Nice! Old Town store hits 25-year milestone
For a quarter of a century now, when shoppers in Old Colorado City have wanted to buy clothing or other items that were a little “racier” than those in other stores,
they've known where to go: Nice 'n Naughty.
But shop originator/owner Carole Jourdan doesn't think that's the reason why her business has thrived through the years. Other “adult” stores have come and gone in that time. And she doesn't even think the appellation applies in her case. “We're not an adult store,” she said. “Everyone knows that. We sell so many things. We're like a general store.”
As far as being “accepted” by the community, “we've never had a problem,” Jourdan said. “Mothers come here with their babies, and now some of those babies have grown up and they come here… We always have a good time. I love my customers.”
She thinks what sometimes “scares people off” is the store name. But then she smiled as she added, “A lot of people come in because of the name.”
She's especially happy about the area her shop has always been in. “I'd never have a store anywhere but Old Colorado City,” she said. “I could have been in the downtown or Manitou, but with the history and the neighbors here, it grows on you.”
She did have a second Nice 'n Naughty store in Pueblo for 15 years (1985-2000), which she closed because it interfered with “volunteer work and other things” here in her home area. Also, focusing entirely again on the Old Colorado City store allowed her to take advantage shortly thereafter of an opportunity she had long yearned for - the storefront space becoming available in the historic brick Templeton Building at 2504 W. Colorado Ave., directly across the street from the Old Town Plaza where she had started. “I used to stand there [in front of her old store] and fantasize about it,” she said. “I loved the brick and the high ceilings. I guess all comes to those who bustle and wait.”
Jourdan's background in retail is pretty much life-long. Her mother worked at a department store back East, and “by the time I was 16, I'd done everything in the store except go to New York and buy.”
For a time her interests went in another direction. She went to school to become a machinist, relishing the artistic and creative possibilities. But the work turned out to be mostly humdrum; plus, she developed carpal tunnel in her wrists.
Going back to her retail roots, she put together the plan for Nice 'n Naughty (her husband Eldon actually named it), and opened it five months later. The original space in Old Town Plaza was just 400 square feet, and the inventory was strictly lingerie. By 1986, she was able to double that.
The move across the street in 2003 put the store at 1,800 square feet and allowed a sizable expansion of her wares, particularly clothes and jewelry. Her customers have liked the new space too. “People say they think it's a warm, cheerful store,” she said.
It wasn't inexpensive. Starting her original store in 1983 cost $5,000; just remodeling the space at 2504 W. Colorado took $40,000. But she thinks it's worth it. “This is the last store I'm ever going to have,” she said.
So after 25 years, what's the secret of her success? “I do this out of my heart,” Jourdan said. “I truly enjoy what I do.”
Westside Pioneer article