“Don’t even skip one step of the business plan writing process.” – Stephanie Johnson

In October 2009, Stephanie Johnson took the leap and opened her consignment boutique, Urban Exchange. Urban Exchange, a high-end boutique, sells softly worn clothing and accessories from brands like J. Crew, Banana Republic, Anthropologie, and Free People. Typically, Urban Exchange collects items that are considered “current fashion,” or that have been in retail stores within the past 24 months, and then sells them for up to 75% off regular retail prices.


As it tends to happen with numerous business owners, Stephanie found herself looking for guidance and support soon after opening Urban Exchange, which prompted her to connect with GROW. She says, “The most important thing I’ve gained from working with GROW has been the opportunity to develop a business plan in a structured class setting where I received feedback from both peers and working professionals.”

Through the classes GROW offers to budding entrepreneurs, Stephanie was able to learn important things about being a business owner, like: how important it is to write out a detailed business plan. “Don’t skip even one step of the business plan writing process,” she says when asked what advice she’d give to individuals looking to pursue business ownership.

Stephanie enjoys being a business owner and how it gives her connections to those around her. “I am most passionate about our growing community of businesses,” she says, also explaining that team cultivation and mentorship have been rewarding aspects of business ownership. The good things don’t come without challenges, though. “We have many businesses similar to ours in close proximity, so we’re always looking for ways to be different and distinguish ourselves from others.” Stephanie says Urban Exchange’s biggest task is staying original.

Challenges pale in comparison to the rewards, however, and being a business owner has shown Stephanie so many things. Not only is her business preventing waste within the clothing industry, but it’s also teaching her to be different and to trust herself. “I’ve learned that goals are more attainable than I thought.”

Learn more about Urban Exchange on her website at MyUrbanExchange.com or follow her on Facebook. And, if you’re looking to consign some of your current fashions for new ones, stop in to see Stephanie today.

Fun fact: Urban Exchange is dog friendly!