A Jacksonville native, Cindy Platt was volunteering downtown at last year’s One Spark, when she felt a fire in herself. Inspired by the energy and excitement going on, she wanted to become a part of it, not just for 5 days in April, but 365 days a year. Coupled with the frustration of online shopping, and her struggles with her health, the two time cancer survivor decided to take a leap of faith. With her husband’s urging and support, on October 2, 2013, during Artwalk, she left her corporate career behind to open Grease Rags, a clothing store that offers an eclectic, creative mix of styles.

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She now stands behind her shop counter, surrounded by art from friends that was gifted to her as decor, and is proud to be a small business owner in downtown Jacksonville.

From the get-go, Cindy knew the urban core was where she wanted to set up shop. The store stocks a mix of punk rock, rockabilly and classic pinup styles for women and men. She said she likes the “grittier, crunchier feel of downtown,” and “for my style, this is where I want to be.” Some of her favorite clothing lines include Switchblade Stiletto, Black Market Art Company and Jessica Louise. She also carries a selection of locally made jewelry and accessories that are unique to her store. Super cool clutches and cosmetic bags made by Frank Hagat, a motorcycle builder and seamster, and steam punk-inspired jewelry by Jennifer Wilson can be found filling the shelves.

Hearing Cindy talk about her love for her shop is inspiring. She is surrounded by fun and creative people every day, which keeps her brain and body busy and healthy. The store has been supporting itself from its first month, an impressive feat. Cindy chalks it up to the fact that she loves her products so much that people can feel that from her. Whatever it is, she needs to keep on doing it. Downtown needs more people like her with the guts, passion and drive to open and sustain retail stores there.