Clothing boutique weaves a way with customers

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Small business focuses on giving back to community

By Laura Herrington Watson

A little boutique at Wadsworth and Chatfield has a big commitment to the community — and its owners hope that translates into a loyal customer base.
Trendz Boutique, a small clothing store originally based in a basement, has moved into a retail storefront but still offers its unique line of women’s clothing and accessories. And it still emphasizes a philosophy of giving back to the local community.
The boutique was the brainchild of Nancy Marquez and Jennifer Tiell, two Shaffer Elementary moms who met one year during the school’s talent show.
With seven kids between them, Marquez and Tiell have committed themselves and their business to giving back to the community. The boutique offers teacher-appreciation events and partners with Arc thrift stores to hold Truck and Trunk shows, when shoppers donate clothing to Arc and Trendz donates 10 percent of that day’s profits to the nonprofit.
Last September, the business partners decided to move out of Marquez’s basement and into the Marina Pointe shopping center at Wadsworth and Chatfield.
When asked about their decision to start a business in a lagging economy, Marquez says, “Yes, it was scary. I almost threw up when I signed my lease.”
But the partners’ community-minded approach has helped generate business — on a recent Saturday, a “cash mob” arrived at the store aiming to make some items disappear from the shelves.
The “cash mob” concept mobilizes customers to gather at a local business to support local commerce as well as boost enterprises that benefit the community.
A networking group called Mile High Heels organized the mob that gathered at Trendz, and had three goals for each participant: have fun, meet one new person and spend $20.
The cash mob was a big boost for the small boutique and provided exposure to more customers.
“I feel like we pay it forward and it’s coming back around to us,” Marquez said.
The cash mob began with 15 shoppers, and a steady stream continued throughout the afternoon.
Contrasting the boutique with a big department store, Marquez says, “Here we get to know each person’s style and name. You’ll never be dressed just like anybody else.”
Marquez says customers have traditionally come by word-of-mouth, and that didn’t change when they opened the shop.
“We want women to feel comfortable about themselves,” says Marquez. “We empower them so they can go out and do what they do best.”
Marquez and Tiell emphasize that Trendz is a family business. Tiell’s five daughters and Marquez’s 13-year-old daughter love to help in the boutique and check out the inventory.
“We are just trying to be the neighborhood boutique, to go back to the ‘Cheers’ mentality, where everyone knows your name,” Marquez says.
She describes the shop as offering a “community shopping experience.”
Marquez and Tiell also want customers to know Trendz is not a consignment store, though they feel their prices are reasonable.
The boutique carries unique clothing from all over the country, as well as local vendors. Marquez and Tiell use Colorado artisan Melanie Everhart, of Magpie Fresh Designs, to produce their gift soaps and the vintage furniture that decorates the boutique.
In the suite next door to them is Pizazz Salon, also a new business. The two businesses share customers, sending them next-door to check out the new spa or the clothing selections. 
“We try to help them as much as we can,” says Marquez as a customer comes in from the salon to browse the clothing.
Ultimately, “our whole philosophy is to rock this corner for women,” says Marquez.