It was on September 9, 2016 that the new Denver boutique, Midnight Rambler, had its grand opening as a little one-stop-shop for the latest rock ‘n’ roll and bohemian trends. Fast forward to 2019 and this little shop is not so little anymore, offering an array of different items to further accentuate their core. Midnight Rambler has since relocated to a larger space on Colfax and is now a boho, rock ‘n’ roll women’s boutique and collective featuring Lilly & Ray kid’s clothing store, Rooted Floral & Design flowers and local jewelers, Hiouchi Jewels. Also featured is Midnight Rambler Home curated by Hunt & Gather and the Rambler Retreat — a joint venture between Hunt & Gather and Midnight Rambler Boutique.
As owner Ashley McCredie describes, “I tried to stick with brands that use sustainable and ethical manufacturing practices, and ones that represent our boho, rock ‘n’ roll vibe.” In short, what you knew as Midnight Rambler back in 2016 has only grown and matured while staying true to their core values — not an easy task but McCredie is at the top of her game. We sat down with her to find out more about her new ventures with Midnight Rambler.
303 Magazine: Why did you make the move to Colfax?
Ashley McCredie: While we loved the space in Sunnyside, we wanted a larger space to throw events and make a community. We wanted to bring different offerings beyond just clothing to the store. First, we fell in love with the building, and then Colfax seemed right because it’s the heart and center of Denver, and has some grit. Plus, we have the most wonderful neighbors — Bumble Tea, Smith and Cannon, Hot Mamas Exercise and Wax and Lash.
303: How did you decide which brands to include in the Midnight Rambler product offerings?
AM: At first, I had a list of brands I loved from afar but wanted to be able to touch and feel in person. Then, once researching more I started to focus on bringing in a lot of made in the USA brands, slow fashion brands and small batch makers. Overall, I tried to stick with brands that use sustainable and ethical manufacturing practices and ones that represent our boho, rock n’ roll vibe and we like to find offerings no one else in Denver has.
303: What made you want to expand your business from women’s boho and rock ‘n’ roll pieces to furniture, baby, kids and other various collaborations?
AM: Mostly the idea that in this day and age collaboration is key, so when I thought of which type of brands to collaborate with, those all made sense. Our current customer is already decorating her home and she’s most likely going to a baby shower or two with some plans of having her own soon. So, it just fit.
303: With the recent change and addition of inventory who is now the audience of Midnight Rambler?
AM: Anyone who wants to stand out. Whether you’re building your own bouquet with unique flowers from Rooted Floral and Design, picking out a one-of-a-kind, locally made piece from Hiouchi Jewels, buying an organic onesie from Lilly and Raye or vintage furniture from the Midnight Rambler Home Collection – anything you get from our store will make you stand out.
303: What inspires you when stocking pieces for Midnight Rambler?
AM: I’m super inspired by ’70s fashion, music and color. We always make sure what we stock is relevant to Colorado’s culture and the mountains, like we’re not trying to sell palm leaf print in our landlocked state.
303: What is the philosophy that Midnight Rambler lives by?
AM: I’m a firm believer in surrounding yourself with pretty things and that what you put on your body and in your home is a direct reflection of who you are and can instantly boost confidence. Don’t be scared to be different.
303: What is a valuable thing you have learned while being a boutique owner for all this year?
AM: That the numbers are super important and anything that takes focus from your business will hurt your business.
303: What do you attribute to the success and growth of Midnight Rambler?
AM: Building relationships and caring. One of the things I didn’t anticipate is how many people would start off as customers and turn into friends. Being a small business means you are part of what makes your community tick and welcoming. Taking care of that community is key. A smile is contagious, so we always try to pass it on.
303: What vibe do you want people to feel when stepping into this new Midnight Rambler?
AM: Like they are home. Like they can chill with us, chat with us, find something they love and enjoy a unique shopping experience.
303: Who have been your biggest mentors within this industry and what is the best advice they have ever given you?
AM: My mom. She’s been a sales rep for a children’s clothing line all my life so she works with more than 50 boutiques across the country. She knows so much about the industry and is able to help with anything. She’s actually sitting next to me as I type this answer because she came with me to Vegas on a buying trip. Couldn’t do this without her.
303: If you could go back and tell yourself one thing before starting your company what would it be?
AM: Be patient. And be a little smarter with your money at the beginning.
303: In your opinion, how has Denver impacted the growth of Midnight Rambler and what more can be done to enhance the ‘shop local’ aspect of the fashion scene within the city?
AM: I think there are so many cities I could’ve never opened a store in but Denver is so welcoming to local business that it worked. While Denver hasn’t always been known for its fashion, I think having so many people move here each year has helped bring a higher standard of dressing to the city. I think the “transplant community” of Denver has been fundamental to the business as well. In terms of enhancing the local scene, it’s always been helpful that the city is such a hot spot for tourism right now. We get lots of tourists that love to shop and bring something home from a local boutique.
303: What advice would you give to anybody who wants to open up or just opened up a boutique and is hoping to make it in the industry?
AM: Just keep at it. It’s not glamorous or going to make you a millionaire and you will probably work harder than ever before. But you will meet the most wonderful people and can spend every day doing what you love.
All photography by Danielle Webster