If this is starting to sound like a fairy tale, be certain that it’s not. Fairy tales are works of fiction, with protagonists whose successes are the results of magic. But in this story, Robert Mason Grimmett built his brand and his business through his own sheer hard work and dedication. There’s no magic to Robert’s success: there’s just an unparalleled commitment to excellent products and excellent service.
It is this very commitment that helped Robert’s—which soon became a cornerstone of the Ravenswood community—to continue to grow. Offering a full-service business center complete with design services, copy and print services, shipping services, and a full-line office, school, and art supply retail sales floor, Robert’s quickly became too small to carry everything that its core customer base desired.
Never one to shy away from dreaming big, Robert decided that it was time to move and expand his store yet again.
In the fall of 1996, construction began on the only retail space left in the high-traffic pedestrian mall known as Ravenswood Plaza. Robert’s soon joined the ranks of Fortune 500 companies such as Radio Shack, GNC, and Regis Salons to complete the mall. With help from investors, Robert was now able to feature a more uniquely tailored assortment of products, a new state-of-the-art copy center, a FedEx Ship Center, and a newly devised “Robert’s Home” department. With the addition of this department, Robert was able not only to strengthen and diversify his brand but also to create a store that became an even more essential asset to the Ravenswood community.
At the same time, Robert’s parents became an even more essential part of store. Upon the store’s opening, Robert’s mother took over merchandising responsibilities. Shortly thereafter, Robert’s father left a stable position as a Territory Sales Director so that he could manage store operations. To this day, they continue to work at the store, proving that RM isn’t simply a lifestyle brand or a wildly successful business: it is also a family business, in the best sense of the term.
Even with this success, Robert never stopped dreaming bigger, better, and broader. When he was 20, he sold the Ravenswood store to his parents and moved to Chicago to attend art school. Fulfilling this lifelong dream was not an end, however: it was a beginning. For while in Chicago, Robert learned everything he could about brands and the customer experience, working with such iconic brands as Limited Brands, Bath & Body Works, J. Crew, Abercrombie & Fitch, The Bombay Company, and even Pizzeria Uno. And with this knowledge and experience, Robert crafted a new vision for his brand. More than that, he crafted a new brand persona: one that was rooted in a sense and appreciation for vintage and nostalgia.
With the Ravenswood store now rechristened “Robert Mason,” Robert Mason Grimmett soon trekked all the way to Columbus, Ohio where he continued to build his business. What started as a 208 square-foot pop-up store in Sugardaddy’s on Gay Street has grown, like all of Robert’s ventures have.
And given the formidable history of this brand, it’s more than likely that Robert Mason will continue to grow too