I had mentioned before that Goodwill had decided to open up a new concept boutique in Cherry Creek North, in the old Brooks Brothers space on 2nd and University, Deja Blue Boutique. Well, yesterday I finally found myself smack dab in front of the place after getting off the #24 bus from an afternoon at the Denver Botanic Gardens. I was headed to Ink! Coffee and realized where I was, and that it was open, and that I had been wanting to check this place out.
There’s been numerous press coverage on the place, which opened March 24th and a grand opening on April 5th. The Denver Post wrote not one article, but at least two. I bopped in on a gorgeous Sunday afternoon around 4:30 in the afternoon. Not once was I greeted or offered help. In fact, the manager stood behind the counter the ENTIRE time I was in, for at least a half hour. This struck me as odd, because the decor and layout are very much like a consignment shop, and they are advertising themselves as a boutique. So which is it? Boutique or thrift store?
I saw a trendy fashion shopper, a young girl who looked to be in her twenties, holding a funky, cropped western jacket. I complimented her on it. Sadly, it would turn out that she would go on to purchase the best piece in the joint. Good for her for finding a nugget in that sea of Banana Republic though!
That leads me to my next point, I already went in questioning the idea of a “thrift” store who was cherry picking “designer” pieces out of donations and shuttling them into Cherry Creek and slapping on a higher sticker price, but I really did try to come in with an open mind, I did. Designers? Designer anything was nowhere to be found. Wait, i take that back. I found a pair of gold Nicole Miller sandals. For the most part though, it looked like the old wardrobe of a retired woman who used to work a 9-5 in an accountant’s office.
The merchandise was comprised of a whole lotta mall brands like Banana Republic, Ann Taylor, Chicos, and on the older spectrum of taste. The prices ranged from $8.99, $14.99, on up. Ooh, I did “spot” another designer piece. I saw a navy blue, David Meister dress for $99.99! Can you believe that?! And it was dirty! See the photo below, there was a spot near the crotch…on a blue dress….conjuring up a political snafu.
I checked out the shoes, all were very worn except for a pair of black Guess sandals and a black pair of BCBG pumps. One pair of heels was so ill fitting, that the soles of them didn’t even sit on the shelf straight, they were so warped. Really? TIn my humble, fashion blogger opinion, I would pull the warped shoes and stained dress stat! If you are hiring people to hand pick the “good stuff” then you might want to give them some guidelines. Buffalo Exchange buyers may confuse the hell out of you when you sell clothing to them, (they took my heart sweater from the 80′s but gave me back my Banana Republic skirt?) but at least they took try to take their time and check for stains, rips, and problems.
If you take a glance over to Yelp, you can see that I am not being too harsh a critic, and that other shoppers have experienced the lackluster Deja Blue as I did. Unlike the Yelpers, I completely disagree that there is an excuse for being newly opened that they should not have enough selection. It is because they JUST opened, that they should most definitely have a full store of awesome SPRING wear. On the contrary, there were racks of woolen slacks and jackets and suit sets from what appeared to be an older set of donating clientele. This was certainly NOT one of my best thrifting experiences.
However, it might be the store for you if thrift stores make you nervous, you think they are loud, crowded and “dirty.” The store was nicely decorated and merchandised, with plenty of natural light, and it was very quiet. The clothes were easy to sift through on the racks and there were no buggies. If you love finding 10 year old mainstream brands, including tons of Mossimo (Target brand) and Old Navy, (Seriously?!) then this, THIS might be the store for you. Too old to be current, yet not old enough to be “vintage” or good again. But, if you love the thrill of the hunt and finding that Oscar de la Renta tie, or Yves Saint Laurent tweed sport coat for a boy, or that awesome green blouse, or that incredible costume jewelry that I have found, then this is NOT going to be a frequent stop for you. I was so hopeful to find something, ANYTHING, that I took a peek at the jewelry “selection.” I surely could find a pair of cool clip-ons, right? Wrong. It was even sadder.
I did finally question a girl I saw fixing scarves on the floor. I asked her where they get the clothing from. She told me that they get it from the 24 stand alone donation spots for Goodwill, or the main Goodwill Center, but claimed they do not take it from Goodwill stores. It seems like that is a lot of donation sites they ARE tapping into when you see that there are only 15 Goodwill stores across the metropolitan area. So they are basically intersecting the flow of donations. Huh.
The only positive that comes from this is that if by chance you do find something you’re willing to pay for, “88 cents from every dollar received going to career development programs that help special-needs individuals and at-risk youth gain the skills needed to find, and keep, a job.” (Davidson, Denver Post)
I will try to pop in again in a few months to see if Goodwill is listening to the feedback and made any improvements, but for now, I’d rather take my $20 and hit up my favorite ARC where my dollar will go a lot further and I can find that awesome treasure I always hope to find when I go digging; real thrifting.
The one rack of somewhat weather appropriate dresses. All in poor taste.
A decent button down, but not worth $14.99.
An okay jacket…but again…not designer, and not worth the price tag.
Eek! The blue dress for $99.99- can you spot the spot?
The jewelry. Great display and easy to see, the selection was just not there.
The chicest shopper in there making her purchase of the Western jacket. The sad thing is that the jacket was probably a serious pick, or a donation from an older woman, but it turned out to be a vintage, funky piece for the young fashionista.
Please do check it out for yourself if you are down in Cherry Creek. I would love to hear YOUR thoughts and opinion. Certainly don’t let me steer you away. You might have a different opinion and you might hit it on the nail the day they receive a new shipment. Whether it’s here or anywhere, just get out there and THRIFT!!
Tags: Banana Republic, BCBG, Cherry Creek, Chico's, Consignment Shop, Deja Blue Boutique Denver, Deja Blue store, Goodwill's Deja Blue Boutique in Denver, Guess, Mossimo, Nicole Miller, Old Navy, Thrift Boutique