College Avenue is known for offering many services, from restaurants and bars to quirky local shops, but it also offers a variety of clothing boutiques.
Let’s begin at the southernmost location, Magnolia Moon, on 608 S. Mason St. Magnolia Moon is unique because it is located between the CSU campus and Old Town. Several of its brands are from independent designers and made in the U.S.
While many boutiques in Fort Collins cater to the older, wealthier consumer, Magnolia Moon caters to college students and young professionals who do not have a lot of disposable income but who are looking for high-quality, versatile pieces.
The idea is that these pieces can be worn for work, interviews and events, as well as for going out with friends at night and on the weekend.
Magnolia Moon is owned by Cameron Moon, a CSU alumna who graduated in 2012 with a master’s degree in design and merchandising. She opened the store about 10 months ago.
With her boutique, Moon has had the opportunity to work through styling demonstrations with CSU students and faculty, prospective high school students, guest lecturers and CSU’s chapter of Fashion Group International.
Moon said she wants to give back to the community that helped to get her started.
College Avenue is the “heart of Fort Collins,” Moon said. To her, it offers a selection of businesses that can’t be found anywhere else in the country.
“College Avenue is such a vibrant and thriving part of Fort Collins and a must-visit stop for locals and tourists alike,” she said.
Continuing north on College Avenue, we come across Kansas City Kitty, which has been in Fort Collins for 13 years.
Located on 196 N. College Ave., Kansas City Kitty’s merchandise comes from 10 local designers, who make jewelry, accessories, T-shirts, candles, artwork and more.
The store’s demographic is catered toward many different types of women, ranging from high school students to women in their 30s or older.
Kansas City Kitty has a pretty solid standing in the Fort Collins community. It forged relationships with other local businesses and helps fundraise for causes like the Animal House, Crossroads Safe House and La Familia.
The store has advertised with CSU and donated items to CSU’s Department of Design and Merchandising.
“We strive to make a welcoming environment for everyone that comes into the shop,” said Trista Price, one of the shop’s co-owners. “We enjoy making that ‘home-sweet-home’ feeling to create a comfortable, happy place to come.”
Heading into Old Town Square, we come across Cira, a boutique that has its roots in downtown Denver but relocated to Fort Collins almost 16 years ago.
The store originally targeted college students but, over the years, found that college students only make up about 25 percent of its customers. The rest of its customer base is pretty diverse.
Cira offers comfort, style and more reasonable prices in comparison to other boutiques. It has a strong interaction with the sororities, supplying dresses for their events.
Cira also works with CSU’s Design and Merchandising Department by sponsoring its graduation program and supporting its internship program.
Cira constantly works to bring “stylish and fun” merchandise to Fort Collins while staying at a reasonable price. Its goal is to keep its customers happy and to keep them coming back, said owner Meriam Hanson.
“Because of what we do, we get to travel the world, and we can say by far this is one of the best and most unique places to live,” Hanson said. “That is why we call it home.”
Last but not least is the newcomer to the boutique scene: Sunday Supply Co. Opening its doors Oct. 7, Sunday Supply Co. is not just a boutique, it is a lifestyle store, according to owners Kelli Kroneberger and Amanda Hersh.
“Sunday Supply is more than a boutique,” Kroneberger and Hersh said. “It is a place of community. By offering unique, well-made products and hosting events, such as free yoga and creative workshops, we hope to serve as a lifestyle shop that truly encourages a healthy, beautiful and balanced life.”
Kroneberger and Hersh wanted to integrate the charm and history of Old Town into their vision and aesthetic. When their current location on 222 Linden St. became available, they didn’t hesitate to take the opportunity to be in such a beautiful and historic location.
The store is geared toward women who live a “simple and classically stylish lifestyle,” the owners said. Kroneberger and Hersh said they want to provide all the materials for individuals who enjoy comfortable, creative space and appreciate unique and well-made goods.
To Old Town’s newest tenants, College Avenue represents a thriving street that is changing in business, while still defined by the true, unique character of a small town.