Sourpuss Featured Retailer-FashioNation / Babysitter's Nightmare
Where can you go in Denver to buy all your Sourpuss goods and also meet a guy who gets really excited about marshmallow peeps and cutting the grass? Oh, and while you're there, you just might run into members of the Danzig, The Smiths, or Ministry-really! If this sounds too good to be true, then you need to check out FashioNation! These guys are the real deal, opening up their shop 27 years ago and serving the Denver rock scene since 1987. Even though they started out just "playing store" (Those are Paul's words-not mine!) they've become a fixture in their area and have become a must stop destination for music fans and touring bands alike! As a result, they've seen some legendary folks pass through their doors over the years. Since opening the shop in the late 80s, they haven't missed a beat, starting out as a boutique, later adding a web store, and eventually expanding in 2008 to add a kid's shop called "Babysitter's Nightmare". With the spirit of DIY running through their veins, they've kept it real for over a quarter of a century, and that's why we are pleased to call them our Sourpuss Featured Retailer for the month of March! Huge thanks to Paul who managed to pull himself away from all this fun for a few minutes to chat with us! What are your names and what do you do? FashioNation / Pam & Paul Italiano: Pam does everything, payroll, taxes, books, makes most of the clothing for our kids store "Babysitter's Nightmare," orders all clothing for both stores, checks-in and tags merchandise, and more. Me, I'm just a slacker… ;) Tell us a little bit about yourselves and your store: Well, we are pretty simple people: not tattooed or pierced. But don't let that put you off, we are both wild at heart! The store is a fashion blast — a mixture of Punk & Goth for Rude Boys & Pin-Up Girls. We follow the lines of Alternative Rock & Roll fashion. Our kids division,"Babysitter's Nightmare," carries just about everything Sourpuss creates for children. When did you open? 1987: FashioNation was supposed to be just for fun. We were basically playing store. Then Dr. Martens hit and our business exploded! Our web division began in 1997, Babysitter's Nightmare was established in 2008. You guys have been in business for a long time! How have things changed since you first started out and how have you kept people coming to your shop in a post-internet world? When we opened we were the only game in town, just like many of Sourpuss' customers. Then the virus came along from that stupid "cool" mall store and it has killed off so many of us small retailers. Those 'chains' picked the best from our shops and vendors, then mass produced often-inferior imitations. To the average consumer, small stores like us became the "expensive copy," but our longtime customers knew we were the bad*ss originals. The web is a whole other world. When we debuted online 17-1/2 years ago, it was fun and exciting, and we could compete with any company, big or small. But now a full web staff is required, which means little guys can get lost. What's your best advice to a new store starting out? Stay out of debt! When we started, I worked nights and my wife worked mornings at other jobs, so the store didn't have to support us… We put every cent back into the business and it grew. If you could only eat one type of candy for the rest of your life what would it be? Duh… PEEPS! Are they dessert? They're certainly more than candy? Definitely a snack? I just know they're awesome! Are there any chores you secretly enjoy? Which ones & why? Cutting the lawn. There's something about the hum of the mower, the heat of the sun, the smell of fresh cut grass, and a good song stuck in my head. I can make crop circles, stripes, or a cool plaid pattern. What would be the worst song to wake up to? Considering I LOVE to sleep, any song that dares wake me. We know you have always maintained a close-knit ties with the local punk scene, are you doing any collaborations or promotions that you want to plug? Not at the moment, but we do stuff all the time. We sell tickets to local shows and never levy a service charge. We advertise shows on our website and Facebook. We also conduct online and in-store drawings for tickets to upcoming big shows. In the shop right now people can enter to win tickets to Queensryche, Volbeat, Gary Numan, the knife, Nick Cave. If you and your staff formed a band, what would it be called? We'd have to have the full line up - Broken Souls - would be our emotionally charged industrial band Bob has B*tch t*ts - our scrappy power punk band Royale's with cheese - our smooth 70's cover band Tell us about some celebrity encounters you've had at the shop! This list is long. We invite bands we admire and love on facebook, we also ask friends who work at concert venues to send the headliners to our shop. It's crazy how many stop by! In the last six months we had members from The Pixies, Love & Rockets, The Smiths, New Order/Joy Division, Jello Biafra, and Ogre from skinny puppy. Check out our fan page: pictures of the bands in our store, it's nuts! Anything else you want to tell us? After 27 years, it's still fun. The best part of any day is the old customers coming in telling us about stealing their grandma's car to get here. Some of them took the bus downtown to our shop and have stories of bizarre stuff that happened along the way. Maybe they have a great story about the first pair of steel toe boots they bought from us. I love when parents bring in their kids -- or grandkids -- to show them 'their store.' The shops that you guys at Sourpuss cater to are more than just 'another store' we are part of people lives and identities, a place for people to express their individual styles, a store They can belong to. I think this is what keeps us going. AWWW Shucks! Thanks, Guys!