`Fun chick store’ takes over Wheeler space | AspenTimes.com

`Fun chick store’ takes over Wheeler space

Naomi Havlen

Two local women are opening a funky furniture and interior design shop with attitude, just in time for the Food & Wine crowd to descend upon Aspen.Cindy Travis and Jennifer Hoff are bringing “creativedecour” to the Wheeler Opera House complex at 213 E. Mill Street, next to Bentley’s. While the store’s main goal will be interior design, Hoff labels the new local business a “fun chick store.””We’ll do interior design, but with a retail store in the front,” she said. “There will be home furnishings up here, but also fun stuff like clothing, cool shoes and handbags at prices that will stay low.”Travis and Hoff aren’t newcomers to the Aspen-area marketplace: Travis began creativedecour in Snowmass Village last winter, but focused primarily on home furnishings. The store closed when the pair found a space in Aspen to work on this joint effort.The 1,040-square-foot space had been occupied by Highline Gallery, which closed last fall after eight years in the same location. This time around the space will be occupied by “shabby chic” vintage furnishings, some purchased at estate sales and others rounded up at antique stores.The two moms will also be offering art and accessories made by their own friends. The shop’s opening celebration is scheduled for Friday and Saturday, June 14-15, as a joint reception welcoming a friend’s artwork to the store.”We’ll be testing the waters,” Hoff said. “Our lease is June through September, and we’ll renegotiate in September depending on how everything is going.”The duo plans on providing “staging” services: bidding on decorating for the large spec homes in the area that need dolled-up bedrooms, living rooms and kitchens instead of sitting empty for potential buyers. Travis has been a valley resident for 26 years, and has 18 years’ experience with interior design.Hoff is an eight-year Aspen resident, having been part of the Lake Tahoe/Squaw Valley marketplace in managing retail businesses and a five-star hotel for 20 years. She also designs beaded jewelry she plans on offering in the store.”This is all about energy and how the store feels,” Hoff said, noting the empty retail spaces on the same block that are waiting to be filled. “There are amazing retail spaces here that are empty, and that’s a sad thing, but I think the town is pulling together to make Aspen a great place again.”

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