TELLURIDE – Two entrepreneurial moms recently joined forces to fill an unmet niche in Telluride.
Nestled between two main street restaurants, The Sweet Life and The Floradora, is Hopscotch, a new children’s consignment store opened by Julie Peccedi and Heidi Rhea. But you’ll find much more than consigned clothing there; the store also sells unique gifts made by local artisans, and they have plans to host parties for kids and parents, as well as start a gear rental service.
After a soft opening in December, Hopscotch plans an official grand opening celebration at the end of February.
“The store has had great success through the holiday season and our first month of being open,” says Rhea. “We’ve been really busy and everyone is very excited. We’ve already had great feedback” from customers.
Housed inside the historic Bank of Telluride building, and sharing space with Dianne Pauls’ Sundance Mercantile antique store, Hopscotch has the feel of an eclectic boutique. A small decorated room is dedicated to clothing, with racks of shirts, pants, jackets and dresses on either side, interspersed with fairy wings, fancy hair clips, diminutive skis and ski boots, and even baby items, such as nursing accessories and an electric bottle warmer. The brightly lit space features cheery images of a butterfly and a hopscotch pattern, painted by Telluride artist Kristin Taylor. Peccedi, a faux painter by trade, has also added a brick wall and blue sky ceiling, and a kid-size dressing room beckons young fashionistas.
Kids’ items flow out into the store’s main room as well, where Pauls’ antique furniture pieces (all for sale) double as display cases for blankets, toys, and mittens. A wooden chest of drawers holds a collection of hats, socks, tights, and children’s jewelry while a vintage table holds a display of practically new sweaters.
“It is a challenge trying to decide how to display everything,” says Peccedi, though a visitor to the store would never know it. Both women come from design backgrounds, so they are skilled at creating a welcoming environment with the constant influx of new inventory, and the task helps them keep the space fresh. “It’s a work in progress but we’re really just enjoying it day by day. It will just evolve,” she says.
Peccedi and Rhea first met through a mutual friend roughly seven years ago, when they were both pregnant with their first children.
Rhea’s Southern drawl reveals her Shreveport, Louisana roots. She and her husband Scott, have lived in Telluride for 12 years and have two children, Adaley, 7, and Ava, 5.
Originally from San Diego, Peccedi met her Northern Italy-born husband, Nicola, in Telluride. The couple and their children, Damiano, 3, and Tatiana, 7, returned to San Diego for a brief stint in 2008, but they moved back to Telluride full time last August. In San Diego, she noticed there was a kids’ consignment store on practically every corner, helping spawn the idea for such a store in Telluride.
“People are flocking to these stores again, with the economy the way it is,” she says.
Peccedi and Rhea tested the waters for a kids’ consignment store by organizing a sale at St. Patrick’s Church last November. “We were overwhelmed with our own things,” says Rhea, so the two networked with other parents to gather items for a sale that would also raise some money for the church. The sale was a huge success and they found great encouragement to open a children’s consignment store in Telluride. In the process of hunting for a space, Pauls offered a small interior room inside her Sundance Mercantile store, and just five weeks later, Hopscotch was open.
“It was a perfect match,” says Peccedi, especially given the location next to The Sweet Life ice cream parlor. Although Hopscotch is decidedly small, Peccedi and Rhea have made great use of the space, and a storage building out back allows them room for larger items, such as cribs and strollers. And come summer, an enclosed, landscaped courtyard will become host to private birthday parties and mom’s-night-out gatherings.
“We’ll have craft nights in the store, tea parties and theatre with (local kids’ instructor) Sally Davis,” says Rhea. “Our goal is to offer our community some other options… There’s been such an explosion of children here in the last several years. We have such a network of moms now with kids.”
One goal of the storeowners is to work with area hotels and property management companies to rent strollers, high chairs, cribs, baby carriers, and other gear to tourists. Sometime in the future, Peccedi and Rhea also hope to offer personalized design services for children’s bedrooms and other spaces.
In the meantime, they have their hands full with their current inventory, which includes an impressive variety of local art, from mosaic magnets and hearts by Flair Robinson and elephant paintings, journals, cards and T-shirts by Ally Crilly to fairy wings and feathered hair clips by Sara Doehrman. Hopscotch also sells Mountain Pixie items by Beth Bailis – terrariums and felted fairies, mushrooms and mobiles – and bowls made from old records, bent and warped into shape by Anne Pletz. The re-use theme continues with Sharon Albin’s recycled sweater mittens and Montrose-based Trash-e Bags, made from old banners and plastic grocery bags. Hopscotch even sells duct-tape purses, wallets and hair bows.
“They’re mostly Colorado artists,” says Rhea, “or items that are just really cool. We get a lot of tourists and locals in the store, so it’s great exposure.”
Following their moms’ lead, Rhea’s and Peccedi’s daughters Adaley and Tatiana have created their own “secret surprise basket” of wrapped trinkets and toys for sale for $1.
Hopscotch’s consignment items run the gamut, from clothing (size infant through teen) to shoes to baby blankets to costumes. They even sell used books, toys, furniture and sports gear.
Hopscotch does a fifty-fifty consignment split on “freshly laundered, ideally ironed clothing,” and other items, says Peccedi. Items are accepted on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. or by appointment.
“If you bring it in looking good, it’s going to sell fast,” says Rhea.
Hopscotch hours are Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-6 p.m. and Saturdays, 11-5 p.m. “We’ll be there unless an emergency happens,” says Rhea, adding that they hope to keep the store open until 8 p.m. on Thursdays. Details on their grand opening party will be announced soon. On a regular basis, they will offer “lots of big sales, promotions and special events,” she promises.
Hopscotch is located at 109 W. Colorado, and can be reached by calling 728-2441.