FORT LUPTON — Denise Rexford didn’t open the New 2 U Boutique to get rich.
“I just wanted something to do with my time,” Rexford said of the consignment shop she opened May 25 at the corner of Denver Avenue and Fourth Street. “I wanted to do something that would help the community. There’s no place to buy clothes. Clothes are so expensive, it’s crazy. Kids are really just renting clothes; they wear them a couple of times and grow out of them.”
But Rexford has poured herself, and several coats of paint, into the shop, and business has already been brisk for the first month. And she’s optimistic that more customer traffic is on the way.
“Business is booming in Fort Lupton with my store, and a coffee shop. And now we are getting a adoption agency too,” Rexford said.
Rexford chose to set up shop in Fort Lupton because it reminded her of her hometown.
“I grew up in Eaton, moved to Alaska for 20 years, came back a year and a half ago,” Rexford said. “[We] moved out here out in the country, Fort Lupton, in February, and I wanted to start a business. I had a business in Alaska and I missed it, so I wanted to do something.”
Rexford’s previous business was the Stamp and Moose, a scrapbooking shop in Wasilla, Alaska, where she met Sarah Palin. Rexford recounts meeting the city’s famous former mayor as if she was describing a casual barbecue encounter, but the details couldn’t be more Alaskan.
“A buddy of ours, my husband and him, have a gold mine together. And his hangar is right across the lake from where Sarah lives,” Rexford said. “And LeiLani played games with Sarah’s kids all the time. She’s a good person. She’s down-to-earth, pumps her own gas.”
The Stamp and Moose was more a labor of love than a large corporation, but Rexford still felt the operation was too big for Fort Lupton.
“With time being, I couldn’t sell my business; I had to close it,” Rexford said. “And Fort Lupton just isn’t big enough for a scrap book store.”
Rexford loves the small-town atmosphere in Fort Lupton. When she first moved back to Colorado, Rexford tried living in Greeley, but the city was too large for her tastes.
“It was way too big for me, and my husband moved me to Greeley, and I hated it. Five months in Greeley we had her bicycle stolen, somebody broke into our truck. Somebody backed into my car. Then my neighbor broke into my house. She got six years in jail for that. I told my husband after that, ‘get me outta here!’ So, I found a place out here, and we moved! I put a contract out while he was up in Alaska working. ‘Hi, honey, here’s our new house.”
Rexford originally thought of opening a thrift store in Fort Lupton, but she felt customers might be looking for something different.
“I thought about doing a thrift store, but the problem we had was that the thrift store that was here wasn’t a very ‘good’ thrift store. And I talked about it and — she goes through clothes like crazy, and I’ve lost a lot of weight, and everybody’s always going up and down on clothes — there’s no place to buy clothes here. There’s none. Good clothes, you can’t find them. And I decided, ‘Well, the best thing to do is I’m going to start up a consignment shop, so I did,” Rexford said.
For customers looking to match their consignment clothes with the season, Rexford has a schedule: spring items are accepted from February to April, summer items are accepted from May to July, fall items are accepted from August to October, and winter items are accepted from November to January.
“We’re coming up on the big push for the school year,” Rexford said. “Parents need a good way to buy clothes for the whole family.”
New 2 U Boutique is open 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, closed Saturday and Sunday.