Meet your merchant: Mint offers ‘chill’ clothes for every age |

Meet your merchant: Mint offers ‘chill’ clothes for every age

For years, female customers at Goodtimes Boardstore, a skater-hip downtown Grass Valley clothing store, asked owners Sam Anderson and Gus Coronel for more clothes and shoes for women and girls. So in late September 2013, the native Nevada County duo opened Mint, a skater-chic women's clothing store across the street from their original store, located on the 100 block of Mill Street in Grass Valley.

To manage the new store, they hired Brit Foster, a Las Vegas native with more than a decade's worth of retail experience with companies such Upper Playground, Billabong and Coach.

"I couldn't ask for a better situation for me personally," Foster told The Union. "Not only are they awesome people and great people to work for, at this point they're like family. I think that's how they relate to other people in the community, too."

Foster says Mint's purpose is to give the community exposure to awesome brands, both international and local, while keeping tax dollars in the county.

"We want to give women of all ages a place to shop in their own town, saving them a trip to Roseville or surrounding areas," Foster said.

According to Foster, the community's response to Mint has been positive, and within six months of being open, the store already has a steady following. But Foster says the store is still unknown to some residents.

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"We can't wait until the word is out that we're here and we're ready to help you find anything that you might need for your wardrobe," Foster said. "There is something for every woman at Mint. Our clientele ranges from toddlers, to teens, to mothers and grandmothers and everyone in between. We have shoes, apparel and accessories for the girly-girl, the tom-boy and the timeless beauty."

Growing up in Las Vegas, Foster said she has worked in retail since she was 15 years old and has experience with corporations that carry their own brands.

"I've managed a lot of stores," Foster said.

"But my first job, when I was 15 years old, was with Billabong, and they carried brands similar to Mint, just kind of that laid back, skater, surfer kind of chill clothes."

Foster says she has known Anderson and Coronel since 2008 and met them while living in San Francisco and managing different clothing stores in the Bay Area. Foster said she would often come up to Grass Valley to hang out with the owners and get a sense of the county's skate scene. She liked it.

"I just wanted to come up here because it's so beautiful, and I wanted to get a part of the quiet life up here," Foster told The Union.

"So when I moved up here, they offered me a job."

Foster started as manager of Mint in late October and says Mint offers products to the local community that other stores don't.

"The shoes so far have been huge for us," Foster said.

"I don't think there's anywhere in this town that caters to young adults, toddlers and kids like us. We have products for every age. We have mothers that come in, grandmothers that come in to buy shoes just because we carry so many options that are recognizable brands."

Foster says while she is not the owner of Mint, Anderson and Coronel focus a lot on the bigger aspects of the store and allow her to help give her opinion on what to buy and sell. Foster is especially excited about one product they will sell this summer.

"We are going to be carrying swimsuits this summer," Foster said.

"It's going to be good for us and good for the town, too, because I don't think there is anywhere in town that will carry these types of swimsuits."

As the manager of Mint, Foster works seven days a week and says she enjoys the social aspect of the job the most.

"I like chatting up the people that come in. I like talking to all the little kids that come in with their parents, trying on clothes," Foster told The Union. "I mean, the clothes are definitely a bonus, and I want to spend my paycheck here every time I get it, but I like the people a lot."

To contact Staff Writer Ivan Natividad, email or call 530-477-4236.

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