At a time when many shops are shutting their doors due to high rent prices and a streak of dry winters, Rebecca and John Roxburgh may have found the secret to thriving in the slack. In the last four years, they have overseen the success of not one, but three small businesses.
The Roxburghs’ three stores, Forever Rox, Panache, and Breathe, all share a chic, colorful space in an inconspicuous corner of Raley’s Shopping Center in Incline Village. Their first store, Forever Rox, opened in 2011 as a partnership with John Hub and the 30-year-old Hub Bros. Jewelry store. When the opportunity to buy the store next door came up, the couple jumped at the opportunity and created Panache, a clothing and decor boutique they created with the help of partner Ramsey Carter Andrews.
Since then they have added another boutique to the mix, a women’s clothing shop named Breathe, and carved out a niche of culture that builds on their knowledge of fashion and jewels. Rebecca studied fashion at the Paris Institute of Fashion and Johnson and Wales University, and John mentored under local jeweler Ali Athari for nine years to master the complex trade.
The couple said this education has kept them up-to-date on global fashion trends and new technologies in the world of jewels, but this is only a small part of their success. The rest they attribute to community and customer service.
“If there’s one word for it, it’s gratitude,” Rebecca said. “There isn’t much more explanation for it other than our clients trust us. They’re return shoppers. If they need anything we will find it for them in any one of our stores.”
The merchandise itself is carefully picked by monitoring trends that go beyond the microcosm of the Tahoe area, predicting the fashion forecast, and then delivering those products to stay ahead of the curve and give their small town shops a large town feel. Rebecca shows a bright smile at the thought of past customers expressing their surprise after discovering her stores.
“I think one of the best successes, that you don’t look at a financial level, is the amount of people who will come in and say they have been searching for a jeweler or a jewelry store or a boutique like this forever,” Rebecca said.
As 15-year locals, Rebecca and John have spent years building their relationships with other businesses and members of the community. John describes the small business relationships in Incline Village as symbiotic.
“A lot of the other business owners are friends and family and we all discuss what’s going on and talk to each other pretty consistently about how business is and how to support each other,” Rebecca said. “Without the taxi driver, without the photographer, without the caterer, without Panache, Breathe, or Forever Rox, it wouldn’t be the same community, and I think we are all extremely proud that we help each other out so much.”
After opening three businesses in four years, the Roxburghs plan to take a break, but it’s anybody’s guess what the future holds.
“As for the plan for what we’re going to be doing five years from now the only thing any of us can say is that we’ll just keep growing the business,
making sure they’re strong and have their roots, and gain as many local clients every day that we can,” Rebecca said.