Marketplace: Little bit Rock n’ Roll coming to Main Street
November 20, 2009
Mary Jane’s has a bad-boy friend living upstairs this winter.
That’s how Las Vegas-based business partners Krista Tye and Chris Burns jokingly describe their pop-up retail shop Upstairs at Muddy’s. It’s a Rock and Roll-themed lifestyle store with a six-month lease for the second floor above Lori Harris’s Mary Jane’s boutique.
Pop-up retail has become a popular answer to the recession, Tye explained. Commercial realtors are helping people sign six-month or one-year leases to get into properties that otherwise would sit empty. Retailers are able to try something new without the commitment of a five-year lease.
Tye runs several businesses in Las Vegas a place hit hard by the down economy. She’s always been a huge fan of Park City and wondered if she could be successful here.
"Rather than stay all winter, pray, cry and cross fingers, Lori offered to share the space and we jumped at it," she said.
Renting the second floor helps Mary Jane’s weather the recession while allowing Tye to give her business idea a try here. The boutique staff will be trained to operate on both floors saving the hassle of recruiting workers.
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"It’s a chance to put a foot in the water but not jump in because you might drown," she said. "The one place in the whole world I’ve always wanted to be was Park City."
While vacationing here last summer she noticed that few businesses were catering to men. Even though Upstairs at Muddy’s will carry items for all ages and genders, its designer denim, band T-shirts, leather belts, leather jackets, books and photographs will cater to men.
But it isn’t selling clothing as much as lifestyle, she said. When you go to a concert, you wear certain outfits. More and more, people are wanting to carry that look everywhere they go.
"This is for the type of person for whom the music is a feeling, and you want the feeling to go with you," she explained.
Today’s rock fans want to take that look to work or dinner, so Muddy’s sells blazers, dress shirts and other designer clothing that is appropriate for the office or a nice restaurant but is still imbued with the rock style.
These items were made by people who wanted to look good without ever donning a suit and tie, she said.
What better time to introduce people to these options for self expression than when they’re relaxing on holiday? Tye asked.
"It’s when you have the opportunity to stretch your creative muscles," she added.
There’s no better time to appeal to that desire to look and feel cool, she said.
"Souvenirs put me through college and bought my first house. Its all about taking that experience home with you," she said.
She envisions people stopping in to check out her cool Rock and Roll books and leaving with a nice pair of jeans.
"We’re definitely offering something to Main Street that it doesn’t have," she said.
Tye also warned against believing she was trying to appeal to the younger crowd. Three (even four) generations can now be seen attending Carlos Santana concerts or jamming to the Doors together. Rock and Roll and looking cool is no longer for kids.
"The days of older people thinking they need to wear jumpsuits are over," she said.
If all goes well, Parkites will be seeing Muddy’s become a permanent fixture in town. If the experiment fails, then Tye said she still gets to say she hung out in Park City this winter.
Upstairs at Muddy’s opens Monday, Nov. 23. They’ll be celebrating from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. with a food drive through Tuesday. Anyone who brings donations for the Utah Food Bank can get 20 percent off their purchase and Muddy’s will match their donation no matter how large, she said.
Upstairs at Muddy’s
613 Main Street, 2nd Floor