Whether it’s a new retail business or an auto detailing service, local entrepreneurs have been working to stay afloat during the pandemic, and some of them have ultimately been able to expand and scale up their businesses after cases have dwindled.
In December, Ruby Jane Boutique opened a third Summit County location on Main Street in Frisco. The retailer has operated two stores outside of Breckenridge for 14 years.
Owner Sandy Helt said she is looking for opportunities for growth arising from the COVID-19 pandemic, which has required her and her husband to wear lots of hats while staff are tight and people are getting sick.
“Getting through the pandemic wasn’t easy, but it was a great time to really stop and think about the business and really analyze what we’re doing,” she said.
Helt realized that her Breckenridge stores weren’t serving a large portion of the county, so she opened the new location at 211 Main St. in Frisco.
The new location offers many of the same merchandise as the Breckenridge stores, Helt said. The Frisco store is smaller than the other stores, so Helt and her team have selected the most popular items to showcase to customers.
“We will continue to offer affordable mountain chic fashion,” she said. “My business model has always been to offer fashion for women of all ages.”
So far, the business has been well received by locals and visitors to Frisco, Helt said, and she’s starting to see business pick up as the county moves into spring.
The new store is open Monday through Friday from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. and Sunday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
As with Helt, Michael Scopel was looking for growth opportunities during the pandemic. Last year, Scopl came up with the idea of starting a new auto detailing service called The Retro Station.
Scopel worked in the food and beverage industry but wanted a change of pace during the pandemic. His father always owned a detailing business, so Scopel decided to provide detailing services to people throughout Summit County.
He quickly gathered customers and realized that he could turn it into a full-fledged business, which led to the creation of his new company. Scopel is now working in the shop with a group of his best friends.
“It turned into this really cool animal that exceeded expectations,” he said.
Located at 795 Blue River Parkway, the shop offers deep interior cleaning, ceramic coating, exterior wash and wax, headlight restoration and replacement, and more. Scopel said it tries to keep prices affordable and values customer service.
While auto detailing can seem like a luxury service, Scopel said that living in the mountains can be necessary. Because Summit County is at a high altitude, the sun can affect a car’s paintwork. People also often find themselves with scratches and general wear and tear from snow, ice and trees, he said.
Retro Station also offers rides so people don’t have to wait in the shop while their car is detailed. Scopel said he and his team are also working to support the community by hosting school supplies drives.
“We’re very proud of what we do and we’re very proud of what we give back,” he said. “We’re here to offer a service that was already there but is now much more accessible.”
The Retro Station is usually open from 8:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Customers can make an appointment through the store’s Facebook page, Facebook.com/theretrostationco.