3500 South Meridian St., Puyallup

An upscale solution in a down-to-earth location. That’s how Joe Jenkins and Ethan Wilson, close friends and owners of Thorium, describe their new men’s and women’s clothing store. Located in South Hill Mall in Puyallup, Thorium opened May 1.

The two Puyallup businessmen have created a local clothing store where people can find upscale, trendy fashions in both standard and extended sizes. They are passionate about fashion, and they also thought there was a hole in the market for high-end brands.

“South Hill has no Nordstrom, so people have to travel to Tacoma or Seattle to find some of the brands they love,” Wilson said. “Our store is the fix to that.”

Together the men designed the store, hand-built the fixtures and displays, and personally selected the inventory, to the amusement— and frustration—of their wives. They came up with the name too. Thorium, a radioactive chemical element, reminded Wilson of the Nirvana song “Lithium,” and it sounded powerful. It was also the only name that Jenkins and Wilson liked that was also acceptable to Wilson’s wife.

In phase one of the store, Thorium sells clothing, shoes and accessories in a fun, upbeat atmosphere. Featuring primarily T-shirts, tops and high-quality jeans, the store offers a variety of brands including Rock Revival, Miss Me, Dittos, MEK and Cult of Individuality. Prices start at $12 for accessories and go up to $289. Phase two will be a featuring of clothing and artwork from local designers.