Barbara & Company
Some people grow up knowing exactly what they want to do. Kathy King was lucky enough to be one of them.
“Back in high school, I knew I wanted to be a fashion buyer. When I got into college, I was able to direct my education toward business and textiles and clothing. With a solid foundation, I launched my career and worked for different department stores all over the country,” said Kathy.
She was also able to develop a network within the industry - including Barbara Heimlich, founder of fashion boutique Barbara & Company. When Barbara & Company first opened in 1983, there was only one location in Denver. Kathy returned to Denver to work for her friend, but Barbara ended up giving her an ultimatum - either buy the store, or she would close it. In 1999, Kathy made the decision to take over the Barbara & Company business.
Then, almost 10 years later, Kathy opened a second location in Boulder on Pearl Street’s East End. “Being able to walk around downtown and look up and see the Flatirons - that is spectacular. So many visitors to Boulder come to the store, which I love. I really learn a lot from people that come from out of town. I grow every single day as a professional and as a person when I am in the store.”
Kathy also learns a lot from locals. “During my 13 years working in Boulder, I’ve gotten to know so many of the independent business owners. We all work together, which creates a strong sense of community. Plus, we all benefit from great surrounding businesses. Many of my customers indulge in the fantastic nearby restaurants, creating mutually beneficial relationships among downtown stores.”
As Kathy has evolved as a business owner and person, the store has changed with her. However, the staff’s commitment to personalized service remains unwavering. “You can buy all kinds of stuff online. However, when you come into the store, you can feel the fabrics and see the fit. We can style you and help you make decisions based on past purchases. Our goal is for everyone to walk out of the store with something that looks good on them and lasts for many years.”
That is why Kathy encourages anyone who is able to come into Barbara & Company versus immediately shopping online. “You receive personal service and walk out with an item in hand instead of waiting on shipping. You can also engage with us on social media and sign up for our emails. Finally, support all local businesses - they support the community of Boulder. That is how downtown thrives.”
Some people feel compelled to move their life in a certain direction. For Kathy, she was moved early on to be in the fashion world and help others feel good about themselves. If you’re looking for personalized service, be sure to stop by Barbara & Company and follow them on social media (@barbaraandcompany).