Arts and Culture

True Takes Over Goldyn’s LoHi Space

Vanessa Barcus, sitting pretty at Goldyn.
Vanessa Barcus, sitting pretty at Goldyn. Photo by Charles Hildreth
Boulder native Vanessa Barcus opened Goldyn as a curated online e-commerce site in 2007, occasionally staging pop-up trunk shows in Denver. But it was always her dream to open a brick-and-mortar store, which she finally did in 2011, in Paul Tamburello’s LoHi Marketplace in Highland. The Goldyn look offered singular styles for the local fashion scene, but Goldyn also doubled as a changing gallery space that was often taken over by artist residencies.

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Goldyn's art-strewn atmosphere.
Courtesy of Shana Colbin Dunn
As she looks back on eleven years of blending apparel by up-and-coming local designers and jewelry makers with high-style brands from New York and the world, Barcus is preparing to close Goldyn on February 28 and leave Denver for Portland. The good news is that she’s turning over the space to Shana Colbin Dunn, another experienced Denver retailer known for her own empire of Kismet and True boutiques. Goldyn will be rebranded under the True banner, which Colbin Dunn describes as a “holistic boutique.” Her first True store opened a year ago in Aurora’s Stanley Marketplace.

“I loved Goldyn,” Barcus admits. “It’s been my life for eleven years. But now I’m ready to focus on new things in life instead of being focused on Goldyn. I had a goal from the outset to support more independent, smaller designers who were more artists than true makers. I wanted it to be a community hub for creatives, and I feel like we did accomplish that. But there is still that bittersweet aspect to our saying goodbye before the transition. We’ve gotten some lovely feedback on what we did create.”

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True boutique in the Stanley Marketplace.
Courtesy of Shana Colbin Dunn
With that in mind, Colbin Dunn plans to keep a Goldyn for True corner in the new store. “Shana will be carrying over some of our same designers from Goldyn, including some of our favorites and bestsellers,” Barcus explains. “I feel really good abut Shana and True. She’s very like-minded, and she cares about supporting local artists. It all aligns naturally. It feels like the right thing.”

“One interesting thing is that this is such a seamless transition,” agrees Colbin Dunn. “The aesthetic of all the displays, the cash wrap, the fixtures, the decor, the same wallpaper — everything in there — will stay the same. When you come in with your own brand, you usually feel like saying, ‘I want to do it my way.' There’s very little of that going on. I’m going to paint two walls white. That’s it.”

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The look of True boutique in Stanley Marketplace.
Courtesy of Shana Colbin Dunn
How will True be different? Colbin Dunn automatically cites lower price points, in keeping with how she merchandises her store at Stanley. Most clothing and jewelry at True will sell for less than $100, “with a few special items that go higher,” she notes. “Also, we’re probably going to increase a selection of smaller gift items — candles, books, home decor, things of that nature.”

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True's manifesto.
Courtesy of Shana Colbin Dunn
But True also comes with its own manifesto and philosophy: “How do you adorn yourself, not from the outside in, but from the inside out?” Colbin Dunn adds. “Our focus will be on self-care, wellness and personal growth.”

You still have time to shop Goldyn, 2040 West 30th Avenue, and wish Barcus well before the boutique closes on Wednesday, February 28. It doesn’t hurt that she’s also offering close-out sale deals of up to 80 percent, but the merch is moving fast, so hurry in. True will move into the LoHi space early in March; watch the Kismet/True website or True’s Facebook page for updated information.

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Susan Froyd started writing for Westword as the "Thrills" editor in 1992 and never quite left the fold. These days she still freelances for the paper in addition to walking her dogs, enjoying cheap ethnic food and reading voraciously. Sometimes she writes poetry.
Contact: Susan Froyd