Sweet Hayden Boutique Offers Evergreen a Taste of Vintage

Nestled amongst the restaurants and shops of downtown Evergreen is the small mountain town’s hidden gem: Sweet Hayden. Filled with vintage and consignment pieces, Sweet Hayden is owned and operated by lifelong fashion enthusiast Rachael Tapper.

Tapper opened Sweet Hayden a year ago, naming the boutique after her middle child. After Tapper and her family moved to Evergreen in 2020, she began looking for a showroom to sell her large collection of vintage clothing, the concept eventually evolving into a full-blown clothing store.

After going to school for fashion in New York City, Tapper worked for Stacy London’s company, Style for Hire, in Washington, DC. Following a six-year stint in Dallas—during which Tapper collected and curated vintage clothes for herself and her friends—Tapper found herself in Colorado, fulfilling her long-standing dream of owning her own store.

“I would have loved for this to happen 10 years ago, but when I really think about it, this is the perfect time in my life,” Tapper said.

According to Tapper, The response from the surrounding community has been overwhelmingly positive. A draw to both locals and tourists alike, Sweet Hayden has proven to be the ideal spot for women to discover one-of-a-kind pieces and form lasting connections with each other.

“I love downtown Evergreen. People have been so welcoming to me and the store. All year round we have people coming in from out of town, and I love meeting all of them,” Tapper said.

Tapper handpicks the vintage pieces that are available in the boutique, driven by a passion for giving clothing a second life. As a self-proclaimed history buff, she loves unearthing pieces that have a unique backstory behind them.

However, the positive environmental impact of repurposing old clothing is just as important to Tapper. She prioritizes durability in both the material and style of the pieces she sells, noting that vintage clothing tends to be made better than the fast fashion clothing brands of today.

“I love this industry, but it is ruining our planet. If I can make a small impact, I want to make it,” Tapper said.

Tapper developed a love for fashion at a young age. She credits both of her grandmothers as inspiration for opening her own store, one owning a clothing store of her own and the other teaching Tapper to sew and thrift.

“She taught me the art of hunting for a piece, and if we couldn’t find it, then we made it ourselves,” Tapper said.

Made up of two spacious rooms, Sweet Hayden is well equipped to host private shopping parties and events. Customers can book a private shopping experience at no extra charge, Tapper emphasizes her genuine love for being able to provide a space for women to spend time together.

“I just love the vibe of it. Instead of going out, girls can come in here for several hours and just feel beautiful all while shopping local,” Tapper said.

The boutique has hosted a wide range of events, including a dress drive for the local students’ homecoming and a myriad of girl’s nights. Looking to the future, Tapper aims to open a space in Denver that is solely dedicated to private shopping parties.

Tapper also offers personal styling appointments at Sweet Hayden, which entail anything from going through someone’s entire closet to casual drop-ins to identify the best way to wear a dress. Using her background in personal styling, Tapper hopes to help women on their journey to find their unique style, regardless of how unconventional it may be.

“I one hundred percent know I look ridiculous half the time. But I feel good, and in response to feeling good, I can then help other people feel good,” Tapper said, noting that both she and her mother have been known to pump gas in a tutu.

Finding empowerment through fashion is a recurring theme at Sweet Hayden, and is something Tapper practices in her own life.

“You get one life. I just want to feel my best and do what I want to do, and I do that every day through clothing. I think the best thing to do when you’re in a rut is to get up and get dressed,” Tapper said.

Tapper continues to look ahead, with ambitions to expand her fashion endeavors to include menswear within the next several years. Despite her undeniable success as a business owner, however, her ultimate goal for the store remains unchanged.

“It’s not about someone stepping outside these doors with a bag of my clothes. The whole point is for them to feel beautiful and to genuinely not care what anyone else thinks,” Tapper said.

Sweet Hayden is located at 28265 CO-74 in Evergreen. To shop online or book an event, visit their website.

All photos by Sarah Virginia Photography.

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