Meet Planet Xchange Owner and Visionary: Beth Boline
She was either going to open a taco/tamale stand OR Planet Xchange. It may have been a close call for the Mexican food loving (the hotter the better…) entrepreneur, Beth Boline, but we are confident she made an excellent choice. Beth opened Planet Xchange in 1996 and has cultivated it into the hippest place in Knoxville to buy, sell, and trade name brand and one of-a-kind vintage clothing and accessories.
Maybe her success evolved from her love of “playing store” as a child or how much she still loves to thrift as a hobby. With a work ethic that drove her to hustle in sales… she even sold tamales door to door in the downtown high rises, along with an enthusiastic pursuit toward her vision, it isn’t surprising that she is so invested in her business’s success. It also makes perfect sense that her favorite movie is Slumdog Millionaire, I mean think of the single minded perseverance of the main character, Jamal, before he got to the game show. AND, of course, the final dance scene… IRRESISTABLE! But I digress…
Actually, many parts of Beth’s personality are quite evident throughout Planet Xchange. For example… her affinity for Mid Century Modern (check out the cool couch by the ladies dressing rooms), demanding high standards for excellence (think about the top shelf quality of the clothes the store accepts and sells), meticulous organization and efficiency (seriously, you’d think they use a level to keep the hangers that perfect and you could practically eat off of the floors), as well as a quirky charm and hip vibe that always honors the classics but embraces the edge as well (think of the brands from Levi’s, Lucky, Urban Outfitters, or Free People, to Ralph Lauren or J.Crew). Beth’s pride in what she has created at Planet Xchange is readily apparent when you encounter her enthusiasm. She says,
“I love making name brands and designer items available to people that can’t or choose not to pay full retail for them. What makes us unique is that we buy our inventory from the public, and pay cash on the spot for it. We buy hundreds of items every single day, and our inventory is constantly changing.”
This concept really deserves some kudos; it is sort of awesome…. Planet Xchange seems like a labor of love for Beth. She doesn’t even mind, well not too much, when it’s just plain labor because she’s actually very handy with tools and can usually fix about anything that breaks at home or in the store. In keeping with her “dive right in” style, she started her own complete home remodel by tearing down every wall herself! Watch out HGTV and DIY…
Beth has lived in Tennessee for 20 years but grew up farther West. Born in Tecumseh, Nebraska, (pop. 2,062), Beth moved to a suburb of Denver – Avada, Colorado, when she was 14. Phoenix, Arizona was her home after high school until she moved to Knoxville in 1995. In 2012, Beth and her wife Shannon had a beautiful winter ceremony at the Knoxville Botanical Gardens then traveled to Santa Fe, New Mexico in 2013 for the legal aspect. Beth is also co-parenting her step daughter, Sophie, who is currently a teenager – bet she has a rocking wardrobe and a great sense of style! Like a true Knoxvillian, Beth has a few “must do” recommendations for visitors to the city: WDVX’s Blue Plate Special, The Tennessee Theatre, and Ijams. As for her own bucket list, she wants to go to Machu Picchu with Shannon… really it’s on Shannon’s bucket list BUT, seeing Shannon happy is always on Beth’s.
Americana, Alternative, and Rock & Roll music dominate Beth’s playlists and a good murder mystery, especially one by Patricia Cornwell, tops her reading preferences. As for right now, it’s a combination… an audio book, “New Rules of the Game” by Susan Packard, because she can’t sit still long enough to read. It’s interesting getting to know the visionary at the heart of Planet Xchange and awesome to see what her dedication has accomplished.