"I carry something for everybody," said Threads owner and Blountville, Tenn., native Jodi Strycharz.
Strycharz recently relocated her year-and-a-half old business, Sophisticated Starlet, from downtown Kingsport to Reedy Creek Terrace, the shopping center at 1880 North Eastman Road. Changing the name to Threads and adding men's clothing to the store's garment racks, she successfully made over the Starlet to appeal to the town's men as well as women.
At Threads, set to have its grand opening on Nov. 2, anyone can find what they're looking for to fit both their style and body type.
I carry all sizes from extra small to plus sizes, Strycharz explained, and "I keep the brands different."
The success-driven mother of three girls chooses brands for the store that are as artfully distinct as the people who will wear them. One of newer brands coming in, Alternative Apparel, invites both male and female customers to explore their "casual and fun" side.
Never reordering the same thing twice, her goal is to promote individuality and as Strycharz said, "I don't want so much floating around that you see yourself when (you're) walking down the street."
The Threads staff - comprised of Strycharz, her eldest daughter, Victoria Luther; and Taylor Agner - strive to serve their customers well in a friendly, relaxed environment, assisting them in any way possible to look and, therefore, feel their best.
Strycharz, a "people person" by nature, has worked outside of retail too, in the field of nursing. An LPN for 15 years, working in psychiatric and alcohol and drugs care areas for eight years of that, her passion is in caring for others, centered in her strong belief in human equality.
"I don't judge," Strycharz stated compassionately. "I treat everybody like equals."
Strycharz's nursing career, though "a humbling experience" as she described it, could not have prepared her for her mother's diagnosis with cancer a few years ago. Taking a break from nursing, she put all her energy and expertise into the care of her mother.
When the opportunity arose for Strycharz to start a business in retail, she took it; realizing she could still "touch people's lives," just in a different capacity, while having the flexibility to leave in case of an emergency. After her mother's tragic passing earlier this year, Strycharz, with husband, Michael, by her side for support, decided to start a new and improved clothing store, in a large sense, to pay homage to her mother.
"I do this to make her proud," she said.
For Strycharz, Threads is about more than just selling clothes. It's an opportunity to start fresh and connect with her customers on a personal basis.
Despite the hardships of the past, Strycharz looks happily to the future saying, "My new journey in life is this, Threads."
Threads is located at 1880 North Eastman Road, Suite 300. It is open Monday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Sunday from 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. For more information, call 423-245-1493 or visit www.sophisticatedstarlet.com.