Entrepreneur Spotlight: Becca Romero of Spruce
Hey, all you guys out there! Wouldn't it be great if you could get a haircut, clean shave and a stylish wardrobe update all in one trip? Thankfully, Spruce is here to help with all of your fashion needs! You can pick up your phone right now, and book an appointment. Give the experts at Spruce a rundown of your style wants or needs, and by the time you walk through the door their style consultants will have your new look waiting. It's as simple as that. How did this convenient barber + clothier come to be? Becca Romero filled us in on her background, and the events that led to the foundation of Spruce.
Denver Style Magazine: Could you explain how you became a part of the Denver fashion community, and what qualities you possess that led you to create your own business?
Becca Romero: “I was tired of being stuck in a cubicle all day in the ad agency world. I wanted a more creative outlet and the ability to connect more directly with the people that my business impacts.
Over the years, in an unofficial capacity, I’ve had friends and family come to me for style advice. Fashion has been an interest and hobby of mine for as long as I can remember; I would dress myself as a young girl in crazy, mismatched outfits, and my mom would joke that I would grow up to be Cindi Lauper. In my teen years, I discovered the fun of digging through thrift shops and piecing together new and vintage apparel. I also enjoyed modifying the clothing I found by cutting off necklines and sleeves, stitching on patches I’d cut from other items, etc.
While this isn’t the first business I’ve started, this is the first retail store I’ve opened, which has its own array of joys and challenges. Business to Consumer (B2C) is infinitely more fun than Business to Business (B2B), and I am loving this new career path!”
DSM: Where would you like your business to be in 5 years?
BR: “Even though it’s only our first year of business, we are already discussing where our next locations will be! The Denver population is exploding, and there is a nationwide trend of men taking a greater interest in their style and grooming habits. There is so much potential for Spruce to help men become more educated in shaving and dressing. Of course as technology advances, there will be opportunities to streamline processes to make styling help more accessible and painless for both client and stylist. We envision Spruce being a pioneer on those fronts.”
DSM: Describe your style philosophy, and how you strive to carry that out through your business.
BR: “Spruce’s philosophy is 'get empowered,' which expands beyond the world of fashion. We are all about bringing out a person’s inner potential. Respect, encouragement and honesty all tie into empowering an individual to achieve more.
For the retail side of Spruce, I mostly choose pieces that are great for guys who are just beginning to become interested in fashion. Many of the men we get in our store haven’t updated their looks since high school or college. Rather than overwhelming them with pieces that will be out of style by next season, I show them clothes that are versatile, timeless, but also on trend with what’s happening in fashion today. Lots of well-constructed basics that can enhance a man’s existing closet as well as unique, artisanal accessories made in the USA when possible.”
DSM: What is the inspiration behind your fashion choices?
BR: “I always say, ‘Look expensive, don’t be expensive.’ While I believe that high-quality, long-lasting pieces are worth the investment, there is a thrill in digging through thrift stores and garage sales for one-of-a-kind pieces that don’t break the bank. I love wearing things no one else can find and that have a story or history attached to them. I see a lot of myself in Iris Apfel; as much as she appreciates high-end designers, so loves the hunt for the unique!”
DSM: Who or what do you consider your constant motivation?
BR: “Whether dressing myself or someone else, I enjoy solving the riddle of 'what to wear?' There are not unlimited answers; you have parameters you need to operate within, such as budget, availability, body type, weather, etc. So you need to construct an answer with the materials you have access to. I find a lot of joy in the process of solving that puzzle, and the reward is walking around feeling confident the rest of the day!”
DSM: What is your absolute favorite piece of clothing - one you will never let go?
BR: “My wedding ring. Aside from the obvious sentimental reasons, it is a beautiful piece. It is an 1890’s Edwardian dinner ring that I have not seen anywhere else. I like to wonder who it was originally designed and crafted for, and how many fingers it will ultimately grace in its lifetime.”
DSM: Describe your perfect day.
BR: “Any day spent in the Rocky Mountains is a perfect day. I always ascend with my mind fragmented and return with new senses of peace and purpose. And if there’s a cup of black coffee in my hand, even better."