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Conceited Bastards Cooperative Boutique on Santa Fe opens with an unusual strategy

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The Conceited Bastards Cooperative Boutique opened over the weekend at 738 Santa Fe Drive, and although the new shop displays its humble beginnings, it has big ambitions. At its core, the boutique is an outlet for hand-made clothing from a variety of designers. "We want to offer a storefront-style opportunity for local designers to sell fashion design -- specifically fashion with an artistic flare," says owner Day Acoli.

But Conceited Bastards is carrying out its mission in an unusual way.

To gain the right to sell art on consignment there, artists and designers have to teach a class or help run the shop. "Our main mission is to offer youth lead opportunities," says Acoli, "Ultimately it will be youth staffed and filled with their art, we want to train youth to start their own successful businesses early on and be self-sufficient."

Due to the co-op nature of the shop, Conceited Bastards will showcase different types of clothing and jewelry each month, and the goal is to have a place for seasoned vets and upstart youth to sell their work side-by-side. "Our first group of kids will be in at the end of the month," says Acoli. "They'll be doing a jewelry workshop first and then next month moving on to crochet in November."

The workshops are open to any youth (grades K-12) in the community; they're free and taught by local designers. "We're looking for artists -- specifically artists who think their clothing work is reflective of their art," says Acoli.

Artists who are willing to teach classes can stop into the shop and talk to Day about selling their work. She stresses it's not about type or style of art, but rather making it wearable and interesting, from silk-screened shirts to handmade jewelry.

Check out the shop's Facebook page for event info. Currently, the hours are Tuesday through Thursday, 11 to 6 p.m., and during special events like First Friday.

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