Words by Cooper Siville
Photography by Isabella Labriola
Magnolia Moon boutique first opened its doors for business on May 5th 2014, which they’ve affectionately referred to as “Cinco De Moon” in a small 600 square foot shop on Mason Street. Over the years and after many successes, they’ve moved up to a larger space in the historic Northern Hotel at the corner of College Avenue and Walnut Street directly across from our staff’s favorite downtown eatery, the famous Silver Grill Café. With a Master’s degree in Apparel Merchandising from Colorado State University, founder and owner Cameron Moon is well rooted in the Fort Collins community and has seen the growth of the Old Town sector firsthand. Our co-Editor in Chief Cooper Siville had the pleasure of speaking with Moon to see what makes this quaint boutique such a powerhouse in the Fort Collins community.
This growth represents a massive success for Cameron – years ago as a graduate of Fashion and Interior Merchandising from Texas A&M Kingsville, job prospects were bleak. With the 2008 Recession in full swing, New York based apparel companies were significantly reducing their workforce. “I graduated when the recession really hit. I had an internship lined up with Liz Claiborne in New York and was so excited – it was so major – and then they suspended all internship programs. That’s when regulations were changed about paying and not paying so they froze them for a couple of years afterwards too. I got a couple of job offers and then they laid everybody off. I did not know what to do and my best friend who went to Colorado State for graduate school convinced me to come here”. After moving back home and an attempt at a PhD while working for several different boutiques and gaining work experience in both buying and retailing, she was convinced to open a store of her own.
With a central focus on modern cuts and minimal prints with Bohemian influences, Magnolia Moon delivers an amazing selection of wearable basics that function just as well at the workplace as they do for a night on the town. “I think that’s kind of our unique platform in town. We’re not trying to just have fun party clothes or high end basics or active-wear. We have just a little bit of everything that will be really versatile in your wardrobe”. Featuring brands like Kenzie, BB Dakota, YUMI, California Moonrise, Comme Toi, and PPLA, among many others, their selection delivers high quality basics in a wallet friendly $50–$75 price range that are sure to have you looking fashionable and trendy without killing your budget. “So many of our customers are professionals or moms and they don’t have a lot of disposable income to spend on expensive clothing, so I like to find a lot of things where you can get the most bang for your buck, but you still look fashionable. You don’t look like you went to Target to get the latest $5 t-shirt”. Top selling items include ethnic and floral printed day dresses perfect for a casual shopping day or for a day in the office as well as accessories – “we can’t keep accessories in stock”.
By far the strongest factor in the growth of the Old Town commercial sector is the strong bond between all of the retailers, restaurants, galleries, and services offered in the area. “As we gain the reputation of being one of the greatest places to live with a number of stellar breweries, it just brings more people. We all kind of band together to make sure that everyone understands that we have really cool shops, especially in the last couple of years. The boutiques will do that for each other too. We still have the competition piece but when it comes down to it we’re not going to say don’t buy something at all in this town. Go across to Kansas City Kitty because they’ll have what you’re looking for. We’ve got to keep the dollars here as much as we can. A lot of our buyers really do love the concept of buying local and supporting local. It’s a major thing now and the more awareness we raise down here, the better it will get and the more people will jump on board”.
Great bargains and even greater clothing is why a large number of customers have come up from Denver and other parts of Southern Colorado just to shop – “they’ve come specifically and they’re starting to ask if we’re planning on opening a store in Denver, and I’m like, would you want one? We’re really focusing on our Fort Collins vibe and community, which is really great, but also for anything to grow you have to get exposure elsewhere.” Room for growth is ever present – with a newly released e-Commerce platform and established website, growth has come consistently: “Were growing and getting sales from all around the country which is really exciting. It’s just a daily struggle – consistent posting, pushing it out there and eventually someone out there will say yeah, I’ll buy that.”
It’s clear to all of those we have spoken to about Cameron that her drive and incredible ethic are going to carry her far. What’s next for Magnolia Moon? Right now, Fort Collins. Tomorrow, the world.
Stop by the shop and tell her we sent you. You’ll be glad you did…
We would like to thank Cameron and the entire staff at Magnolia Moon for letting us be apart of this wonderful experience and wish them the best!