In the Denver area there has been a notable amount of stationery store closures in most cases dating back pre-pandemic.
The charm of small brick and mortar business is missed, but their ability to adapt to customer requests proved in many cases to be challenges not to be overcome. On the other hand the larger or chain businesses like Papyrus closing all their retail stores was sad to see for those looking to re-stock personal stationery. The legacy retailer also struggled with the economics of broad customer requests.
At Idea Chíc we have been fortunate to have intimate conversations with these customers of former stores. Reading the news and retail analysis has some value, but listening to personal experiences as time passes is invaluable for a small business like ours. We had to make changes away from such an eCommerce focused business.
Our conversations from those looking for a new local stationery store started to really pick up in 2018 and 2019. At the time people were exploring local options because of closures or other responses that we could not ignore. The problem for us at the time was that our space was by appointment because of our production and shipping demands. We are now enjoying regular hours after a timely renovation in the summer of 2021.
Our choices at Idea Chíc were not simple. During the pandemic we thought we might open a retail shop in select locations of our choosing. The desire for our guests to shop with us in-person and on demand was not satisfied right away, so we remained by appointment! During the pandemic resulting in store closures and restrictions this was actually positive anyway.
Not only did retail shopping space not become available, but like residential real estate in Denver, anything available was snagged up. What was left was not desirable for our business. We stayed patient on the dream to open the store while filling eCommerce orders out of our current location like before.
Just as we wondered when and where our new store would open, space behind our studio became available! We were able to expand. Opening up small shopping space and bringing more of our equipement in one location allowed us to commit to open hours.
Our long time loyal guests quickly learned they no longer would text to be sure someone could be here for stationery (although an appointment for custom invitations is still a good idea).
At Idea Chíc we were able to make good changes fast to allow online ordering to include in-store or curbside pickup. We built a mailbox in the courtyard outside Idea Chíc doors to accommodate! Now we can keep our production and order packing way from retail allowing all the time needed to browse cards and gifts.
With free parking and a small space for the type of relationships and service you deserve, we are thrilled to now be open Tuesday - Friday 10-5 and Saturday 10-2. Yes, we are patiently looking for additional retail space but our long-time home in the Workshops Building in Glendale will remain as a destination too. For that we are grateful!