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Orville’s Men’s Store for the Well-Defined Man
by Audrey Hanes, photography by Amy Long

When brothers Corey and Jeff Ladyman decided to merge their backgrounds in retail and business with their appreciation for high-end men’s clothing and accessories, they knew Jonesboro was ready for a store like Orville’s Men’s Store. With styles that range from casual and classic to dressy and custom, Orville’s offers a personalized shopping experience for men of all ages.

Before opening Orville’s with Corey, Jeff had years of retail experience at GameStop, Hibbett Sports and DNW Outdoors. He was already running his own DVD kiosk business throughout Northeast Arkansas, QuickFlix, which led to online sales, as well.

“I was selling DVDs online through Overstock and looked into picking up a few clothing lines, because that’s what I was doing a lot of at DNW at the time,” said Jeff. “The first line I got was SockGuy, which I was selling through Amazon, and then I picked up Eight Eyewear, also online. Then I discovered Bird Dog Bay, a great line that I liked for myself. At that point, I talked to my brother about it. … He liked the brands I had so far, and we thought we could marry our ideas and take the next step, which was to open up a men’s store here in Jonesboro.”

Corey, a loan officer at Simmons Bank who has lived in several larger cities like Oklahoma City, Dallas and Little Rock, also recognized the potential of bringing a store with big-city style to his growing hometown.

“I felt like I always had to leave town to go shopping,” said Corey. “(I) heard the same responses from other males in the community who don’t like to go to the mall and wished there was somewhere local where they could get everything they needed. … We just thought it was something that was needed and we could offer it to Jonesboro.”

Soon after the idea began to take shape, Corey heard about the open retail space next to Steamroller Blues and thought it would be a perfect fit. After working with their landlord, Travis Cude, and going to market to pick up more lines, the brothers were ready to open the doors to a new kind of men’s store in Jonesboro.

“The town has accepted us well,” said Jeff. “We hear a lot of talk that people are glad we are here and that Jonesboro needed a store like this. We want to be a high-end store, but not too high-end. We want to have items for everyone that Jonesboro isn’t familiar with. We want people to get to know these brands. … We hope to be here for a long time to cater to the men of the community.”

What was the need in Jonesboro for a men’s clothing store like Orville’s?
Jeff: The growth of Jonesboro presented the need. To me, it seems like Jonesboro is growing and experimenting in so many other areas, it was ready for a store like Orville’s. I feel like we need to provide businesses like this that cater to people and keep that money in Jonesboro. Let’s grow our local economy and not take this business to Memphis or Little Rock.

What was the inspiration behind the store’s name?
Corey: We are brothers opening a store, but we didn’t like Ladyman brothers. (We thought of) the Wright brothers, and the most notable one, Orville, just got thrown in there. We conducted an online survey, and it showed a lot of positive feedback. After we added our logo, it really seemed like the right fit for what we are offering the community. 

How would you describe the style of the clothing at Orville’s?
Jeff: It caters to young and older men alike. We want to cater to everyone. We have more of a college section for young men on their own figuring their style out, and we want to bring those customers in and get them to where they start out in that section then graduate and come across the spectrum of the store, where they might soon be looking for a suit for interviews after graduation. We are here to cater to you and provide excellent, custom service and make you look good for your profession. We have a lot of sports shirts, button up shirts, dress shirts, bowties, socks and more. We cover the spectrum of the well-dressed man.

What sets Orville’s apart from other men’s retail stores?
Corey: We want to offer a one-stop shop for men to come get all their shopping needs, whether it’s shoes, a belt, hygiene products or a custom suit.  We want to offer that personal shopping experience along with outstanding customer service. We want to be the leading experts on men’s clothing. Our motto is that we won’t rest until you’re well-dressed. 
Jeff: We want to be different from the box store. We want to engage our customers more. We don’t wear nametags because we want to introduce ourselves to our customers and have those conversations. We want to give a personal touch to what they’re buying. For example, our trousers and a lot of what we do are different from other stores. All our pants come in long and unhemmed because we want to tailor them to each person that walks in. That goes with our brand selection, too; we wanted to bring new lines and new trends to Jonesboro.

What are some of the brands that Orville’s carries?
Jeff: We have so many new ones, from Pete Huntington to Bird Dog Bay. Rodd & Gunn out of New Zealand is a great new fashion statement brand for the area. Another one is Cotton Brothers, which is a lot of nice sports shirts and polos; I researched them and found the guy at Dallas market and picked them up, along with Properly Tied and Brewer’s Lantern. We have some more well-known brands, too, like Southern Tide and Lauren by Ralph Lauren. For shoes, we carry Johnston & Murphy, Canoes, T.B. Phelps and Sperry. We try to cater to every type of man the best we can by carrying a lot of brands. Some of what we decide to carry might be trial by error, but we want to offer something different in Jonesboro.

What is involved with ordering a custom suit from the store?
Jeff: We carry Coppley, one of oldest suit companies in the world; it has been around since 1883. You can customize lining, monogram the jacket with your name and pick out all the details, from the buttons to the type of cuff.

What are some of the services that will be available to customers?
Jeff: We plan to use trunk shows to introduce brands. We also want to try to offer trunk clubs, like post to social media with a package of shoes, belt, bowtie, etc., that we want to try to make available in the future – one box price for an entire outfit. That would make it easy for men who don’t have time to come by the store. We will also offer closet consultations, where we will work through a man’s wardrobe to figure out a few pieces he can really use and wear often for his needs. We can help customers work with what they have in their closet and what we can add to it that caters to their style. Every guy has his own style, and we work with that.

What are some style trends that are popular with Orville’s customers?
Jeff: The past will always be the new trends. We’re trying to be versatile, but a lot of things you see—younger guys are going back to shorter shorts (7-inch inseam is the most popular), more tailored fit pants and long socks—that’s what we’re seeing a lot of. We want to try to implement a new trend of more of the dress shoes, too; some of the city feels from the South, but still keep the South the South, like with slip-on boat shoes and the driver’s shoe. We do have trendy items, like Pete Huntington and some of our jeans we offer. We are going to try to offer a lot of the trends but also have a lot of the classics. We want to cater to all the men in the community and provide all the styles for that. We want to grow with our customers.

Orville’s Men’s Store is located at 2612 E. Nettleton Ave. and is open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. For more information, call (870) 938-0531, visit orvillesms.com or find the store on Facebook.