A veteran of the technology industry in Northern Colorado is making a radical career change, planning to open a women’s apparel boutique in Old Town Fort Collins.
Judy McLean, who had been web-development manager at meat processor JBS USA in Greeley, will open Colorado’s second location of the Apricot Lane franchise on April 15 at 119 W. Oak St.
“I have an entrepreneur spirit and I was tired of forcing a square peg into a round hole. It was time to follow my heart,” McLean said. “I’ve received great support from others who have made similar moves. This new journey feels natural.”
The store will replace Fine Art and Frame Co., which on March 1 will move its gallery and showroom across the pedestrian mall to 148 W. Oak St. Its frame shop, however, will remain downstairs at 119 W. Oak, with an entrance on the south end of the building.
Although Apricot Lane is a franchise, McLean said she will have the flexibility to tailor her women’s clothing and jewelry selections to local tastes. The 1,900-square-foot space is being decorated with brick walls, chandeliers and comfortable seating.
McLean chose the spot to tap into the “exciting and eclectic” vibe of Old Town. “I want that same feeling of anticipation to continue when they walk into my shop.”
Apricot Lane will be open from noon to 6 p.m. on Sundays, 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. weekdays and from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Saturdays.
Vacaville, Calif.-based Country Visions Inc. opened its first Apricot Lane store in 2007. It now supports more than 75 franchise stores in 29 states, with plans to open 15 to 20 more each year. Its other Colorado location is at the Shops at Southglenn in Centennial.
Fine Art and Frame Co.’s new showroom “will be an expanded venue of local, regional and international art for the public, corporate and in-home showings,” said owner Wendy Foster. “We are reinventing and diversifying our business model to improve and cater to our clients’ interests as we remain integrally involved in the art community.”
Founded more than 20 years ago, the business caters to hotels and resorts; health-care facilities; corporate offices and private residences, providing access to artists, custom framing; installation, certified appraisals, cataloguing and documenting of art collections advice about proper care and conservation of artworks, and art-restoration services.
Originally Posted on BizWest.com by Dallas Heltzell