‘The more, the merrier’: Collektive open for business in Grass Valley
Collektive, a women’s clothing store described as “trendy … with a boho twist” by owner Jennifer Negrete, is finding its footing since opening in August at 156 Mill St. in Grass Valley.
Negrete said that, while getting the word out about the business has been her biggest challenge, last weekend was “a great weekend” for the shop.
On what sets Collektive apart, Negrete said there are two big factors: affordability and range.
“We don’t have your typical high-dollar prices small boutiques tend to have,” she said, adding that while she is 45 herself and enjoys wearing the styles in her shop’s selection, she makes a point of carrying items that will appeal to a variety of customers, both in age group and sizing.
“There’s something for everyone,” she said.
She said Collektive’s original storefront in Benicia opened three years ago, offering a mix of new, trendy women’s clothing and handmade accessories crafted either by her — through her own jewelry brand, Eva Knox — or other local artisans, a theme she hopes to incorporate in the Grass Valley location. So far, she has partnered with Nevada City artist Cynthia Levesque, owner of Loot and Lore, and carries the brand’s earrings in the store.
Collektive got its name, Negrete said, from its roots in this kind of collaboration — “a collective of makers” — and its unique spelling from embedding her initial jewelry brand Eva Knox’s initials, EK.
The idea of opening a Grass Valley location had been on her mind for some time, said Negrete, and she kept an eye out for suitable vacancies during her visits to the area prior to the pandemic. So, when she saw this summer that the space which formerly housed retail shop and spiritual hub Cult of Gemini was available, she decided to act — despite some hesitation to open a storefront amid a pandemic.
“I decided to take the opportunity when I had it,” she said.
She said that, while some may view opening a women’s clothing store somewhere like Mill Street — alongside several other clothing stores that cater primarily to women — as a challenge, she sees this situation as an advantage.
“I feel like the more, the merrier,” said Negrete. “The more options for customers, the more customers are down here, and the better we all will be.”
Victoria Penate is a staff writer for The Union. She can be reached at email@example.com.
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