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New kids on the lane

Posted By Fiona Hannigan On Oct 5, 2011 @ 1:07 pm In Sandbox | Comments Disabled

10pn

If you’ve recently strolled down Sather Lane, you may have noticed something shiny and new. Ten Past Now, whose window displays a large stuffed bear riding a bicycle and what looks like a simple boutique with open space. The Clog decided to check this place out. It was past 10 a.m., but the doors were locked. A nice man hurried from the back and signaled, “We open at 11.”

When we returned, we were greeted by three smiling faces and an array of bags and accessories. We examined a long necklace with a heavy butterfly pendant, expecting it to be priced at perhaps $18 at the lowest, but instead it was a mere $6.95. We heard a customer being told to “Take some cookies before you leave! They’re fresh — made, like, an hour ago!”

Will Kim, the man whom we had seen earlier, approached us and asked if he could show us around, and proceeded to explain what Ten Past Now is all about.

Their differentiator, he told us, is “Vegan, animal-cruelty free” products “straight from the manufacturer.” The savings are then passed on to the consumer. He showed us a  green Melie Bianco bag, priced at around $60 at department stores, but only $24.95 here. Another distressed Melie Bianco bag with a denim pattern was on clearance from the manufacturer, priced at around $15. We checked Melie Bianco products online [1], and indeed, they seemed to be more expensive than in Ten Past Now.

The current motif at Ten Past Now is “shabby chic” and the store is appropriately decorated with artfully distressed furniture. They are hoping that the competitive prices sell items quickly, so they can offer a variety of products. Their target demographic is women ages 18 to 25, and they offer bags, necklaces, bracelets, earrings, rings and seasonal items. Most of the accessories range from about $3.95 to $6.95. They currently carry some stylish canvas bags and scarfs, but will soon be getting in some “really cool umbrellas” for under $20 that Will was very enthusiastic about. This is probably what he meant by seasonal items …

Extremely eager, Will told us that they hope to receive feedback and find items that people really want. They are also going to be holding events, including free manicures (yes, you heard your favorite word, Berkeley – free), to thank their customers.

Co-owners Will Kim, Jon Lin and Caitlyn Cogdale have known each other since they were 10 years old. “We wanted the name to have 10 in it,” said Jon, explaining “Ten Past Now.” Will described Jon and himself as “finance guys,” saying “Jon is the mastermind.” The question that encompasses their goal was taking $20, “ATM money,” and asking “Could you walk in and buy something from our store?” And the Clog can attest that the answer is yes. Their other objective is to provide a great atmosphere: “We want to make you feel good about the shopping experience,” said Will. The three co-owners are so friendly and approachable, we can’t help but think that they’ve succeeded.

As we exited the store, we were thinking, “We’re definitely coming back. And oh wow, those cookies were delicious.” In the end, food is where they get us Cloggers.

Image source: Fiona Hannigan, Daily Cal

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[1] checked Melie Bianco products online: http://meliebianco.com/

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