Vail Valley Bizwatch: Renata’s Linens Inc.
Vail, CO Colorado
Location: 188 Main St. West, Edwards Riverwalk next to Cosbar.
Date opened: December 2006.
Owner: Husband and wife Marian and Renata Rusina.
What goods or services do you provide?
Renata’s Linens is a high-end boutique specializing in European fine linens for bed, bath, table and home. We also offer design services to our clients. Often times we visit our clients’ homes and help re-juvenate their home again. After a very tough hit in professional and personal life in this challenging economic times, our business has taken a new breath and gained more strength than ever. We said to ourselves, “It can’t get any worse, only better.” So we are expanding in every direction.
What’s new or exciting at your place?
The most exciting thing about our business is our new location. At the end of summer, we moved from Edwards Corner to Riverwalk’s Main Street next to Cosbar. Our customers have been very thrilled about the re-location.
What strategy do you use to differentiate your business from your competition?
We grew up in Europe and have lived in United States for over a decade, which gives us an opportunity of combining the best of both worlds. We can offer a mountain bedroom design as well as very classic European or more contemporary. Our store introduces designer linen brands not necessary recognized by majority of customers in U.S., and we love it. We are very passionate about introducing new linens and educating our clientele of leading European luxury brands. Big part of our business takes a role in custom-made linens, international as well as domestic. About 60 percent of our orders are made in Italy. Customers come to us from all parts of world to have custom linens made for their second or third home, cottages, lake houses, city apartments and yachts. These linens are specified accordingly, finished in Italy and shipped worldwide. A great support is given to made-in-USA products. Many of our accessories are very unique. Whenever we found a fabulous piece of textile while traveling overseas, we bring it back and turn it over into hands of skilled professionals to create one-of-a-kind pieces of art not found elsewhere. If you don’t buy it, you may never see it again.
What philosophy do you follow in dealing with your customers? What can your customers expect from you?
Being in home textile business for over 11 years gives us an expertise and knowledge a customer can trust. We don’t like to say know “no” to our customers. When customer looks for a specific item, we’ll find it, when they have a deadline to get it in by, we’ll meet it. And I’m not kidding – if we have a designer we work with who has an install for client of ours in 10 days, we do whatever it takes to meet the deadline, even if it means to stay up till 3 a.m. to talk to the Italian manufacturer.
Our exceptional service and competitive prices are proven by our returning customer base.
Tell us a little about your background, education and experience:
Renata always loved flipping through magazines admiring home decor, art and beauty. That led her to a cosmetology profession after high school. Shortly after grad school, she moved to the U.K. to improve her English skills. Always dreaming about owning her business one day, she decided to study business management at American University in her home country of Slovakia. In the summer of 2000, Renata moved to Vail Valley to follow her husband – and that’s how the journey of Renata’s Linens has started.
What is the most humorous thing that has happened at your business since you opened?
Probably the most humorous and unforgettable thing at the store was a story where we had a conversation with a customer about European goose down product, and this lady very seriously and sadly explained how much she loved the feel of goose down but the thought of how many geese must die for human comfort makes her not purchase it. Very happily with a smile, we explained, “That is not the way it works.”