Fashion sense

Kendra Cro

PHOTO/Brad Bynum

Culture is a new fashion boutique that opened recently at 737 Virginia St. in midtown. Kendra Cro, a jewelery designer, photographer and a familiar face from other Reno retail spots like Never Ender and the Melting Pot is the proprietor. For more information, call 527-1724.

How long have you been open?

Two weeks.

How’s it been?

It’s been really, really amazing—overwhelmingly so. After seven days of being open, I sold over half of my inventory, which is a good problem. I was expecting the opposite, having things sit while having that time period of trying to get people to even know about the store, but people where ready before I’d even opened my door. It blew me out of the water!

Why do you think that was?

I really feel like it was because there was just this gap in Reno of things that people can’t find. I shop online a lot—not because I want to, but because I can’t find anything in Reno that’s really expressive of my style. I really want to support local business, and that’s why I opened the store. I don’t want to shop online and not support my community. For me, it’s that constant hunt to find something a little edgier or unique or funky—things that you can find in San Francisco or online in Europe. A lot of our brands are—I want to say “smaller,” but that’s the wrong word.

Specialized?

Yeah! It’s a little more well thought out. They put a little more intention in their clothing, like Killstar, which is a European brand, or Iron Fist. They are for the edgier, funkier, doesn’t-give-a-shit crowd. It’s not that I don’t give a shit, but I have a weirder style than most people do, and I don’t shop at Macy’s. I don’t like box clothing. I want something that’s a little bit louder and more expressive.

Give me a quick overview of the concept.

Culture, for me, is a collection, a curation of clothing, instead of just, “What can I find that’s inexpensive and resell?” I pick everything with a specific person in mind, whether it’s actually one of my friends or just a certain style of person. I like things to be a little bit more eclectic and unique and funky and pieced together like a closet would be. I don’t buy everything from one brand and fill my closet with it. I hunt for things that fit really well, have great fabric, something I really love—and then I piece that together with other things. That’s how my entire closet is. So I didn’t want to open a store that was like any other store where you walk in and you see, this is where this brand’s section is and everything you could want from them is right there. Instead, you come and see, “Oh, that’s a really cute outfit. I would totally wear that! I’ll take the whole thing.”

And you do men’s and women’s.

Totally. My boyfriend is really great at helping me with the men’s section. I have a lot of friends in the service industry, and I’m getting this feedback that they want to be more stylish. They don’t want to just wear jeans and T-shirts. They want something edgier and funkier, too.

I heard this location used to be a crack house or something.

It did! [Laughs.] Oh, gosh. It did. It’s kind of funny.

In a way, this is a really trendy location right in Midtown, but it’s cool that this house—what do you know about that?

I don’t know who owned this house before my landlord, but I was told that at that time the person didn’t really know what was going on here. It was kind of this squatting, halfway-house situation, and there’s a back house that’s also part of the property, and that backhouse was like the drive-up window, and they would hang a towel out when the meth was ready, and people would drive up and buy their drugs from that window. And that house caught on fire, and burned down on the inside. And Bernie [Carter] acquired the building and redid the inside, redid the floors. The girls that are currently in the building sharing with me have been here for over a year. Mandala Massage is next door and upstairs is Aesthetically Speaking. … It went from meth house to fixed-up retail space.