, items that people want and that I can bring to the community."
T-R PHOTO BY MIKE DONAHEY
Pictured are the Ramirez family, Melina, Marcello Jr., and Marcello Sr. of Marshalltown at the Urban District Clothing & Apparel store at Marshall Town Center Friday. Melina and Marcello Sr. are owners, and took a short break from preparing the store for its Saturday opening.
The store will carry an extensive variety of distinctive "urban" or "hip-hop" clothing that Marcello said can not be purchased elsewhere in town.
Included are beanies, caps, hats, shirts, socks, sweatshirts and T-shirts, among other items.
Marcello said he is convinced there is a strong market for the goods.
"The feedback about opening a store with this kind of clothing has been positive, especially from young people, that is the group we are marketing to," he said.
Marcello, 27, said he and friends had been traveling to Ames and Des Moines to buy similar clothing.
He purchased a number of items wholesale and began re-selling them in the Midnight Ballroom, a local dance and event venue, and was pleased with sales results.
"I started with one table," he said. "Soon, I was up to two and then three. That is when I thought about opening up a traditional retail store. People kept asking for more and more merchandise."
The business recently added a Facebook page, and Marcello said it earned a huge amount of "likes" in a short period.
Marcello complimented Ken Huge, Marshall Town Center's general manager, for helping him find an affordable location in the complex.
"Ken has given me a good opportunity to get started with favorable terms, fixtures, and other items," Marcello said.
The Texas native has been a Marshalltown resident for years, having attended local schools kindergarten through high school, and was active in sports.
The family has set down roots in Marshalltown and wants to give back with a locally owned store.
"We are excited about being young entrepreneurs in Marshalltown and having our own business," he said.
Hours are 10 a.m to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Saturday and noon to 5 p.m. Sunday.