Central Valley Business Journal, February 2012
By KEITH MICHAUD/Business Journal Editor
Starting a new business in this economic climate takes blind faith and a hearty spirit.
In a way, it takes a revolution.
Cathy Macalutas-Fernandes, proprietor of the just opened REVO Denim Studio on March Lane near Feather River Drive, is counting on that revolution.
“Back on track again (after 15 years in and out of hospitals because of lupus), and a moment of clarity hits,” said Macalutas-Fernandes. “Let’s start a store called REVO, short for revolution.”
Patrons can bring in designer denim they no longer want or do not fit into anymore for cash or store credit to buy new designer denim.
“Or customers can shop the ‘eco section’ of our studio where we carry gently used designer denim,” said Macalutas-Fernandes. “Economy good or bad, it hit me that it just makes perfect sense from an ecological point of view.”
Macalutas-Fernandes admits the store concept isn’t completely green, but it is a matter of making small changes that help the environment.
“Our customer realizes the ecological responsibilities we have for ourselves and our future generation,” said Macalutas-Fernandes. “We don’t have to start with major changes, but we do have to start. … I just want to make it a win-win for everyone. A win for our customer who now has a variety of choices within the store – buy new or used and have the opportunity to sell their designer denim to us for cash or store credit – and a small win for the planet. Even many of the designers out there are choosing ecological ways to treat their premium denim, so being eco is on the minds of many in the industry.”
Macalutas-Fernandes’ plan is ambitious and she is moving boldly into the face of a sometimes stuttering economy.
“I feel that the economy has taken a tough one on the chin, practically a knockout,” she said. “That means we should all try to approach business with a fresh perspective, using all the information and technology given to us to help generate new jobs for people. REVO will employ 10 to 12 people for the Stockton location and plans are in place to open two to three more stores in the next five years. The economy will eventually recover, but I feel our business model is uniquely designed for any forecast. … I’m thinking that’s a good start for us in the next five years.”
She said she had envisioned a streamlined business model so it could be easily replicated and even franchised later on.
Starting a new business isn’t a stretch for Macalutas-Fernandes.
“My education is in instructional and graphic design so this venture isn’t a huge leap for me,” she said. “I like to visualize things and what doesn’t exist, I’ll create.
“I get teased around the house as being MacGyver, a troubleshooter always finding resolutions,” said Macalutas-Fernandes, referring to the action adventure TV show in which a special agent used everyday objects to perform extraordinary, nonviolent feats. “I could probably give you 25 ways to use a screwdriver. And what I don’t know, well, I’ve already learned to surround myself with the right people who have the answers. Besides, what fun would it be if we always knew the answer and outcome to everything?”
The soft opening for REVO was Jan. 28 with a “Rock the Blues” – as in blue jeans – promotion.
REVO is located at 2819 W. March Lane Suite A8 in Stockton. Call the boutique at (209) 476-8200. Or visit http://www.revodenim.com or REVO’s Facebook wall for more information.
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