Trunk Nouveau /t^nk/ ‘nju:’veo/ noun: A curated monthly showing and sale from an independent maker who offers handcrafted wares. Trunk Nouveau in Aurora started with a remarkable dream: a busy aviation studio, industrial in nature, doused in the smell of engine oil and creativity. In the back is a room with steam trunks and suitcases filled with forgotten treasures–the kind that people hold on to, handcrafted and meaningful.
A trunk showroom at Aurora’s Stanley Marketplace is packed full of love and local, a curious place to discover and explore. Suitcases, filled with jewelry, cards, charms, gemstones, wooden toys, and other unique gifts, are on display from talented local and regional artists.
Young at Heart. Although their businesses Pandora on the Hill and Soul Haus have been in operation for over 20 years in Denver, Trunk Nouveau is young, celebrating its third year. Squadron Co is celebrating its first anniversary at Stanley Marketplace. Who knew that a business in the middle of a field with no major intersections could succeed in the local economy, along with 50 other businesses. In fact, Trunk Nouveau exceeds sales over their businesses in Denver. Just before the holidays last year, when a second space became available at Stanley, owner Chris Bacorn jumped on it. Squadron Co became their men’s gift and clothing boutique.
The Aurora-South Metro SBDC. Owner Stephanie Shearer recalls, “Before Trunk even had a name, we met with Aurora-South Metro SBDC to review our finances. We wanted to be liquid enough to open this new venture in a location with zero financial history. The SBDC helped us trim and tuck, with reserves in place for growth.”
The SBDC gave advice on traffic patterns and location quirks. They suggested a rolling suitcase feature filled with products geared toward men. “It’s that brainchild of Aurora-South Metro SBDC that proved to us that we needed a men’s shop.” In the Fall of 2018, Squadron Co was born and now has the fastest growth pattern of all four shops.
Growing. Trunk Nouveau started with the owners plus two staff on a bootstrapped budget. Today, the two businesses employ seven full-time, three part-time and several seasonal positions. Since opening, sales have increased 12%, which nearly triples the national retail growth of 4.6% for the same period. As a result, gross profits increased 11.5%, and net worth is growing.
Community. Stephanie and Chris have community heart in hand demonstrated by their donations to local nonprofit organizations. They are an environmentally aware ‘green’ business as evidenced by being a Certified Green Business. Both proud children of Veterans, Squadron Co is a tribute to their fathers, grandfathers and Chris’s grandmother, who served our country. They proudly hire veterans at Squadron and offer military discounts.
Trunk Nouveau and Squadron Co have one mission: to do business honestly and ethically, while serving the community. “As we say in our ‘Stanifesto’, we’re here for good.”