Meet the Maker: birds & belles boutique
Whether you're an on-trend fashionista or a vintage-loving gal, you're bound to find just the right outfit at birds & belles boutique, a buy-sell-trade boutique located on Pearl Street in Wash Park. Owner Kyla DeTienne is true mastermind when it comes to mixing and matching fantastic vintage finds with new clothes, home goods and accessories, making for a truly unique shoppinge experience both at the shop and within her booth at the Flea.
how does your brand mean to you?
My brand is an artist expression. I have a background in fine art & philanthropy, with a deep love for unique materials and beautifully designed items. I use fashion as my medium to curate my shop with handmade, noteworthy pieces that bring delight. In one fell swoop you could find the perfect fitting pair of denim jeans, distinctively handmade jewelry, and a mint condition vintage Louis Vuitton handbag. There is more to our shop than just covetable items, I am committed to supporting the Denver community with sustainable products made by primarily mothers, artisans, other small business owners & non-profits.
first product you created?
Starting off as a maker myself, I would breathe new life into collections of obsolete vintage jewelry. I kept the original structure but shifted it into a modern feel. This process eventually morphed into how I mix vintage clothing & accessories with modern styling in both of my shops.
How has your brand evolved?
Birds & belles has expanded the collection of timeless quality to include eye-catching housewares. Our inventory changes daily, fun new furnishings can be found at our second location in Castle Rock.
WHAT HAs Been your favorite product or collection?
Birds & belles boutique celebrates fashion with recycled products that inspire. For several years I worked on an annual fundraising fashion show with Mission Wear, a local seedling cut & sew nonprofit, which has now transitioned into Mile High Workshop. The recycled fashion show themes would change to encompass the lives of the women we helped, who went through Mission Wear's programs. In the 3rd year (our final show) we collaborated with Mission Wear to develop a collection of "patchwork" clothing for the show. I took items from the shop, like silk scarves & reconstructed denim which were patched together to make a dress and a kimono. Giving the women and the garments a "second chance".
We mended these lives and narratives into "transformation" works of wearable art. The fundraiser included local designers who submitted upcycled attire for a fashion competition and we empowered the women in the program to model their creations, along with involving the birds & belles community of female customers to model for a cause.
WHAT's The BEST PART OF YOUR DAY?
For me, everything about birds & belles measures up to the relationships I build. I am invested in creating relationships with my customers. I learn about the lives of these women and the history of the pieces they have sold. Heirlooms passed down for generations, continuing the cycle with the pieces they reclaim for a special occasion. I am the meditator for connecting community through stories with clothing.
Almost weekly I have a customer come into the shop and rave about how many compliments they received while wearing clothing & accessories from our boutique. These pieces become favorite staples for them.
It makes them feel good, because they know it was uniquely chosen. We only have one of a kind items in the shop or small batch local productions, that no one else offers.
best part of being a colorado maker?
All my customers and other small business owners I work with almost always become my friends, the community in Colorado is just amazing! The entrepreneur scene in Denver is thriving, there are so many resources available for someone who would like to start a business. My journey to becoming a business owner started at Rocky Mountain MicroFinance Institute, RMMFI, through their "Business Boot Camp" program. I had the support of an entire community in addition to mentors, financial advisors & coaches who specialize in several areas dealing with business; from marketing to law. They helped me to not only envision my path, but to reach my goals and eventually become a mentor to other entrepreneurs in Denver.
on the denver flea wish list:
Since Kyla is always introducing new gorgeous vintage pieces to the shop, it's hard to say - guess we have some birds & belles booth shopping to do at Spring Flea!
Follow birds & belles boutique:
QUICK FACT #1
The store's name was inspired by a box of vintage wedding cards my mother had collected. I realized I loved vintage while looking at these delicately crafted cards with the common theme of birds & bells.
QUICK FACT #2
The buy/sell/trade model of our eco-friendly goods empowers women who have items of value to sell for cash, creating another revenue of financial support.
QUICK FACT #3
Last month we parted with a gorgeous vintage Christian Dior white beaver fur coat valued at $6,000. This lucky shopper snagged the designer classic that will never lose value for under $500!