Marketplace: Smiles are for sale at boutique c|two by cake
Katie Hammond vividly recalls setting foot for the first time in the Sephora cosmetics store in Las Vegas. She was 14 then, but it remains one of her most fond memories.
“I thought I had died and gone to heaven,” she said.
Years later, Hammond now walks into her own slice of heaven every day. She recently opened c|two by cake, a boutique shop at 511 Main Street that sells cosmetics, lingerie and lounge wear. It complements Hammond’s other business, Cake Boutique, a clothing store just down the block that she has owned for eight years.
She said the need for a cosmetics shop in the area became clear in recent years, as Cake Boutique would quickly blow through its small inventory of cosmetics items.
“People would come in and say, ‘I forgot my mascara,’ or ‘My husband got burned on the ski hill.’ So we picked up a few things down at Cake — some lip balm and sunscreen — and we were just selling through it.”
But rather than devote a larger section to the products at Cake Boutique, Hammond chose something else. She decided to expand into another storefront she had been subletting.
“It was the perfect size for this concept,” she said. “… And it’s anything that a woman wants in her bathroom, basically. If you picture your idea of a luxury bathroom, it’s filled with beautiful products that are effective. And you’re in something cozy that makes you feel good and pretty.”
Neat rows of cosmetics line the small space. Hammond carries everything from creams and lip balms to nail polish and organic makeup. Her goal, she said, is to provide only the “best of the best.” Curating the products that way makes for a much simpler and stress-free customer experience.
“I like that because I don’t think you need to be inundated with a ton of stuff,” she said. “We really try to pick out the best products that people need.”
The cosmetics aren’t only for women. The shop features a men’s section with items for grooming, hair care and skin care, and Hammond said more and more men are becoming interested in cosmetics. The days are over when few men cared about skin care and when the only hair product they needed was a bottle of gel from the nearest drug store.
“You need a good pomade, you need a good cream,” she said. “You need the look that’s happening for men.
Hammond’s store also offers lingerie and lounge wear for women because she wants it to be a place where women can get “all the things that make you feel comfortable.”
“You get home and want to put on comfy clothes and slather on some lotion, put the kids to bed and enjoy your evening,” she said. “We’re not trying to be a Victoria’s Secret. That’s not the idea. The idea is to have something that’s pretty and functional and really well made.”
The response to Hammond’s new venture has been positive so far, she said. People are familiar with her brand since she has been a business owner on Main Street for so long, and they are pleased to see her offer something new. She hopes customers have as much fun in the store as she did that first time in Sephora.
“You come in here and you smile,” she said. “There are so many things that are an instant pick-me-up. It’s kind of the same as clothes, but in some ways it’s easier to put a lipstick on your face and walk out. It’s an easier investment than a cashmere sweater.”
Hammond has enjoyed the challenge of expanding. She had “kind of forgotten” everything that goes into opening a new store, but getting c|two by cake off the ground has been a quick refresher.
“There are all the bits and pieces that go into opening a whole new business,” she said. “It’s a ton of fun.”
She also hinted that she may not stop at two stores. In the future, she said, the Cake brand may grow further, either in Park City or into another mountain town.
“Stay tuned,” she said. “Timing has to be right, staff has to be right, place has to be right. But this is not the last you’ll see of us.”
c|two by cake
511 Main St.
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After a ski season cut short by the coronavirus pandemic, action will soon return to Park City’s mountains.