New clothing store opens in Storrs Center
Published: Monday, September 23, 2013
Updated: Monday, September 23, 2013 00:09
The earthy, youthful and laid-back vibe that permeates apparel store One Tribe in Storrs Center is tangible from the moment customers set foot in the shop. The first retail store of its kind in Storrs Center, One Tribe stands alone amidst a sea of construction and unopened shops in newly built Royce Circle.
With brands such as Roxy, Billabong, O’Neill and Quicksilver, One Tribe features casual surf, skate and snow-inspired apparel and accessories for men, women and children, but owner Sandra Calvo-Rouette said she designed her store with the college student in mind. “I love the college life, it’s so full of energy,” she said. “My products are in line with college kids and their lives.”
One Tribe is an independently owned and operated retail store with Storrs Center being its only location. Calvo-Rouette first opened the business in May 2011 in Somers before relocating to Storrs. Currently One Tribe is open every day except for Monday, but the store will also be open on Mondays in the near future.
Although One Tribe opened on Aug. 31, its existence remains unknown to some as construction bars a view of the shop from the road. Calvo-Rouette also said that advertising so far has been mainly restricted to word of mouth but she plans to set up a booth in the Student Union offering coupons and giveaways to entice students to visit her store.
“One Tribe is the first (apparel) store to open, which is complicated and involves a lot of work,” said employee Meghan Kayan, a 5th-semester chemistry major at UConn. However, Kayan believed business at One Tribe will continue to improve. “Once the word gets out, there will be more people browsing the store.”
Calvo-Rouette agreed that the opening of other businesses along Royce Circle will foster a “retail community” that will help One Tribe gain popularity. Currently, One Tribe’s customers constitute a mix of locals (mainly high school-age kids) and college students, said Kayan.
One Tribe is new to the retail scene just as Calvo-Rouette is to business ownership. Calvo-Rouette, however, is trained in business. She received a bachelor’s degree in finance and business management from UMass Amherst before pursuing graduate school where she attained a masters degree in international business from Western New England University.
Though it was her love of clothing, the different textures, fabrics and colors she said, that inspired her to open her own retail business.
Calvo-Rouette has her sights set on the day when her shop gains popularity that stretches outside the realm of the UConn campus. “I want to be known around campus, in Mansfield and the surrounding community,” said Calvo-Rouette. “I want One Tribe to be an icon of the area.”