Renae McCain Phillips has never had a dream or vision of opening a clothing store. One day her grandson, Kyle Reeves, made the comment that a men’s store would probably go over well in Jacksonville because of the university.
According to Phillips, Kyle, a recent JHS graduate, is a connoisseur of clothes. He’s familiar with the popular brands and has a good eye for what is popular.
Because of that comment, Phillips became an entrepreneur for the first time in her life. On March 7, she opened Pointers Men’s Wear on the east side of the square between Roma’s and Java Jolt.
She chose the name Pointers, a breed of German short-haired dogs, because Kyle has one.
“Since we’re all big dog lovers, we thought it would be appropriate,” said Philips. “It looks good as a logo with the dog in the pointing stance.”
Pointers has clothing and other items for all ages of men, but most of the merchandise is geared toward younger men. Items include hats, visors, koozies, belts. Button-downs and t-shirts. Their biggest focus right now is hats and t-shirts, said Phillips.
They offer a variety of brands, including Over and Under, Rowdy Gentlemen, Southern Marsh, Southern Point, State Tradition and Aftco, just to name a few.
Pointers also has items for ladies. A Lauren James collection will be added in the fall.
One thing Phillips is proud of is the fact that all the items they sell are made in America, and most of them are made in southern states.
“With fall coming up, we’re looking toward getting our fall selection started,” said Phillips. “We’ll have to check things out and see what everyone likes. We like to keep our merchandise fresh.”
Phillips said the store has a lot of character.
“There’s so much history on the Square,” she said. “The design of the store is pretty rustic. We tried to use a lot of what was already in the building. We tried to stick with its history. There’s nothing new in it. We rebuilt tables, redesigned things and took things and made other things out of them. That part of it was a lot of fun.”
The building was former Catalog Secrets, owned by Sylvia Benevides. Phillips leases the building from Benevides.
Phillips said her entire family is involved with the store. Her daughter, Lori Adams, is the manager. It’s staffed with part-time JSU students. Her other daughter, Angie Davis, a teacher, helps occasionally.
The store is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m.-6 p.m.
“It’s been an experience for me, said Phillips. “I’m learning. I’ve never done anything like this. The kids who work there give me a lot of input. They know what’s popular. I have a really good staff.”
Phillips said she gets a lot of feedback from the window display, which is designed by one of her female employees.
“Our business has been good,” said Phillips. “It’s been a little slow this summer. We expect it to pick up when school starts.”
Phillips currently works full time at Health Services Center in Oxford. When she retires, and she’s not sure when that will be, she will devote all of her time to the store.
She has another daughter, Angie Davis, and two more grandsons, Samuel and Luke Adams.