At age 75, Darleen Gerry stocks some pretty sexy clothes in her just-opened store in Wenatchee.
“Sexy?” she laughed. “Well, I like to think of them more as fun and flirty.”
Gerry’s new store, Darleen’s Boutique, is crowded with bright, colorful and festive fashions — dresses, tops and leggings — designed to show off a few curves and, in some, flash a little bit of leg. Or a lot of leg.
“Legs can be many women’s best feature,” she said, taking a little black number off the rack and holding it for a male visitor to peruse. Legs, yes, we like legs.
Of course, she stocks more conservative styles, too, and also plus-sized clothing that doesn’t scrimp on flash and style. The store also features racks of accessories — hats, scarves, bags, jewelry — and a line of gift items, such as artful windchimes and faerie figurines.
Gerry’s inventory also features a large display of jewelry — earrings, necklaces, bracelets — hand-made by her daughter Dianna.
Best of all? All this sassy pizzazz comes at a reasonable price — hardly an item in Darleen’s Boutique costs more than $35.
Gerry is no stranger to business. She owned a coffee shop and deli in the Seattle area for 15 years before moving this year to the Wenatchee Valley. Since about 2000, she’s been visiting friends in the area and caring for their home during winter months. During her stays, she fell in love with the eastside of the mountains.
It’s her nature to keep busy and, she said, “I’ve always loved clothes.” So her clothing boutique was an idea who’s time had come. “I immediately got online and started searching for just the right items and styles that I could sell at just the right price.”
Gerry opened her 400-square-foot boutique on June 14 on the busy corner of North Chelan Avenue and Second Street. Everyday, she hangs a few brightly-colored dresses or tops on the front of the building for some sidewalk merchandising.
“They’re pretty and bright and interesting,” said Gerry, “If it were me passing by, I’d want to stop and see what’s inside.”
Details: Darleen’s Boutique, 136 N. Chelan Ave., Wenatchee. (Former location of Nancekivell’s Cleaners.) Open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday. (206) 949-8044.
What are the possibilities? Take the tour
Take note, all you Nosy Nellies. You can peek behind closed doors into some of the commercial core’s most interesting buildings when the Wenatchee Downtown Association hosts its annual Downtown Possibilities Tour.
Satisfying your rampant curiosity isn’t the real reason for the tour, of course. The guided walking tour (yes, wear your sneakers) allows folks to see how creative entrepreneurs have used downtown spaces and also what might be available for the next hot business or condo development. You get to explore the spaces, ask questions and envision how the vacant spots can best be filled.
The Possibilities Tour will gather at 3:30 p.m. Thursday in Suite A of the newly remodeled KOHO Radio building at 32 N. Mission St. Tour participants will then amble to the Morris Building, Halbert Block building (formerly Peoples Bank), iLa Yoga Studio and Badger Mountain Brewing.
For more info, call the WDA at 662-0059.
Promo bucks = euros and yen
The Washington Tourism Alliance, the industry group formed to replace the now-defunct state Tourism Office, will receive a $1 million short-term loan from the state to help pay for marketing in the next two years.
More specifically, the money will help the WTA maintain its travelers’ website, pay postage for the Washington State Visitors Guide and help convince more foreigners to visit here and drop a few euros or yen.
Of course, WTA execs are grateful for the quasi-handout, but they note that some competing states have tourism budgets that are 10 to 60 times larger than ours. They also point out that two years ago the WTA got underway with a promotions budget of $300,000 to tout an industry that rakes in about $17 billion annually.
This weekly column is compiled from “Everyday Business,” a blog by World reporter Mike Irwin. You can reach him at 665-1179 or email@example.com.