Community Is in Style
Carley Kortendick, COO/Operations Manager, and Mikelle Flanner, CEO/Owner, at the Port Washington store counter
Where Fifth Avenue, New York meets small town Main Street, you’ll find FIFTH-MAIN, a buy-sell-trade, sustainable fashion store, featuring brands from H&M to Hermes and everything in between. It’s a business model so successful and popular, there is a FIFTH-MAIN in Theinsville, Mequon, and now, with some help from MEDC, Port Washington.
FIFTH-MAIN started as an in-home eBay business, with owner Mikelle Flanner putting quality thrift store finds up for auction. Fast forward to 2023, past the move from the house to the first store in Saukville, past the store in Thiensville, past the move to the store in Mequon, to the day Mikelle found herself doing a U-turn in Port Washington to get a better look at a beautiful historic building the Port Washington Historical Society had for sale. “Even though we never anticipated three stores, this was on opportunity that could not be turned down,” Mikelle said.
The store opened Memorial Day weekend, 2023. With 6000 square feet, the Port Washington location is FIFTH-MAIN’s largest store. Three floors and generous square footage has shaped the customer experience. Beyond the numerous racks of curated current fashions, the retro set can explore a decades-spanning vintage section on the top floor and bargain hunters will find a $5 clearance section on the bottom floor. Costume jewelry, fine gold, accessories, and shoes round out the space – and your outfit. There’s also a men’s section.
"We have been able to take part in more community events and connect with our customers like never before..."
The Port Washington location is just as alluring as the building. Mikelle is thrilled to be a part of a diverse community where everyone enjoys the quality of life Port Washington provides. “Port Washington is supportive of our small business and every small business,” she said. “We have been able to take part in more community events and connect with our customers like never before.” The town’s Ladies Night Out, Witches Night Out, and the Fall Street Festival have helped offer FIFTH-MAIN exposure and inclusion in the community.
This sense of community speaks to the heart of FIFTH-MAIN – its mission to embrace the sustainable fashion movement and involve customers in that process. The buy-sell-trade model allows customers to bring in clothes they no longer wear and, depending on the quality and brand, receive cash or store credit for them. It’s a shopaholic’s dream, which can make a once out-of-reach name-brand purchase a reality. “We love when our customers sell us all of their brands, save up trade credit, and buy their first Louis Vuitton from us!” Mikelle said.
It's not just the bigname brands that get love. When items don’t sell in the store, FIFTH-MAIN donates them to St. Vincent DePaul of Ozaukee County. Should customers choose to donate any items that FIFTH-MAIN does not make an offer on, FIFTH-MAIN provides them with a St. Vincent's tax receipt and transports the items to their donation center.
If you’re ready to get your own taste of uptown in small town, you’ll find FIFTH-MAIN at 118 N Franklin Street, Port Washington, WI. They are open Thursday–Saturday 10 a.m.–5 p.m. and Sunday 10 a.m.–4 p.m.