Denym: The Grand Rapids Authority on Premium Denim and Casual Chic
If you haven't stopped by downtown Grand Rapids' West side lately, you need to. The area, which used to be pretty run down and desolate, is now flourishing. Everywhere you look, all sorts of businesses are joining the wide variety of restauranteurs, retailers and tech firms that have set up shop on the West side. Among them is the men's and women's casual-chic boutique, Denym. If you don't live in the Grand Rapids, MI area, keep reading because they also offer an online store with free shipping over $75!
Owner, Katie Harney, describes why she chose Denym's downtown location (near the intersection of Bridge st. and Broadway Ave.) on the West side, "I loved the character of the building (exposed brick walls, black tin ceiling, wood floors). I liked the idea of being in an up and coming neighborhood. There is so much potential on the west side and we are only seeing the beginning of the development." New food and drink venues like The Black Heron, Harmony Hall and Roots Brew Shop (who just so happened to provide our morning energy for this shoot) are going up right besides long standing favorites like O'Toole's and Westsider Café. Tech start-ups, advertising firms and housing projects are all generating buzz around town too. With the immense amount of growth, new business and job opportunities, not to mention all of the delicious new things to to fill our stomachs with, it's no wonder the retail industry is branching out this way as well.
Founded in 2014, Denym quickly became known for their selection of premium denim and casual wear, showing off their looks at events like Runway on the Rapids and promotional gatherings for local talent. When asked what her inspiration was for opening Denym, Harney explains, "I really felt there was a need for a specialty men's and women's boutique in Grand Rapids. I personally love denim and it is something that is in everyone's closet. I honestly think you can never have too many pairs of jeans. Each pair has history and tells a story. I didn't want to be limited to denim though, I wanted that to be our focus and bring in items that are casual and would pair well with jeans." While Katie is a self-proclaimed "jeans and t-shirt girl," she values quality in the items and labels that Denym carries. It shows in her selection of premium denim brands like 7 For All Mankind (featured in these posts) and Hudson Jeans. The store also sells mens clothing and accessories, as well as a wide variety of women's separates, dresses and accessories. In addition to apparel, the beautiful array of jewelry that they sell will give you that deep, down, i-must-have-this-or-I-might-actually-die feeling that most fashion girls and their credit cards know all too well. Harney hopes that DENYM will be "the trusted destination for jeans in Grand Rapids."
One particular set of items that Denym carries that I'd like to highlight are The Giving Keys. The founder, Caitlin Crosby, employed two homeless people to bring her initial vision of inspiring engraved key jewelry to life. Each key features a word like "Love" or "Bravery" and, by partnering with local non-profits around Los Angeles, which is where she is based, they are able to employ people looking to transition out of homelessness. The idea is to give a key to somebody who could use whatever the word is. Then, once they don't need it anymore, they give it to somebody who does. It's a beautiful product with a huge impact, and I want all of them, so keep your eyes out for a giveaway that might feature one of these little beauties.
As far as the photoshoot went, the shop was clean, modern and well organized. Everything was easy to find, sorted by colors and ordered by sizes. The staff was very nice and helpful, and the dressing rooms were clear of clutter. Dirty or messy dressing rooms are a big pet peeve of mine. Denym also hosts events such as "sip and shop" parties, fundraisers, girls night out, etc. You can join their mailing list and stay up to date with current trends and upcoming events and sales. They will be having their annual sidewalk sale on July 21-24, so stop by to say hello and check out the latest in premium denim. Make sure to mention where you heard about them. I ended up leaving the shop with the kimono featured in this post and a Grand Rapids Strong t-shirt for the hubby. It was hard to choose since they have so many awesome local tees to choose from. Larissa, the model, is wearing the women's version of the Grand Rapids Strong tee in her profile shot in the Contributors section of this post below.
Ok that is enough talking, let's get to the good stuff.
SHOP THE LOOK
SHOP THE LOOK
SHOP THE LOOK
*All shoes in this post are from the model and owner's wardrobe.
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