One year after launching their Eagles apparel brand, two besties open The Dimes Club.
by Ana Welsh, business editor
Didn’t you know? You’re already in The Dimes Club. “Because you’re a 10,” Meg McKernan said with a smile in her voice. “We all are. Every single one of us.”
Now, we can physically be in The Dimes Club, the new Ardmore boutique opened by McKernan and Maggie Dortone. Located at 694 Pont Reading Road, the shop had a soft opening weeks ago and officially opens on Sept. 30 with a big celebration. At least half of DelCo is likely to turn out to cheer for the dynamic duo who launched onto the scene in 2022 with their Philly sports-themed gear.
McKernan, who lives in Havertown and Dortone, who lives in Springfield, made their Eagles apparel business fly. Their online business sold more than $100K in Eagles and Phillies-inspired sweatshirts, T-shirts and hats that the women designed. Why open a bricks-and-mortar store? “Our online presence was great, but our events were even better,” McKernan said. “We realized that we love connecting with our community in person. It brings us joy.”
What else brings them joy: Being real estate investors. The women actually own The Dimes Club building. They purchased it with their friend Theresa Brady of Havertown. “We wanted more than a business. We wanted a financial investment,” McKernan said. “And three investors are better than two.”
Brady’s BWellness shares space in the Ardmore shop with McKernan and Dortone’s apparel and accessories. With the help of Brady, a life coach and Young Living entrepreneur, McKernan and Dortone transformed the building from a podiatrist office into a swank, sweet, sexy boutique.
“And it’s eight minutes from our houses,” McKernan said. “Because we all have babies and husbands.” Hard work, momentum, and communication sums up the past year for McKernan and Dortone. In August 2022, Dortone came up with the idea of starting an apparel business. She pitched it to McKernan who was intrigued – and quickly came onboard.
Their mission is to design apparel for families, with quality and affordability in mind. “We wanted to dress our friends and family in stuff we would wear,” said McKernan. “We have the same quirky vibe and that sets us apart from other brands. We wanted to offer crew necks that are unique, and that you don’t have to break the bank to buy.”
The women got to work right away. “From the moment I open my eyes to after I put my kids to sleep, I’m working on the business,” Dortone explained. “I’ll bring my kids to Meg’s house, and we’ll work from 10 am to 4 pm. We are always planning, we have a shared space online, we divide and conquer and sometimes we share responsibilities.”
Their success started with a Phillies-inspired, wavy “dancing on my own” sweatshirt. Within a few weeks, The Dimes Club sold 500 sweatshirts. “We got so much momentum from that point forward,” said McKernan. “It put us on the map. It was a game changer.”
They quickly learned, however, that selling sports apparel without the proper licensing can be a fine line to walk. “We have tried to be very conscious of what is already trademarked, and we never want to cross that line,” explained Dortone.
McKernan, who has two kids, comes from a corporate fashion merchandising background and currently works for herself in social selling. Dortone, a mother of three, works full-time at an insurance company. Both co-founders admit that success hasn’t come easy, noting their biggest challenges are time and resources. “It’s a full-time job on top of our day jobs, taking care of our kids and being a wife, daughter and friend,” said Dortone. “But it doesn’t feel like work. We love it so much, it’s our baby, we see the vision and it’s worth it.”
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