Wild Heart, the local affordable women’s clothing store in Edwards Corner that has been voted into Best of Vail Valley every year since it opened in 2017, has a new owner. Eagle resident Kailey Gorbold, the former owner of the Cotton & Co. Street Boutique clothing truck, is taking over the store from its founder, Kiersten Stoveken.
According to both women, they have very similar views on the niche Wild Heart occupies, creating opportunities for affordable fashion for women, which made the transition as seamless as possible. “We definitely both have the same vision of keeping it cute, trendy affordable, and changing the inventory out very often. But keeping that affordable price point was our main focus, because it’s hard to find things like that here in the valley,” Stoveken said.
When Stoveken first opened Wild Heart, she was trying to fill the need for a place where women who lived in the valley could find affordable, fashionable clothing. “I opened Wild Heart in March of 2017. My main focus and my reason behind opening Wild Heart was to provide cute, trendy, but affordable women’s clothing and accessories to the Vail Valley. I moved out here in January of 2012 and immediately I saw a niche that was needed for affordable clothing for locals and tourists alike, but especially locals that lived here year-round,” Stoveken said. “So I opened the store then, and it was a huge success.”
“Our focus, too, was on getting new things every week. So it was always changing consistently. Every week when you came in the store, it was always something new and fresh. Typically, we got just six pieces of something, so once it was gone, it was gone. Every time you came in the shop, it was different. And also not everyone would be buying the same thing here in this valley and wearing the same in an event. It was always changing, which made it really unique as well,” Stoveken said.
Stoveken knew Gorbold’s work through her clothing truck, Cotton & Co. Street Boutique. “Kailey and I, we were always acquaintances. We didn’t really know each other too well, but we always had mutual friends and then I knew she had her pink truck,” Stoveken said.
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With the birth of her second daughter, Stoveken decided to take a break from Wild Heart to spend more time with her family. “Time goes by so quickly, I wanted to take a step back from the retail world. I’ve worked in it my entire life and I love it so much. But now, having two young kids, I just wanted to take a step back from there and focus on that for a little while and see what this next chapter has in store for us,” Stoveken said. “It’s definitely bittersweet.”
With a degree in fashion merchandising, experience running her clothing truck, and, most importantly, the same understanding of affordable women’s fashion, Gorbold was Stoveken’s first choice when she decided to move on from the store. “It was cool because we always had the same vision, and when I came to the point of thinking of and wanting to sell the store, she was always the first person I thought of,” Stoveken said.
For Gorbold, the timing was excellent. Though she loved running Cotton & Co., the COVID-19 pandemic, which struck just a year after she opened the truck, changed what Gorbold called the “business concept of the truck,” limiting her ability to reach large crowds of people as planned. “It just wasn’t what I wanted it to be, and at that point, it was just a lot for me,” she said. “I had two young boys, and now they’re both in school.”
She sold the clothing truck two years ago, and, with her children in school, was ready to move into a more consistent retail space. “So where my life is now, this opportunity was perfect,” Gorbold said.
Gorbold plans to maintain the vision that Stoveken cultivated throughout the more than six years that she ran the store. “I’m going to try to do my best, because every customer that comes in has raved about the store. So if I can keep it as is, and then maybe add some of my (style) — I would say I’m a little bit more colorful,” Gorbold said. “The store is sort of neutral and earth tones, and I would say I’m more of a brighter color (person). I’m sure you will see that in some of the vendors and styles, but I definitely want to keep (Stoveken’s) touch in there as well,” Gorbold said.
Gorbold will also be keeping on the same employees, while being involved in every aspect of the store herself. “I will be the owner, the manager, the buyer,” Gorbold said.
Of the transition, Stoveken had nothing but positive things to say about Gorbold. “It worked out great, and she’s going to do amazing things with the store and I know she has a lot of great ideas. I’m really excited for her because she’s going to crush it for sure,” Stoveken said.
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Gorbold is looking forward to exploring the opportunities a brick-and-mortar store provides, and connecting with the customer base. “It’s just really awesome to have people come in and be happy to be in a place where they feel like they can get what they want and afford it and walk out with a smile on their face feeling like they just didn’t break the bank, too,” Gorbold said.
As for what she’ll miss the most about Wild Heart, for Stoveken it’s all about the people. “All the customers, they become friends of yours and you get to know everyone’s story and they get to know yours. All the memories I shared with them. I think that’s the most special for sure,” Stoveken said.
The official transfer of ownership occurred on Monday, Sept. 25, and both Stoveken and Gorbold are excited about the future of the store.
“I’m just really grateful that the store is in great hands with Kailey. It’s really cool to see another local take over the store and have the same vision and wanting to keep Wild Heart, Wild Heart — keep the price point and the cute, trendy, affordable, ever-changing inventory, the same vision intact,” Stoveken said.
“My goal is to keep it a local favorite, keep it affordable, and keep it fun. I want people to feel super welcome to come into the store,” Gorbold said.
Visit Wild Heart at 56 Edwards Village Blvd. in Edwards Corner, Monday through Friday 11 a.m. through 6 p.m., Saturdays 11 a.m. through 5 p.m., and Sundays 11 a.m. through 3 p.m.
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