‘It definitely hurts’: Kansas City teen-run store cleared out by vandals

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. — Before they could celebrate their one-year anniversary, One Pair KC is already forced to start over.

The new and teen-run business cleared out by vandals. The estimated loss is more than $40,000.

“If someone needed something, we could have just gave it to them or figured out an alternative for them, rather them just coming in and taking something,” said co-owner of One Pair KC, KJ Farmer. “We’re basically starting all the way back over.”

Farmer said it’s not just a shoe or clothing store, but a safe-haven and educational hub along Troost Avenue.
The store is designed, owned and operated by inner-city teens of Kansas City.

“Growing up, I wanted a chance and now I’m older, I’m able to provide that chance. One Pair is that chance,” said founder and owner, Jerren Thornhill. “They take what they learn in class and use it in real life. They set the prices, it’s so meaningful.”

“Sometimes we stay here for countless hours, helping people with homework, clothing brand ideas, we help people get LLC’s. You don’t have to move to the suburbs or south suburban areas just to be successful,” Farmer said.

Within the store, they buy, sell and trade shoes. Local designers also sell their brands which were also stolen.

“The perpetrators they took all of our inventory, they took local brands, just a piece of us, and it’s more than just monetary values, it’s like countless hours we put in. When you think about the time, it’s crazy,” Farmer said.

Instead of being upset, the group is turning their setback into a lesson for the handful of staffers who range in ages 15 to 18.

They plan to have the store back up and running by Black Friday, which is also the one-year anniversary.

“It definitely hurts. But we want to be that place to say real life stuff can happen here, but we will overcome it, we will grow.”

The teen staffers created a GoFundMe to help with recovery funds.

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