HOUGHTON - When Nels and Cathy Paul were brainstorming a name for their new clothing store in downtown Houghton, they kept two things in mind - pricing and climate.
"A majority of the store is priced less than $20 and then everything else is at least 20 percent off the suggested retail price," Nels said. "Those two pricing ideas along with our U.P. climate lead to the idea of 20 Below for the name."
Located next to The Print Shop on Shelden Avenue, 20 Below offers a variety of top name clothing brands for men, women, kids and baby. With overstock shipped in weekly from high-end department stores, such as Macy's, customers will find various brands like Tommy Hilfiger, Polo and Ralph Lauren, to name a few.
The storefront of 20 Below, downtown Houghton's new apparel outlet, is seen off Shelden Avenue. 20 Below offers top name brand apparel for men, women, kids and baby.
"We also carry a line of clothes that is extremely popular with high school and college students, as well as the Gymboree line for kids," Nels said.
What's unique about 20 Below compared to most retail formats, Cathy said, is they order in lots of merchandise based on the brand names, however they never know exactly what styles and sizes they will get.
"This makes it exciting since our product line will be constantly changing on a weekly basis," she said. "We are trying to appeal to the whole family and have something for just about everyone."
While 20 Below opened for business in mid-November, Nels and Cathy are hosting its official grand opening celebration during regular business hours Friday, Nov. 27. Light refreshments will be served followed with a grand drawing for an in-store gift certificate.
A graduate of Hancock High School, Nels attended college at Michigan Technological University and Central Michigan University, before being hired by a start-up retail company with computer software stores. He was employed as regional director for the northern U.S. and Canadian stores and did site selection for new stores. Additionally, Nels worked as a New Concepts Manager, in charge of opening and developing test stores for a division of Barnes & Noble, before returning to the area a few years ago with an apparel retailer.
Cathy, who is originally from Clinton Township, Mich., earned her business degree from Oakland University. She spent the majority of her professional career in management for Hudson's and Saks Fifth Avenue, and later operated two children's apparel stores.
Together, Nels and Cathy felt there was a need in the area for a store that carries name brand clothing.
"I made contacts in the industry through my previous stores and felt confident we could offer great clothes not found in this area at incredible prices," Cathy said.
Nels agreed, adding "these factors, along with a great location in downtown Houghton, were the impetus for opening the store."
Customers can access 20 Below from Shelden Avenue or the parking deck in back of the building.
20 Below is located at 220 Shelden Ave. in Houghton. Store hours are 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday. During the month of December 20 Below will be open from noon to 4 p.m. Sunday.
For more information, call 482-0000.
Editor's note: This feature is part of a paid advertising package purchased by 20 Below of Houghton. Businesses interested in being featured on the Business page may call Yvonne Robillard at 483-2220.