MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) — Founded in 1985 by Jim Long, this long-time locally owned business once featured just the basics of clothes, belts and shoes.
“That’s kind of how it started and most people knew us as that and now we’ve progressed into more of a modern men’s boutique and lifestyle shop, so we are pretty excited about that,” said Aaron Jones says.
It’s an evolution more than three decades in the making. The company’s mission, Jones says, is ever-evolving.
“We figure as a lot of people know if you aren’t changing, you’re, as harsh as it sounds, dying. And in this industry, just like many, you have to change, you have to move and grow, learn, discover and keep changing to keep people interested in coming through the doors,” Jones explained.
One thing that hasn’t changed over the years, though, is the commitment to the customer experience.
“I think a lot of our longevity has to do with the fact that we are puppy dog friendly. We are wagging our tails, we’re happy to see people. The first time you are a guest, and after that, you are family to us and that’s a true statement.”
Jones feels J Longs is in a good position to meet the challenges of the COVID-19 pandemic, with the store on Madison Avenue big enough to accommodate social distancing practices as they continue to look to the future.
”We’re transitioning into a lifestyle shop, not just a men’s store, so we actually carry LuluLemon for women, we have a fantastic candle line from multiple candle companies throughout the nation, lots of home goods. We’ve got some drink mixes, some cocktails mixes.”