What do you do?
Where do you work and what is your title?
My husband Tom and I own Piramide Boutique in Old Colorado City. It features predominantly women’s fashions from around the world and made in the U.S.A., as well as accessories made locally. Outside of the store, I am a mother of two girls and a working musician.
What do you do there and/or what are you responsible for?
As the main buyer for both our stores (the other is in Manitou Springs), I work with the people who sew our products regarding design and quantity. I am also involved with all aspects of the business, including displays, cleaning, management and organization.
How long have you been doing this kind of work (total)? How long on the Westside?
Tom and I started in this business 32 years ago and have had our Westside store for five years. Old Colorado City was also our first location. We were in an office on an upper floor at 2501 W. Colorado, where we sold wholesale Guatemalan belts and weavings to boutiques across the U.S. We shared the office space with an account executive who talked about the daily fluctuations of commodities and pork bellies and a historical re-enactor who called me a squaw and was concerned about my presence nullifying his powerful medicine. We quickly outgrew that space, opening our Manitou boutique in 1984.
What do you like best about it (other than quitting time)?
I have met some of the nicest people, and always can get a good book recommendation from some of the gals who shop in our store. I also love working with fabrics, if I cannot sew items myself, I like looking at existing designs and figuring out how to make them into easier fits or more interesting and affordable.
If you could change one thing (other than pay), what would it be?
Well, this is a fantasy, if I could change one thing, …. I would like the minimum of a month of travel and design time for my work, with a working studio equipped with sewing and cutting equipment. Currently, I am working out of a closet! Ha ha. Oh and if I could just have an unlimited budget and time for the beach in between. Ha ha ha. Oh yes, there are always limitations!
What part of your work did your training/education never prepare you for?
I was not prepared to travel outside the country and work there, so Tom was vital with this part of my experience. I was also not prepared for the gamble of running a business, but I have to say I embraced it – it was all an exciting experiment. But I did have experience with sewing and fashion. My mother was an expert seamstress (I am sure many had mothers like this, it was called necessity in the old days, especially on a farm!) who encouraged me to design my own clothes and helped me learn how to make them.
What makes working on the Westside special?
I have enjoyed meeting the creative and dedicated business owners in the neighborhood. There is no lack of good food on the block or in the district. I like the influx of visitors and locals as well. There are free three-hour parking lots, and lovely events throughout the year for families. I also enjoy the galleries, as there are so many talented folk here, as well as, good musicians playing in the local cafés.
“What do you do?” is a regular feature in the Westside Pioneer. If you know someone who has an interesting job on the Westside (but doesn’t live here), he/she might be a candidate for this column! If you know someone who might qualify, give us a call at 471-6776.