Vail Daily Bizwatch: Kiwi Boutique offers latest in fashion trends
Ryan Summerlin November 28, 2012
Business name: Kiwi Boutique
Location: 166 Main St. in Riverwalk, Edwards.
Date opened: June 22.
Owner: Whitney Hathorn.
Contact info: 970-855-0181.
What goods or services do you provide? Kiwi offers the latest fashion trends at the most affordable price in the valley (this isn’t an exaggeration, we are actually the most affordable designer clothes) Kiwi also provides the best customer service in a warm and inviting atmosphere. An open floor plan with plenty of options to choose from help provide a memorable shopping experience that many want to return to.
What’s new or exciting at your place? Merchandise, that’s what’s new! Kiwi receives new shipments of clothes and jewelry every week. With new merchandise to choose from, it helps keep the environment fresh and new for all customers.
What strategy do you use to differentiate your business from your competition? Customer service, customer service and customer service. At Kiwi you feel as if you are getting special treatment with the helpful knowledgeable staff on hand. Much like shopping at a well known department store, Kiwi specializes in being a one-stop shopping destination for all ages, sizes and style. It is a place where three generations of women, with three different tastes, can come and shop together and enjoy themselves. We aren’t here to just sell clothes, we are here to get to know our customers, create a relationship, so that we can better help them with whatever there shopping needs may be.
What philosophy do you follow in dealing with your customers? What can your customers expect from you? My philosophy is that clothes don’t have to be expensive to look expensive. It’s about knowing your body, your style, and how to rock what you got! Clothing doesn’t have to be expensive to look good – it just has to fit right, and be something you love! Kiwi gives the best options at the best price, and with the team of employees, we help people look fabulous for less. I like to say it is “guilt-free shopping.” We have top designers for the most competitive prices and finally a place nearby all locals can come to to shop. No more driving to Denver to find what you need, Kiwi brings the fashion of the major cities to the Vail Valley.
Tell us a little about your background, education and experience: My grandfather built a house in Lionshead in 1964 and made it a rule that the family come together once a year, because the three most important words in life were … family, family, family. I was 10 days old the first time I came for the holidays and have been here for every holiday since. This was my happy place and therefore decided after graduating high school in Vermont, I would attend the University of Colorado to be closer to the mountains. I drove up every weekend for five years and worked for Vail Resorts, while also indulging in all the fun activities the valley has to offer. The one thing I knew was missing was a place to shop for locals at a price the locals could afford. I worked at Nordstrom in Broomfield during the week during college, and there I learned the importance of customer service. After receiving my theater degree from CU, I went to LA to pursue my acting career. I continued to work in fashion as well. After I realized that LA is place with a very low quality of life, I decided I knew where I needed to be to be happy, and what to do. I wanted to give all the women and girls a place to come and shop, and not feel like they are being deprived of fashion just because they live in a rural town in the mountains. This town and community thrives because of the locals, and the tourists may have place to shop, but the heart and soul of these communities should have a place, too.
What is the most humorous thing that has happened at your business since you opened? I would say a humorous thing happens daily, but that may be because I find humor in everything. The other day a woman came in with a two seat stroller with two babies, two small children, a dog, and a partridge and a pear tree. She rolled the stroller to the back of the store, tied the dog to the stroller, and unloaded a bag of toys. She then instructed the eldest child (probably 7) to watch his siblings while Mom shopped. I helped the woman pick out three dresses, two tops and pair of jeans. She was almost in tears at the end because she hadn’t been able to do that in along time. The whole scene was very comical but worth every second.