New Treasure Of A Boutique Has Unique Bottom Line

By Aimee Heckel
Daily Camera, Boulder, Colo.

Kendra Minden is my new fashion idol.

Not only because she’s beautiful, works in one of Boulder’s newest, cutest boutiques and admits she likes to spend her paychecks on costumes for herself and her service dog, Tia.

Which I totally get.

But also because of that smile. Minden, 23, shares her smile with everyone who walks into the boutique, and in that, she defines the shop’s atmosphere: fresh, fashionable, joyful, grateful and hopeful.

Author Anne Roiphe once wrote, “A woman whose smile is open and whose expression is glad has a kind of beauty no matter what she wears.”

And that’s why Minden’s my new style girl.

It doesn’t hurt that the shop where she works has some incredible options for fall.

Minden is an apprentice sales associate at Ramble on Pearl, a new gem on east Pearl Street that is unlike any other store I’ve shopped in. (And I’ve shopped them all). It’s a trifecta of awesomeness:

–For shoppers: Score clothes for up to 60 percent off. Designers give or sell to Ramble their overstocked, closeouts, samples or previous season attire that they’re no longer selling. Designers include Boulder-based Krimson Klover, SkirtSports, Icelandic Design and Sherpani Bags.

You also can find Billabong, Under Armour and a variety of men’s and women’s hats, shorts, shoes, gloves, greeting cards, belts, wallets, necklaces, art prints and more, all new and marked well below retail price.

–For designers: Designers can sell or donate their excess inventory to Ramble and not have to organize their own trunk shows. In fact, Ramble is holding a Krimson Klover trunk sale through Saturday that features the new fall line. Ramble is the only store in Boulder that carries Krimson Klover.

–For the employees: This is the best part. Ramble is run by Boulder Treasures, a nonprofit that provides training and opportunities to people with cognitive disabilities, with the ultimate goal of opening more employment opportunities for them. Ramble hopes to become a reliable source of providing other businesses with well-trained, high-quality employees with special needs. Imagine Colorado partners with Ramble to provide job coaching and training.

Andy and Connie Minden founded Boulder Treasures, inspired by Kendra Minden, who is their daughter.

She graduated from Boulder High School in 2010 and has had some work training and experiences, but she’s motivated for much more, her parents say.

As many as 85 percent of people with cognitive disabilities in Colorado are unemployed, Andy Minden says, and many of those who do have jobs work in only limited capacities and at sub-minimum wages. At Ramble, they are paid normal wages and interact with shoppers on the front lines.

“There are great opportunities, but we just aren’t taking full advantage of what this population can bring,” Andy Minden says.
Which, for starters this fall, is a particularly incredible wool skirt ($59.95) and matching cardigan ($79.95) from Krimson Klover, with an even more incredible bottom line.

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