FM: I started as a shopper. About ten years ago, Kim posted a job opening for the Sunday shift. I instantly took her up on the opportunity. It was a no-brainer choice.
SD: I moved to the Upper Valley for a job, quickly realized that job wasn't for me, but liked the area and wanted to stay. The same week I gave my notice, Revolution advertised for temporary help; that was enough to keep me here, and I've been filling in ever since!
ME: I grew up in the Upper Valley and I used to drop by Revolution occasionally when I was in high school, but it wasn't until I returned from college and participated in one of Revolution's annual fall fashion shows that I really became involved. After rediscovering the shop and its unbelievable inventory of unique goodies, I was stopping by so often that Kim eventually asked me if I'd like to train to be a back-up staffer. And in 2016, I stepped into a more full time position. We're a small, tight-knit staff and it's a really enjoyable environment in which to exist and work because Kim has curated the space and atmosphere to be just that: free flowing and fun, for both employees and customers. I think you can feel that as soon as you walk through the door.
What's the number-one reason to shop at Revolution? What makes it special for customers?
AM: The atmosphere of the store has distinct character; the pieces inside are unique, selected carefully, and the staff provides a welcoming experience for the customer.
SD: Variety and community! The store has an excellent, ever-changing selection of styles and sizes. Community is vital to Revolution, both the sense of community created within the store and Revolution's commitment to the wider WRJ and Upper Valley community. Kim has created an environment where customers will chime in with positive feedback for others trying on clothes, give fashion advice, help find something to try on, or just hang out chatting. I think people interact more with the other folks shopping than they do in a standard clothing store. Outside of shopping, Revolution has been key in organizing social events that bring people together, as well as supporting the events/fundraisers of area organizations.
ME: At Rev, there's something for just about everyone. One half focuses on local and independent designers, and the other half is comprised of pieces we take on consignment. The gently-used consignment side is personally my favorite side to shop, because it's an ever-changing treasure hunt. You can stop in multiple times a week and find something new you hadn't seen before, and they're all unique and individual pieces. It's a more sustainable way of shopping too, especially if you're also consigning your own clothes, because not only do you get something back for your well-loved pieces (or clothes you wore once and are taking up space in your closet), you're also making a more ethical choice by putting your money into recycled clothing and into the hands of local and independent artists.
FM: You can usually find exactly what you're looking for, if not better. Also, It's the personalized attention that feels welcoming. For example, Kim has thought of me when she shops for clothes in New York city for clothes. I totally trust the opinions of the staff at The Rev as to what looks/fits "right."
What has surprised you most about the job?
AM: Kim's generosity, and the experience to explore fashion, textiles, and style without a stressful, corporate mentality.
FM: The one thing I've gained from working at The Rev, which stands out the most and has totally surprised me, is greater self acceptance of who I am.
LR: I'm not much of a shopper, and Revolution has changed that about me! I come to work and while arranging the store, I find things for other people or myself.
ME: I was most surprised at the range of independent artists featured in Revolution. Not only is Kim focused on local and/or independent artists making clothing with new and used fabrics, but she also showcases the work of individuals working with all kinds of mediums. For example, we have artists creating new pieces out of repurposed jewelery; local felters and soap makers; custom pieces made by painting on leather bags and jackets; incredible metal, ceramic, pottery and blown glass work; and one artist screen prints on recycled clothing and giving the proceeds away to designated organizations. Wandering into Revolution, then, is more like walking through an affordable art gallery specializing in both wearable and practical art.
For those who pitch in when the help is needed, what keeps you connected to the shop?
FM: I stay connected because I've never been disappointed in my purchases. I also appreciate that Kim wants to keep it community-oriented, which is important to me as well. I support her when and where I am able.
SD: The sense of community, and clothing, of course! I'll stop by the store to say hi to the staff, and chances are I'll run into one or several other friends, and end up visiting in the store or downtown WRJ for an afternoon or evening.
Last question, and it's a fill-in-the-blank. The best Revolution purchase I've made to date is _______________.