It’s been a Mankato retail staple for nine decades, yet it always finds a way to reinvent itself. Graif Clothing has once again changed hands. Marissa Brostrom considers herself fortunate to have landed in such a well established business at such a young age. Having a background in retail she joined Graif Clothing as an employee a few years ago, then purchased the store from Randy Appel and Karissa Baukol in July of 2019.
“One day I made a joke with Randy about him selling to me and the conversation led to a meeting and after having a baby in the middle of negotiations we got it done. It was really a very unique arrangement. There were no attorneys or long drawn out issues. It was really just two people that respected one another trying to take Graif to the next level. We all wanted what was best for Graif and Randy and Karissa knew with the growing business it needed a more hands-on ownership and me being here every day, it just felt right.”
She says the biggest asset right now is the longevity of the brand in Mankato.
“To be in my 20s and own a 94-year-old company is an amazing feeling, also a lot of pressure,” she laughs. “But to think of all the style changes and economic hurdles that we have gone through is amazing. Being able to offer so much with menswear, ladieswear, wedding services, letter jackets, and in-house tailoring, it’s truly a one stop shop. The reason for it all is we truly care about our customers and we want them to know that! We are only as good as our customer experience and we are fortunate to be a staple in the community.”
Brostrom says one of her challenges right now is time management in her new role as owner.
“There are a lot of behind the scenes stuff that I wasn’t doing before. Another challenge has been the risk of introducing new concepts for the store, especially since it falls back on my dollar now. Overall, though, it has been great!” she says.
900 North Riverfront Drive