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Not Necessarily Uniform

Brooke Oltz (left) has worked at Today’s Uniforms for two years and says she considers Keck an inspiration. (Photos by Melissa Emory)

What began 10 years ago as a means to pay private school tuition has become a thriving business for former nurse Penny Keck.

Keck, 42, the owner of Today’s Uniforms, which has locations in Crystal Lake and Elgin, outfits medical, public safety, security and culinary workers in McHenry and Kane counties and surrounding areas. The shop also carries school uniforms, medical and public safety accessories, and serves corporate clients with onsite custom embroidery and heat transfers.

In addition, her customers include those who love Today’s Uniforms’ comfortable, non-slip footwear.

“I have people who work in retail, cashiers from Jewel-Osco, restaurant servers, hair stylists — anyone who works on their feet all day,” Keck says.

Though it might seem a big leap from nursing to retail, Keck says she’s been preparing for this career all her life, starting with her first job at the age of 14.

“I was a paige at the library, and it taught me to be organized,” she says. “Next, I worked at McDonald’s, which taught me about good customer service and how to work in an environment that changed quickly.

To read the full story, pick up the latest issue of McHenry County Magazine.