Everyday Explorations: CSU’s Natural & Environmental Sciences Building

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Apr 102013
 

Author: Kelsey Contouris

If you’re like me, the most familiar thing about the Monfort Quad is the grassy rectangle itself – but what about the buildings around the Quad? There’s Clark B on the west side, Plant Sciences on the north, Animal Sciences on the south, and that huge building on the east side with the waterfall: the Natural and Environmental Sciences Building.

The waterfall on the west side of the building

The waterfall on the west side of the building

Since the building’s name is not visible from the Quad and I never had a good reason to venture to the other side of it, I hadn’t known its purpose until a friend mentioned it. According to the architectural timeline in Johnson Hall, the Natural and Environmental Sciences Building was constructed in 1994 and is home to the Department of Horticulture and Landscape Architecture, the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory and various other research labs.

A landscape architecture studio

A landscape architecture studio

Before entering the building, I admired the distinctive waterfall on its west side.  It’s no wonder that the landscape architecture department is housed there. While no water was running, I could easily picture it cascading down the side of the large cylindrical tower, accentuating the landscaping below and bringing to life the concrete “river” that winds through the sidewalk.

Coincidentally, the landscape architecture portion of the building is the first part I encountered. Located on the first floor of the building’s north side, the area features several large studios that remind me of the art classrooms I’ve seen in high school, yet twice as large. Impressively detailed architectural drawings littered a number of metal racks hanging from the ceiling, while drafting equipment filled the much of the table space below. Seeing such enormous studios makes me question why I also found a landscape architecture area in Shepardson, so I may have some further investigating to do.

And, like Shepardson, the Natural and Environmental Sciences Building also has its fair share of locked doors – but these are locked for a good reason. Throughout much of the building, I encountered warnings of dangerous laboratory equipment, required safety attire, quarantined soils and even radioactive material. This all told me one thing: serious scientific business happens here.

However, not all parts of the building pose potential safety hazards. When I visited the third floor via the main staircase on the south side, I encountered a space that reminded me of a children’s play room in a nature and science museum. A tiny solar system hung in the far left corner, while six small, round tables each featured a different area of discovery. When I looked farther down the hall and saw a sign for The Little Shop of Physics, the playroom’s existence made a lot more sense. (I’m assuming it’s a secondary location of The Little Shop of Physics because I believe there is also one in the Engineering Building.)

The "play room" on the third floor

The “play room” on the third floor

Even though there was not much else of note in that labyrinth of laboratories, I’m glad I made a point to explore the Natural and Environmental Sciences Building – the east side of the Quad is now demystified. After seeing so many laboratories in just one building on campus, I now understand why CSU is well known for its scientific research. While CSU’s older buildings hold university’s history, its newer buildings hold much of its potential.

Too School for Cool: Sledding season isn’t over

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Apr 082013
 

Author: Allison LeCain

Ice sledding

Ice blocking (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Spring is finally upon us. The season of ice, snow and sledding may seem long-gone, but with a new season comes a new method of sliding down a hill.

Ice blocking is a western sport where people sit on blocks of ice and slide down hills, much like sledding. In many areas that do not receive snow, the sport of ice blocking is called ‘reversed sledding.’

You can buy ice blocks at many grocery stores or make them yourself. A good ice block is generally a rectangle shape around six inches tall and one and a half feet long.

I recommend putting a small towel over the ice block before sitting down to avoid the dreaded wet-butt. Also, wear clothes you don’t care about – they will get muddy.

The art of ice blocking involves great balance, speed and bravery.  Many participants will fall off their blocks and get bruised and dirty. Consider the risk of injury before trying this at home. Also, there is no shame in wearing a helmet.

Once you have all the required materials, find a steep hill. At the top of the hill, sit down on your ice block, have a friend give you a little push, and down the hill you’ll fly. It is recommended to have ice blocking races – a little competition never hurt anyone.

Ice blocking is best done after dark, as the sport is frowned upon and illegal in some parks and cities due to the wear-and-tear effect it has on grass. Wherever you decide to go, ice blocking is a great springtime activity.

 

Apr 082013
 

Author: Nicole Beale

Sell-out artist and local band, Lotus, played at the Aggie Theater in Fort Collins on Wed., April 3. The Fort Collins area responded well to the band returning to the Aggie, last visiting in 2008. With a few bumps in the road, Lotus managed to pack in two full sets with songs from a variety of albums. If you missed the show, check out some of their live recordings and their latest album Build.

Jesse Miller, front and center, playing bass guitar.  Photo by Lauren Martin

Jesse Miller, front and center, playing bass guitar.
Photo by Lauren Martin

Lotus released their latest album, Build, in the middle of their tour on Feb. 19. Build came from about 25 songs that were recorded in both St. Louis, MO and Philadelphia, PA.

“What we usually do in the studio is we use old school tape. Do the drums, guitar live and then over dub in the keys and add percussion later. We try to capture that live aspect,” said Luke Miller who plays guitar and keys. The band picked ten songs that had the same electronic up-beat sound, and it became Build.

Build has received both praise and criticism. Some iTunes reviewers have called it more electronic dance music than original Lotus.

“You know we’re just a band that never wanted to just do one thing — we always want to grow and evolve. We play all of our new songs and all of our old songs. I feel that were expanding our range and making our show more of a journey with more variety. I just never wanted to do the same thing twice,” Miller said.

They have plenty of new things for all lovers of Lotus coming out soon. Lotus’ next album is inspired by their love of hip-hop and down-tempo music. One of the songs the band featured at the Aggie, Cannon in the Heavens, will be on their next album. Luke Miller mentioned that the band will most likely be coming out with a series of EPs featuring five or six songs that have a similar theme.

Lotus has played an average of at least 60 shows every year since the band first began to get popular. In this winter/spring tour alone they played 47 shows, taking only a few days’ rest.

“We circled the whole country and we’re finishing it off in Colorado.  The first show was -12 degrees and now were getting into some spring weather finally,” Miller said.

Luke Miller jammin' on keys ready to switch to guitar.  Photo by Lauren Martin

Luke Miller jamming on keys ready to switch to guitar.
Photo by Lauren Martin

The band did this tour a little differently, hitting some smaller venues. Lotus didn’t go to Denver, but gave some other communities around Colorado the opportunity to experience the show.

“We have more fans in Colorado than anywhere else. It’s always one of the highlights of our tour,” Miller said.

The band packed in two full sets at the Aggie Theater after delaying the show as long as they could. New underage drinking policy forces minors to be breathalyzed before they can enter the venue. The sold-out Aggie Theater had a line out the door of people waiting to get in and one operating breathalyzer. Some people said they waited for over an hour.

“We had a plan in place to have an entrance for 21 and over and under 21, but people just don’t listen. We are trying to get new breathalyzers that don’t take so long to heat up so the process will move faster,” said Kyle Stych, manager of the Aggie.

Aside from the long line, the vibe that Fort Collins has married so well with Lotus vibes.

“The environment was great because you could be so close to the band and feed off their good vibes and music,” said Brittany Jackson, a CSU student. An Aggie theater show is unique. Since the venue holds only 650, you will be surrounded by friends that love the same band and just want to have a good time.

“The Aggie is so small the heat was overwhelming and became a sweaty mess, but it was worth dancing all night regardless,” Jackson said.

Check out one of the hits of their new album:

https://w.soundcloud.com/player/?url=http%3A%2F%2Fapi.soundcloud.com%2Ftracks%2F70363748%3Fsecret_token%3Ds-gM9Dx”></iframe>

Set List:

Set 1

Blacklight Sunflare

Middle Road

Travel

Harps

Sodium Vapor

Suitcases

Moon Set

72 hours awake

 

Set 2

We are Now Connected

Nri

Wax

Destroyer

Cannon In the Heavens

Arupa

Bubonic Tonic

Age of Inexperience

Encore:

Marisol

Bush Pilot

 

 

Apr 052013
 

Author: Anna Palmer

“You are the creator of your own happiness and well-being.”  More than a philosophical statement, this motto has become inseparable from the life and passion of a vibrant, openhearted and authentic soul in the Fort Collins community.

Combining psychotherapy with yoga, meditation and spirituality, Gwyn Tash, in essence, has created a new emerging field of counseling that she intuitively and whole-heartedly believes in.

Gwyn Tash

Gwyn Tash

Outlining her methodology at OM Counseling and Yoga, Tash describes it as a mix between yogic and Buddhist psychology.  Seen as natural and in-the-flow, she views counseling as going hand in hand with spirituality.

“There isn’t another way to do psychotherapy.  [Traditional talk therapy] is just ‘psycho-babble’. [It’s] all about the illusion of life,” Tash said assuredly.  By approaching psychotherapy from a more natural, spiritual place, she encourages her clients to find acceptance of one’s nature through ‘karuna’ (Sanskrit for ‘compassion’).

Throughout childhood, Tash struggled with depression, low self-esteem and distorted body image.

“My own life struggles made me adept at what I do,” she said.

A graduate of the University of Maryland, Tash moved to Colorado in 1989.  She worked as an addiction specialist at LARICO Center for Youth Addictions for about two years, commenting on the “rough, over-her-head type work.”

After leaving LARICO, Tash worked in senior and elderly counseling before the “depressing” nature of the work encouraged her to take a job as lead counselor at Island Grove Regional Treatment Center in Greeley, Colo.

Meanwhile, she struggled to keep her head above water in her personal life, amidst the grips of an emotionally and physically abusive marriage.

Feeling “burnt out in the field” and struggling to be a mother and wife, Tash reached her breaking point.

“I was extremely overweight, and didn’t take care of myself,” she said. “I got to the point where I knew I couldn’t live that way any longer.  I wanted to commit suicide.”

After 11 years of marriage with one daughter between them, Tash courageously left.  This turning point in her life led to her reacquired yoga practice and immersion into the yogi lifestyle.

“After a period of time, I fell in love with yoga.  It helped me heal and reconnect with my body,” she said.  “Yoga brought me to a space of empowerment.”

Tash continued to heal through yoga and meditation until she worked up the strength to attend a yoga teacher training.

“I was paralyzed with fear and almost didn’t do it.  I ended up getting the last space in the class,” she said.  “It brought me back to my body and healed me in so many ways.”

A little over a year ago, a life-threatening spider bite almost turned the table for the worst.  Deathly ill and incapacitated, Tash was highly poisoned.  After seeing a naturopath, she was finally diagnosed and put onto a strict anti-parasitic diet to detoxify.  She never thought she would teach yoga or counsel again.

However, the diet built up her immune system to the extent where it fought off the deadly infection and she slowly began to heal.  Returning to yoga this past June, she is grateful for her life.

Since recovering, Tash has become lead songwriter and vocalist for a yoga, spiritual rock band, called “Leelah.”  After not singing for 25 years and not feeling like she had a voice, she was initially hesitant.

“I was petrified.  Fear was not a good reason not to do it.  It was really hard, but it was meant to be,” Tash said.

Her main focus though, with this on-the-side “creative and expressive” outlet, is her yoga teaching and her counseling.  As someone who “works for herself,” she is able to combine all the elements she deems fit for psychotherapy: yoga, meditation, self-inquiry, self-reflection and spirituality.

“I work intuitively.  I zone-in on where that person is and what they need.  I take something that they’re wounded from to help them heal and question themselves,” Tash said, identifying herself as a ‘guide’ rather than a ‘fixer.’

As someone who is also “constantly healing,” she uses her authenticity to encourage her clients to find acceptance and move away from the ego.

“We are all spiritual beings.  It’s not religious at all.  It comes so naturally,” she said.

Identifying this process of spiritual growth as a “constant evolution, a constant trust,” Tash urges others to send out the energy they wish to get back.  She empowers others to recognize their role in changing and controlling their thought patterns.

Tash also combines a form of hand-free “massage-like” energy work, called Reiki, into her counseling approach.  This method of transferring her healing energy for emotional, physical or spiritual pain is concluded with the client’s self-reflection on the experience.

She encourages others who are just beginning their spiritual journey to take up a meditation practice to break away from the ego’s inner dialogue.  By tuning into and listening to the authentic inner voice and breadth, one can find a place of mindfulness.

“We’re not always ready to let go.  The first thing to do is acknowledge the thoughts and feelings.  Allow, don’t push it away or change it.  Honor it (write about it, talk about it) and then let it go,” she advised.

With flowing curly hair, a nose ring and most importantly, an open, authentic heart, Tash appears to be living out the life she was intended for.  “I’m just myself and I’m doing it my own way,” she said with a humble, yet confident smile forming on her lips.

Contact Info:

Gwyn Tash

OM Counseling and Yoga

Gwyn.tash@gmail.com

(970) 690-1045

Apr 042013
 

Author: Nicolle Fagan

Silver Grill Cafe in the 1930s. Picture provided by John Arnolfo.

Silver Grill Cafe in the 1930s. Picture provided by John Arnolfo.

The warm, gooey rolls emerge from the oven, spreading their cinnamon aroma throughout the café. Icing melts over the sweet bread, satisfying hungry customers and warming their hearts and stomachs.

The signature cinnamon rolls at Silver Grill Café have received national recognition, but their charm lies in the home-style recipe and their local history.

The Silver Grill Café has been baking the local treat for 28 years, but the restaurant’s history dates back even further. As the oldest restaurant in Northern Colorado, the Silver Grill Café dates back to 1933 with roots as far back as 1912.

From 1912 to 1918 the restaurant operated under the name of Uneeda-Lunch Café, but was closed when the owners pursued other opportunities. Years later, former owner Leonidas “Flossie” Widger reopened the business under the current name. Now, 80 years later, John Arnolfo runs the Grill and aims to keep the integrity of the restaurant’s past.

Arnolfo, a CSU alumnus, bought the Silver Grill Café in 1979. As a frequent diner-goer during his college years, he was pleasantly surprised to find the Grill for sale when he moved back to Fort Collins in 1978. In the 34 years that he has managed the Silver Grill Café, they have expanded from one building to five. The original diner grew from its 40 seat accommodations to a restaurant that can house 150 guests plus 30 on an outdoor patio. Arnolfo credits the restaurant’s success to its ability to adapt to changing times.

Flossie Widger, first owner of the Silver Grill Cafe in 1933. Picture provided by John Arnolfo.

Flossie Widger, first owner of the Silver Grill Cafe in 1933. Picture provided by John Arnolfo.

“It is the general public’s impression that a long history means success,” said Arnolfo. “That’s not necessarily true. You must be able to change with the times to succeed.”

And the Silver Grill Café has certainly changed in its lifetime. They still make all their food from scratch, but they feature a range of menu items from their home-style chicken-fried steak to gluten-free breakfast specialties.

“This is the Silver Grill’s 80th anniversary year, and we have a lot of fun anniversary plans,” said Public Relations Coordinator Tosha Jupiter. For instance, if you stop by the restaurant between April 13 and April 21, you will spot staff members wearing old-fashioned uniforms similar to the green dresses worn in the 1930s.

In addition to the fashion throwback, the Grill will hold specials throughout the month of October to honor the restaurant’s opening on Oct. 28, 1933. With an owner who is big on history (and big on Old Town), the Grill plans on keeping their historic roots in mind as they move forward.

“I see the history of the Silver Grill continuing,” said Arnolfo and the future is bright for the historic business.

So as a college student needing breakfast before finals or a faculty member wanting to get off campus for a home-style lunch, the Silver Grill Café offers good food at a reasonable price. Whether you are hoping to sink your teeth into the sugary delight of their famous giant cinnamon rolls or pick the classic duo of salty bacon and fluffy eggs, you can’t go wrong with the Silver Grill Café.

Everyday Explorations: CSU’s Shepardson Building

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Apr 042013
 

Author: Kelsey Contouris

With a large portion of Colorado State’s academic buildings being located in the Center Avenue corridor from Engineering to Yates, it’s easy to forget about the buildings on the east side of campus that show the university’s true age. This week’s exploration took me to one of these older structures: the Shepardson Building.

Home to the College of Agricultural Sciences, the Shepardson Building is located on University Avenue just east of the Plant Sciences Building. Charles N. Shepardson, after whom the building is named, graduated from CSU in 1917 and taught animal husbandry (the practice of breeding and raising livestock) at CSU from 1920 to 1928. He died in 1975.

In comparison to Johnson Hall, the last building I explored, the Shepardson Building is much more spacious inside and far less confusing to navigate. Like many of the old buildings on campus, stepping inside seems to bring you decades into the past.

I entered Shepardson through two heavy wooden front doors into a hallway that spanned the width of the building. The opposite wall contained quite a few doors – bathroom doors, custodial doors, office doors, mysterious unmarked doors, and finally what I was looking for – stair doors.

Old desks crowd part of the hallway on the second floor.

Old desks crowd part of the hallway on the second floor.

The stairwell struck me as very large. Atop the first half-set of stairs was a door to a tiny balcony overlooking the east side of the Monfort Quad area. Unfortunately, it was locked – cool balconies always seem to be there just to tease people. I continued up to the second floor and found a hallway much like the first, yet this one was far more interesting.

Much of the second floor appeared to be dedicated to miscellaneous furniture storage, but as I walked farther down the hall, I discovered that it also must be home to the landscape architecture department. Stunningly detailed models and drawings lined the walls – there were cardboard designs of water features, spiny wooden jellyfish sculptures and various other futuristic-looking pieces. It all seemed so out of place in such an old building, let alone in the agriculture building.

A model of a jellyfish sculpture

A model of a jellyfish sculpture.

Having been impressed with the second floor of Shepardson, I figured I might as well check out the third. Sadly, I encountered a locked door at the top of the stairs with a note giving numbers to call if you needed to be let in. Not wanting to be a nuisance, I decided to explore the basement instead.

When I entered the basement from the east set of stairs, I found another area of furniture storage with a few random locked doors. Since the middle of the basement was some kind of research lab (also locked), I had to go up to the first floor to get to the west stairs and back to the basement. I encountered more locked doors in the main section of the basement, and when I turned to go back upstairs I saw a spooky white door with a screen leading to the dark space under the stairs. Hoping to find something mysterious and exciting, I got out a flashlight and looked through the screen – just boxes and pipes.

The locked door leading to a storage area under the stairs

The locked door leading to a storage area under the stairs.

Having seen all that I had access to, I walked outside to go to my first class of the day. I felt sad after seeing that so much of the space in Shepardson seemed left to storage and basically forgotten. However, it’s an exciting prospect – if the same is true for all of the old buildings on campus, we essentially have a treasure trove of history right in our backyard. I can walk into almost any building and find the past preserved within its walls – so long as the doors aren’t locked.

Apr 032013
 

Author: Logan Martinez

Wanting an escape from all the construction clinging and clanging? Next fall, you will have a home away from home.

rams bookstore

The Rams Bookstore, on the corner of Laurel and Mason Streets is implementing The Boot Grill. Photo by Logan Martinez

The Rams Bookstore, located at 130 Laurel St. since 1970, is implementing The Boot Grill, a CSU themed sports bar and grill. It will feature the restaurants well known prime rib, house-made green chili, a vast burger menu and a variety of daily lunch specials, while still hosting textbooks and CSU merchandise.

Griff Kull, owner of the Rams Bookstore since 1977, said due to the fluctuation in textbook sales throughout the year, with high sales times at the beginning of each semester, it was time to consider a new way to utilize the space.

“We are looking to do something different with the building at this point because we have half of the space allocated for college textbooks, which is only necessary for about four or five months of the year, and the rest of the year that space isn’t used as much,” Kull said.

The Boot Grill has been open for two years at a locally owned Loveland location. The opportunity to move to this location near campus arose and they wanted to cater to the CSU audience of students, faculty and fans. The bar will feature live music, much like their Loveland location. Marlena Bartlett, assistant general manager of The Boot Grill, is looking forward to creating a fun and inviting atmosphere for their Fort Collins audience.

“We want to bring in fun customers that are looking for a delicious meal — lunch or dinner — and want to enjoy country and classic rock music,” Bartlett said. “We have seen success at our Loveland location and many of our guests tell us that they look forward to having a place like The Boot Grill in Fort Collins.”

Kull is looking forward to this fun atmosphere to compliment the bookstore.

“We were looking for something to complement the apparel and gift business, imprinted Colorado State officially licensed merchandise business,” Kull said. “It seemed like having someone come in with a sports bar and grill would be beneficial for both of us.”

In the tri-level store, The Boot Grill with be located half on the main level and take up the full upper level of the building. On the main level and anticipated rooftop patio, patrons will be able to enjoy looking out onto the Mason Corridor and MAX transit system.

“We will offer live music on Friday and Saturday nights, as well as a roof top outdoor patio and a comfortable welcoming atmosphere,” Bartlett said. “We want it to be a fun environment, lively, and a place where people really enjoy their dining out experience.”

Implementing The Boot means food and beverage near campus, but does not mean textbooks are leaving The Rams Bookstore.

“We are partnered with a company with a good online presence, so it is going to allow us to rent more books and be more competitive with our rental prices,” Kull said. “Throughout the semester, if you are waiting to buy the book until you are sure you need it, we should have good prices available.”

The bookstore will still be open throughout the renovation and is planning to have both sides open for the kickoff of fall semester.

Five Fort Collins boutiques that rock

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Apr 032013
 

Author: Michaela Koretko

Fort Collins is all about the trendy, quirky, funky, and chic. The small, locally owned boutiques help define Old Town and make it unique. Here are five of the must-visit boutiques in town:
GG Boutique
This boutique is young and fun, full of contemporary style apparel and accessories. It features clothing with bright colors and bold patterns in both casual and dressy styles.
Kansas City Kitty
This quirky store sells mostly clothing, featuring many locally made personal and home accessories. It receives new items two or three times a week, but only gets the same item in once.
Killer Rabbit
Named after the beast from Monty Python and the Holy Grail, Killer Rabbit sells young men’s clothing, especially hats and plaid shirts. This is the only exclusively men’s boutique in Old Town, and currently features the mustache fad.
Repeat Boutique
Located just east of campus, Repeat Boutique sells gently used clothing, accessories, shoes, toys, and home decor. The styles they consign and sell are mostly trendy and retro.
White Balcony
This store is owned by the same people as Killer Rabbit. It has a large variety of odds and ends, from cards, journals and home accessories to clothing and accessories. One employee described the boutique as “a color-coded treasure hunt.”

Papagoya Live at KCSU

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Apr 012013
 

Author: Nicole Beale

Papagoya played a live set on KCSU on Wednesday, March 27. They busted out an acoustic set, something that they had

Papagoya playing at KCSU. Photo by Nicole Beale.

Papagoya playing at KCSU. Photo by Nicole Beale.

never done before. It was quite the treat for both listeners and for those few witnessing their performance.

Papagoya has an eclectic sound that is as unique as they are. They consider themselves to be in the genre of jungle funk.  For their shows, Papagoya uses electric instruments, creating a different sound than what was heard on KCSU. However, they create an extremely unique sound by combining an odd arrangement of instruments and exposing their culture. Tobias Bank, a member of Papagoya, hails from Sweden. The name ‘Papagoya’ is a play on a Swedish word ‘Papegoja’, meaning ‘Parrot’.

During their acoustic performance on KCSU, Papagoya had five out of their six members and featured an upright bass, slide guitar, an accordion, and a suitcase kick drum. Yes, it was actually a suitcase. Drummer, Tobias Bank, decided to travel smart by packing his bass drum in a suitcase. In fact the drum itself was a suitcase. After their set, Bank was able to put all of the pedals and cymbals he used right into the suitcase and out he went. It created a very low and short sound, adding to Papagoya’s uniqueness.

Papagoya began the night by playing El Pollo Loco and then played Wash Away that featured Colin Boyle on slide guitar. Their third song, Gypsy Kings, was sung in Spanish by Dimitri Zaugg and then the band played Dealin’ with D’s Bedtime. That song title came about because the band was always forced to rehearse early due to Dimitiri Zaugg’s early bedtime. After a slew of callers called in, including one listening in New Zealand, the band decided to play an encore which was called Show ‘em How Good We Do. The band also threw in a few snippets of the songs from their EP, titled Symatree, that was released in August of 2012.

Papagoya are locals from Fort Collins gaining in popularity. They have secured several shows for the summer making it easy to check them out.  Papagoya’s next show will be at FoCoMX and then Wakarusa May 30 to June 3. To get a better feel for what these guys sound like, check out the live recording of the set at KCSU.

https://soundcloud.com/90-5-kcsu-local-loco/papagoya-in-studio-performance

 

GG Boutique: Where clothes create family

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Mar 312013
 

Author: Kendall Greenwood

GG Boutique

GG Boutique is located at 204 West Laurel. Photo by Logan Martinez

Walking into GG Boutique you will be greeted by a plethora of colorful designs. The staff will be friendly and you will get honest opinions about what you are trying on. GG Boutique goes beyond a store mentality by making you feel welcome.

GG Boutique, a women’s clothing store in Fort Collins, opened its doors on Aug. 23, 2012 by owner Laura Ludwin, 37, with the goal of offering customers more than clothes. Ludwin wants store-goers to have an experience.

“I want to offer our customers an experience where they walk in and find [GG Boutique] to be a happy place,” Ludwin said. “[I want them] to find something that makes them feel good without having to spend all the money they have.”

One way GG Boutique achieves this is with the items they stock.

“What you see when you open a magazine is what we aim to have here at an affordable price,” Ludwin said.

New items are on the floor every day. This is what sales associate Julia Chenoweth, 41, enjoys most about the store.

“I think that always makes it fun and fresh, not only for the customers, but for [the staff] as well,” Chenoweth said.

Emily Davies, a 20-year-old CSU sophomore, shops at GG Boutique because she knows she will find unique items.

“If you go in once a week, there is [always] something different,” Davies said. “And, [even though] I know a lot of people shop there from CSU, there is a good chance no one else will have what you [buy].”

The atmosphere created by the staff also makes this store different. For one, the employees refer to themselves as “Team GG.” They have created a family, which Chenoweth embodies when helping customers.

“We try to get a feel for what it is they are looking for and what their style might be,” Chenoweth said. “[So we will] be able to suggest things in the store they might like.”

Davies has seen this herself.

GG Boutique Dress

GG Boutique has a selection of dresses and other contemporary womens’ fashion. Photo By Logan Martinez

“It’s not one of those retail stores where it’s like, ‘Hey do you need help, hey can I help you with that, you should really buy that,’” Davies said. “They’re like, ‘yeah that looks good on you.’ It’s not pushy at all.”

GG Boutique started with the family in mind. Ludwin named the shop after her grandmother.

“I was extremely close with her,” Ludwin said. “I [even] have her chandelier and dress in the store.”

GG Boutique stays connected to their customers with their Facebook page, where they hold giveaways every Monday, so customers can win gift cards, and post new looks.

Davies tries to go to GG Boutique every other week.

“I always get compliments on the stuff that I buy there,” Davies said. “It is a little pricey because it’s a boutique, but [the clothes] are really good quality. [The items] will last me a long time.”

The shop is located at 204 West Laurel St.

Ludwin said she enjoys being able to sell colorful outfits to all generations.

“They can all find something here,” Chenoweth said.