Kep’s Menswear, owned by Kendall Kepley, is not just your ordinary men’s store. It is a living testament to resilience, family values, and an unwavering work ethic. For over four decades, Kendall has been the driving force behind this establishment. Navigating through challenges and triumphs, all while serving the community with dedication and pride.
Sticking with the Dream
The history of Kep’s Menswear dates back to 1946 when Kendall’s parents, motivated by a vision and armed with determination, opened their first store in Ulysses, Kansas. The store thrived as a testament to their hard work, catering to farmers, industry workers and the community alike. However, life took an unexpected turn when Kendall’s father faced health challenges, leaving young Kendall and his brother with a responsibility that they took on without hesitation.
Kendall’s journey with the family business began at the age of seven. With a strong sense of duty instilled in them by their parents. Kendall and his brother diligently worked in the store before school. Going into work at 5 am in the morning to perform various tasks and learn the ropes of the trade. Their dedication laid the foundation for what would later become a lifelong commitment.
From Employee to Entrepeneur
As years passed, Kendall’s brother took over the business. The business was falling on hard times and Kendall stepped in to help and took charge in 1981. Armed with a relentless determination, he pulled the store back from the brink of bankruptcy, securing the support of Grant County bank and reviving the business’s fortunes.
“I don’t know,” Kendall humbly says when asked about the key to his success. “I work at it, I put in 60 plus hours a week. Not very many people like to do that anymore.” His work ethic and perseverance shone through. Leading to not only surviving but thriving in a market that saw other men’s stores fade away over the years.
A Tireless Work Ethic and Commitment
While owning a menswear store in Garden City came with its share of advantages, like being the sole provider of men’s clothing in the area, it was not without its challenges. Kendall has been a one-man show, shouldering the responsibilities of running the store for the last three decades. Long hours and the lack of support staff have been some of the hurdles he faced, but his commitment to serving his customers has never wavered.
Kendall’s story serves as an inspiration for aspiring entrepreneurs. He did not set out to become a business owner or work in the fashion industry. Fate and responsibility led him to this path, and he embraced it with open arms. To anyone considering starting a business, Kendall emphasizes the importance of a strong work ethic, dedication, and the ability to put in long hours. He advises, “You have to be able to work. You have to be able to put in at least 50 hours a week. If I don’t show up, I won’t get paid.”
Looking to The Future
As Kendall looks ahead, retirement may be on the horizon, but the legacy of Kep’s Menswear will undoubtedly endure. Proudly reflecting on his 42 years of ownership, Kendall cherishes the fact that he not only persevered through tough times but also built a business that became synonymous with quality and trust in the community.
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