Kismet is a local boutique in Denver where you can find clothes and accessories hand-picked from all over the world. The store itself is enriched with color and reminded me of a chic New York-style apartment, very Carrie Bradshaw-esque. It was no surprise that Kismet’s urban mod feel came from former Mannhattanite, owner Shana Colbin Dunn. Shana didn’t possess the brusque or uptight nature you would think a store owner from New York would have, but was benevolent and compassionate as she explained the importance of giving back to the community.
I was given the opportunity to interview Shana about her love for not only fashion but also philanthropy.
Q: How did Kismet get started?
A: I started on the whole sale side of retail, representing small accessories, but over time I built many relationships that I felt I should give it a try. I decided to name the boutique “Kismet” because of the Turkish meaning, “destiny.” We opened in May 2006 and will be opening our fourth store in Belmar next month.
Q: How would you describe Kismet’s style?
A: Whimsical, cowboy, boho chic with a New York edge. We love colors and want to emanate a happy feel.
Q: What makes Kismet unique?
A: Our charm bar is unique because local designers customize them. We have high-quality clothes for a mid-range price while also appealing to a wide age demographic. We love making people feel good by providing something for everyone.
Q: How would you define Denver’s fashion?
A: Denver’s fashion is beautiful and comfortable, people understand what is good quality and they want to be fashion forward while having the casual look and feel.
Q: What inspired you to start “12 Months of Giving?”
A: We started donating a portion of our sales to local charities in 2010, but recently started “12 Months of Giving” where every month we pick a charity to donate to and every customer who purchases an item at our store has the opportunity to donate anything from one cent to one dollar. At the end of the month we match what our donations were from our customers. It’s a good way to involve the community by combining our efforts and increasing our amounts. Even a penny counts.
Q: How do you decide on what charity to sponsor each month?
A: Every year is a different roster. We try to be by-partisan and non-political, focusing on charities based around helping children, the environment, the community, or anything that will uplift society. Our charities are local, national and some even international. Sometimes charities will reach out to Kismet and it’s always nice to see all of the good things people are doing.
Q: What has been the highlight of “12 Months of Giving?” Does any specific memory stand out?
A: We used to dedicate our window to the charity we were supporting that month. It was a creative way to incorporate the staff in designing a message. We always had a different scenario with a particular theme.
Q: What looks can we expect from Kismet for the Fall season?
A: We are excited about our wearable accessories that are coming out. The color pallet of the deep blues, plum, grays and emerald green will be a nice change.
Q: Does Kismet have any upcoming events?
A: Our new store in Belmar will be opening the first week in September. It will be during the same time as the Festival Italiano also taking place in Belmar. We also have specials throughout the year on our Facebook page.
Feel free to stop by one of the three Kismet stores in Lowry, Highlands, Southglenn and soon Belmar for more information or to place a donation.