With a grand vision and plenty of vigor, VIM Park City opens its doors
November 13, 2015
Like many grand notions throughout history, the concept for VIM Park City developed over a night of wine.
The four friends gathered and spoke about how they wanted to open a lingerie boutique and spa. The idea was simple enough and wouldn’t be too tough to pull off. But that’s when things got interesting.
"It just kind of grew as we started talking," said Bonnie Brown, one of VIM Park City’s owners. "All of our ideas started collaborating together, and it grew into this magical space."
What the vision grew into was something else entirely. VIM Park City, which recently opened at 1351 Kearns Blvd., is a spa and boutique (the store carries lingerie, as well as merchandise such as evening dresses, yoga gear and designer clothing), but it’s also a café, boudoir photography studio and private party destination. As the four co-owners see it, the store will also be a gathering place, a sort of central hub for Parkites to call home.
Co-owner Julie Doerr-Arenson said VIM Park City is designed to be a "lifestyle experience" for patrons.
"You come in, you go get your coffee, you have all your treatments and then you go shopping for yourself," she said. "We wanted it to be that and also a place for community to come. We want a year-round locals gathering spot. And this is what it will be."
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The atmosphere the store is aiming for comes from its name. The owners decided on VIM Park City as a reference to the word ‘vim,’ as in ‘vim and vigor.’ They want to exude energy and enthusiasm. The store hasn’t been open for long, but patrons are already beginning to reflect that mission, said Renée Reed, another co-owner.
"It’s neat to see their faces light up when they did not know what the store was, then they walk in and it’s a whole different experience," she said. "They see a grand opening sign, but they don’t know what the word ‘vim’ stands for. They come in and are blown away."
Another part of VIM Park City’s mission is personalization. Reed said the store aims to create a unique experience for each client — something they can’t get anywhere else.
"A lot of women have never had anyone cater to them — their size, their skin color, their hair color," Reed said. "When they come in here, they get catered to: ‘Should you have a long sleeve? A short sleeve? How does rolling up your jeans change how you appear?’ The details like that are what I take pride in — it’s very personalized."
As well as creating a unique, full-service destination, there was one other factor necessary for the store to truly encapsulate what the four friends wanted it to be about: affordability. For example, many spa treatments are under $50, and patrons don’t have to drop thousands of dollars to walk out with a fashionable wardrobe.
"We wanted to accommodate locals," Brown said. "I feel like Main Street is a little touristy. The one feedback that we’ve gotten from the local community is they are so happy they have a place they can come shop and come get coffee. They can afford to be here. And they can afford the spa services, which is something that is important."
VIM Park City’s expansive vision has begun to take shape, but the four owners are not yet completely satisfied. They are striving for more. Doerr-Arenson said they hope in the future to add another element: special events featuring authors and other guest speakers.
"My dream is to one day have TED Talks come in here," she said. "We really could do it. The space is big enough. The sky is the limit with this place. And people are really excited about the potential. This is going to be a hub of not only beauty, but support for women, information and health."
But until that next step, a spa/boutique/photography studio/party pad will have to do. And for now, that’s plenty.
"It’s been really fun to see women enjoy the space," Brown said. "A lot of them come in and just hang out on the couches and visit with each other. So it’s really shaping up to be what we wanted."
VIM Park City
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