About half of Cherry Creek North's 150 small businesses are owned or co-owned by women.
Read on to meet a few of the women, and to learn more about Cherry Creek North, read an accompanying story here.
VIVE Float Studio+
250 Steele St. Suite 110
After a couple of trips to Israel and experiencing the healing powers of the Dead Sea, Andi Sigler decided to leave her career in corporate America.
“What it came to,” Sigler said, “is I didn’t want to do life so fast.”
And she realized what she wanted to do was create a space for people that had a “profound impact on both body and mind,” Sigler said. “Both are equally valuable.”
In 2015, she opened her first VIVE Float Studio in Colorado’s community of Frisco. In January 2018, she expanded her business to its Cherry Creek North location, and in March that year, a third VIVE Float Studio opened in Chicago.
VIVE Float Studio is a rest and recovery wellness center that provides mental and physical restoration through its various therapies. The therapies offered at Cherry Creek North are: float; cryotherapy; infrared sauna; VibroAcoustic Sound Therapy (VAT); and halotherapy, also known as dry salt therapy.
Therapy “can look different than one-on-one counseling or being privately anxious,” Sigler said. “People have found this as a viable resource for mental wellness.”
Others, she said, have found it complementary to their one-on-one counseling.
VIVE in Cherry Creek closed at the end of March because of the coronavirus pandemic, and reopened at the end of May. The studio already had all of its cleaning protocols in place well before COVID-19, Sigler said, but has had to adapt its operations in other ways for a phased re-opening. For example, appointments have been cut to ensure no overlap, and its open hours are fewer than prior to the pandemic. Eventually, the studio will add more days of operation, additional hours and more staff, Sigler said.
An additional struggle, Sigler said, came after re-opening — it has been difficult finding employees willing to come to an in-person job.
“We’re still impacted” by the virus, Sigler said.
COVID-19 has brought on a lot of stress for people, Sigler said, and many people are suffering from “mental exhaustion.”
“We are built for this moment,” Sigler said. “We’re here to help with the mental and physical alignment.”
2826 E. Third Ave.
Spring has arrived and summer is just around the corner.
One thing that Adornments — a women’s fashion boutique in Cherry Creek North — has always been known for is color.
“We’re about being specialized,” said Adornments owner Consuelo Diaz. “This store has a niche for the women it reaches out to.”
Adornments opened in Cherry Creek North 24 years ago, and Diaz has been running it for the entire time. In October 2019, she bought the store from it former owner, who retired and moved out of state to be near family. Adornments carries a variety of unique and classic clothing, jewelry and accessories including scarves, hair accessories, handbags and masks.
The shop still has many of the same customers that it did from “the day it opened,” Diaz said.
“They’ve stayed with us,” she said, adding that one of the hardest parts she’s faced as a small business owner during the pandemic has been “not being able to see the regulars who are unable to come in.”
Diaz has a passion for women’s fashion, and hopes that following the pandemic — even though people are adapting to more of a stay-home lifestyle — fashion will still be important to people, she said.
Adornments closed from March 20 to May 9 because of the COVID-19 pandemic. During that time, Adornments focused on online sales — sending emails to the shop’s loyal customers and posting new items on its website and social media. Diaz and her small staff came into the shop about three or four times a week to rotate window displays for people who were taking advantage of Cherry Creek North’s outdoors setting and window shopping, and to mail customer’s items.
“It worked for us. It kept us alive,” Diaz said. But “everybody had to re-invent themselves and get creative.”
COVID-19 restrictions are easing up, but Diaz and her staff are committed to continuing to cater to whatever customers need. For example, store employees are willing to open early or stay late to offer a customer a private appointment shopping experience.
Still, Diaz is looking forward to being able to travel again to visit fashion markets in places such as Los Angeles and New York, and to be able to host in-store events and trunk shows.
“And seeing all the familiar faces come back,” Diaz said of her regular customers. “They’re like old friends. I miss them.”
Ku Cha House of Tea
2445 E. Third Ave. Suite #1
Rong Pan and her husband Qin Liu, co-owners of Ku Cha House of Tea, got the idea to open a tea shop while Pan was working toward her Master of Business Administration from the University of Colorado-Boulder.
“Tea is part of our everyday life,” Pan said, adding that all sorts of discussions — ranging from business to casual — typically take place while enjoying a cup of tea. “It’s our together time.”
Additionally, in general, tea consumption can be considered part of the current trend toward health and wellness, Pan said. She added that in the past number of years, Ku Cha has seen more sales of green tea for its antioxidants.
Pan and Liu opened the first Ku Cha House of Tea in Boulder in December 2005. Their Fort Collins location opened in 2015, and the Cherry Creek North location opened in May 2019. The tea shop carries 170 varieties of tea which includes house blends and imports.
Business owners face daily challenges — decision-making, how to accumulate a customer base and creating brand recognition, to name a few, Pan said. But being a small business owner is rewarding, she added, because not only do local businesses provide jobs for others, the day-to-day challenges present a sense of achievement for the business owner.
Ku Cha House of Tea closed about mid-March because of COVID-19 and reopened on May 8. The shop already had a website, and online orders were shipped from Ku Cha’s warehouse in Boulder. A feature that did cease, however, was the shop’s daily tea tasting and other in-person events. Pan hopes these will return, but for now, the tea shop has begun to host virtual tea tasting events.
Another challenge, Pan said, was balancing running the business and home-life responsibilities. For example, the couple is raising two boys, who are 8 and 10. Liu was able to take on the parent responsibilities — including the children’s online/virtual learning — while Pan handled the business.
“A supportive spouse made a huge difference,” Pan said.
Before the pandemic, there was a lot of focus on brining attention to the store and its gaining of popularity, Pan said. After re-opening, once it was safe to do so, it has been all about safety, Pan said. She added she feels lucky that none of Ku Cha’s 22 employees got COVID-19, and that all of her customers in Cherry Creek have been respectful of following COVID-19 safety protocols, including wearing a mask and social distancing.
“There is a light at the end of the tunnel, I know that,” Pan said. “As long as our store is safe for customers and employees, there will be better days ahead.”
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