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Kasten Brings Mobocracy to Port Washington

Jun. 12, 2012
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In December 2011 Craig Kasten opened Mobocracy, a vintage clothing and organic products store. The store's name, Mobocracy, means “ruled by the people.” “It's like democracy, but with more anarchy,” Kasten jokes. The store brings some of the trendiness of Brady Street and the Third Ward to charming Port Washington, 30 miles north. Kasten, previously an automotive-parts store owner with a strong background in sales and marketing, knew he wanted to open another store. His wife, Ashly, suggested vintage clothing, and everything “sort of came together” after that.

Who is your typical customer?

We have such a broad customer base. We originally expected it to be people from mid-20s to mid-30s, but it's been everyone from middle school to way beyond college. There is a really big range of people interested in the vintage clothing market. Plus, Port Washington draws tourists, so we get some traffic from that, too.

Where do you find your vintage clothing stock?

We started with a vendor based out of California. They weren't always the most reliable source, so we were very lucky to find a vintage business in Manitowoc that was closing. We ended up purchasing a large quantity of our inventory from them. That was a huge benefit to us.

Do you buy clothing on consignment, too?

We do very little on consignment, but I will purchase something if I think it is worth it. Our vintage stuff is usually 20 years or older. So when it comes to purchasing, it really depends on how it looks, how worn it is and how well it wears. We do have an ongoing consignment arrangement with (new, non-vintage) Wisconsin Skinny Clothing, based out of Madison. Our jewelry is on consignment from Barton Artel, based out of Riverwest in Milwaukee.

What other things do you sell?

We carry a line of organic cotton and hemp T-shirts. It's an excellent blend with our vintage stuff. The T-shirts have a comfortable “worn” look to them. The hemp and cotton seem to wash and wear that way, even though the shirts are brand-new. We also carry organic soaps and lotions. This seemed to fit in with the people that are going for the “vintage, re-use, better for the environment, better for yourself” mind-set.

Why should people make the trip to Port Washington to shop at Mobocracy?

For starters, people can look at our website to get an idea of what we are about and see what we carry. Our selection is a bit better than what I've seen in other stores. It's been handpicked and gone through by myself, my wife and other purchasers. You won't get the messy big bulk of “stuff” that you have to sort through. It's already been presorted. I'm proud of the quality of the clothes we have here—not to mention that we are pretty friendly, too!

For more information, visit Mobocracy (307 N. Franklin St., Port Washington), call 262-235-4076 or go online at www.mobocracy.biz.


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