Five Minutes With … A downtown Glenwood business owner
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Name: Vicki VanEngelenburg
Lives in: New Castle
Name of business: a la carte
Address: 803 Grand Ave., Glenwood Springs
Hours: 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Saturday, closed Sunday until spring.
How did you get into business ownership? “I purchased it after working eight years for the original owner, Barbara Henthorn, in May of 2007.”
What changes have you made in the business? “A bit more clothing and fashion accessories, and more selections for gifts. I had been doing the buying with Barbara for years and so much of the same taste is still here. But I am always looking for new finds. I have a wonderful part-time employee, Anika Neal, who teaches kindergarten half-time at Sopris. She is a joy to have in my store!
Best selling items this holiday season: “My biggest seller this year was something new, it was “elf on a shelf,” who comes directly from the North Pole to watch over children. He magically appears somewhere in your house, maybe on a shelf, or just any where he decides.”
“He watches the children’s behavior and flies back to Santa every night to report. He re-appears early each morning, landing in a new spot, so children get up early and run and look for him. They can talk to him but are not to touch him ” Santa’s rules”!
How has your business been this holiday season? “Business has been very good this season and I attribute it to the locals’ choice to shop in their valley rather than help the economy elsewhere. Many of my customers have said to me this season, “We made a decision to shop locally, to keep the dollars here, to help our own economy. The taxes we pay will stay here as well, helping to improve our town.”
Others have said there are more choices in Glenwood Springs to shop, so its worth staying home. I am so appreciative of my customers shopping in my store this season, I can’t thank them enough.”
Why do your customers keep coming back? “I have a large variety of gifts. People very much enjoy the complimentary gift wrapping. I want the customer to be proud to give a gift from my store, and when it is wrapped beautifully they’re half way there.”
“I also ship many gifts this time of year, it takes the stress off when they let me do it for them. I have several loyal customers who bring in their lists, pick everything out and I gift wrap, tag them, and box and ship to several locations.”
“I have so many wonderful customers who have been coming in for years. They have become friends and some like family. Many will just stop in to say hello. It’s what keeps me going!”
Did many of your customers wait until the last minute to do their Christmas shopping? “I have had people Christmas shopping since last summer, you know those types who just like to get it done. Then there’s the rest of us who wait and wait until we’re stressed.”
Did you give a big sigh of relief after Christmas Eve? “There won’t be a big relief after Christmas, I will miss it! There will be great after-Christmas sales for a few weeks, and new clothing will start coming in. I will also be going on several buying trips so I can fill the shop again.”
Anything special about this holiday season? “This year, a la carte won first place in the Downtown Business Association’s window decorating contest. The prize was a gift certificate to Juicy Lucy’s, and I treated Anika and her daughter, Katelyn Newby, to a holiday meal there, because they helped me decorate the window.
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