Business has been so good at Rove in Calistoga, that owners Jessica and Sandra Maas have opened another retail store, just two doors down.
Like Rove, West of Poppy, in the former Catch location on Lincoln Avenue, carries mostly women’s clothing and accessories, with a few items for men, and other fun and quirky items.
“Customers (at Rove) kept asking us if there were more stores like this. They are looking for contemporary clothing and jewelry at reasonable prices,” said Jessica Maas.
“Everything is under $100. Not only were we getting local shoppers, but wealthier visitors gravitated towards us as well. It’s a fun place where you can buy fun things.”
The two sisters got started in business about six years ago by opening a small, 500-square foot store in St. Helena called Gathered.
“That’s what really got us going in St. Helena because all the other stores have very high prices,” Mass said. “People would come into the store and say ‘is this $28 or $280?’ We said ‘no, it’s really $28.’ That was when we knew that this price point really does work.”
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Then, while driving to their storage area on Washington Street, Mass noticed that the tasting room, where Rove is located now, was hardly ever open. She inquired and found that the lease was available.
“We were outgrowing our store in St. Helena so we jumped on that space,” she said.
Rove opened 2-1/2 years ago, and the duo have subsequently moved Gathered into a bigger space in St. Helena.
Maas is the oldest of five daughters. She says part of the secret to their success is that they are very hands-on. Aside from both working at the stores, Sandra is a professional artist and her paintings hang in the spaces. The two also do a lot of the remodeling themselves including building all of the fixtures.
“Our mother taught us to sew when we were very young, and we learned about fabrics, so when we go to market to buy products we’re looking for things that are not only priced really well but have quality to them,” Maas said.
Maas describes herself as casual and low-key.
“I don’t like to go into a store where I feel like I can’t touch the merchandise, and it’s too stuffy,” she said. “In our stores there is always a chair for the men to sit in. I want people to feel like they can come in to a relaxing atmosphere. I want it to feel like my home. People come in here and say ‘it’s so peaceful I don’t want to leave.’ I hear that a lot.”
You can reach Cynthia Sweeney at email@example.com or 942-4035.
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