Building a Community

When we were working so hard to get this business off the ground and were, honest-to-God, at times, too exhausted to sleep, I started a mantra to help keep us going. “Building something good!” I wanted to subtly remind us that we weren’t just starting a business, but we were attempting to start a new life.  I’m admittedly lousy at working for other people and Robin is, well…dog-tired. He’s supported our family via manual labor as an independent tradesman, for the last 20+ years. And, he’s pooped! We want so badly for him to be able to walk away from big home remodels and only do “honey-do’s” and help run Ampersand. And, it will come. 

But meanwhile, I’ve started a new mantra. “Building a community!” We’d been open about a month when a friendly face paid a visit from his beautiful shop down the street. Jeff Fenton, owner of Reside Home, introduced himself, congratulated us on our efforts, told us all about their impending move to a new location and just generally charmed our socks off. Then, a short time later, Jeff returned with his equally charming partner, Chris Martinez, and a friendship was born. We all hit it off as we showered them with compliments on their UNBELIEVABLY GORGEOUS new space, they continued to rant and rave about ours and together, we brainstormed about how to get the word out (1) About our slightly unconventional location and (2) about their new, even more unconventional location. 

We decided to part ways and think about it but before Robin and I could even blink an eye, Chris, a brilliant graphic designer, emailed us and the DESIGN DISTRICT TRIANGLE was born.  In no time at all, Chris and Jeff rallied a cohort of like-minded, like-focused individuals to join in advertising efforts to create a new shopping district in Santa Fe. And I must admit, we are truly humbled to be in such company! Not only are Jeff and Chris who we want to be when we grow up, but our suite-mates, designers, Emily Henry and Melinda Browning, are inspirations as well. Everyone on the list is! Array is one of the best gift shops around… French and French Interiors has a beautiful new shop featuring Aimee Lacalle’s lovely creations, etc., etc.

Retail can be competitive. It takes savvy business people to know and understand that more business for you is more business for me. It’s called community. One business doing extremely well in an in-filled downtown area or a mall means that people are hustling about. And, when those people hustle about, they’ll inevitably peek in or even walk in the nearby businesses. And so on and so on. The idea of a shopping district in which all the businesses are not only on the same page but happy to be there, is pure gold. 

So, visit the Design District Triangle website and see how you can become part of our community. We all have a few things in common: we’re bold entrepreneurs, we’re thrilled to be part of something new and exciting in Santa Fe, and we’re all fully passionate about design!

P.S. There’s plenty of FOOD in the Design District Triangle, too! We’ll talk about that soon…

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Cara Evans