Sarah Markway, founder of RusticThread Boutique, has been in the fashion industry for what seems like her entire life. Having store locations in both the Denver Highlands and Fort Collins, her on-trend boutique is where modern bohemian styles meet classic and statement pieces. The boutique, which Markway started in her basement about six years ago, is now one of Colorado’s major boutiques to find fashionable women’s apparel.
Markway answered a few of our burning questions regarding the start of her fashion-based business and the journey that comes with it.
303 Magazine: What started your interest and involvement with the fashion industry?
Sarah Markway: I’ve been in the industry what feels like my entire life. From start-up, e-commerce, big box and small business, I’ve done it all. I just love being around people, styling and pulling together different textures to help complete someone’s personal style.
303: How did you get started with RusticThread Boutique?
SM: I started with RusticThread out of my basement online and doing pop-up shops around Denver while I had a full-time corporate retail job. For me, I was getting too far removed from customer engagement and being able to touch fabrics in the corporate world. RusticThread became this outlet for me to stay true to what I love most about this industry — styling and buying.
303: Describe the store and its style for someone who hasn’t been in before.
SM: We are your modern bohemian style with touches of classic and statement pieces to help pull looks together.
303: What is the process of getting clothes in the store?
SM: We absolutely keep our eye on style reports and trends for each season but it is not how we complete our buys. We find pieces we would die to have in our closets and then go on the hunt for the add on or outfit completer like denim, accessories, shoes, bags, etc. We go to most major trade shows and then research a lot of international brands to reach out past your normal West and East Coast brands.
303: What are some of the brands you carry?
SM: We carry over 100 different brands that we float throughout the year. Some of our year-round staples are Knot Sisters, Blank NYC, Fidelity Denim, Saltwater Luxe, Tiare Hawaii, Cut N Paste Bags and local jewelry designers.
303: What’s a day in the life like for you? What are your responsibilities?
SM: A day in the life is forever changing daily. Our number one focus starts with the customer and then our priorities shift from there. Customer, merchandise and store atmosphere evolves daily for us which keeps it fun and fresh because every day is different.
303: What do you think about Denver’s fashion scene?
SM: I think it has evolved so much in the past six years we have been open. When we first opened, there were like three known boutiques in the Denver area. Now all of the fun shopping areas have great spots to check out, which is great for any industry.
303: What do you hope for the future of RusticThread?
SM: We are always on a brand hunt adventure and want to continue to be some of the first to carry a brand and bring that brand to Colorado. So, this will be in our future. As far as growth, it’s going to be great so stay tuned.
All photography by Giacomo Di Franco.