We started working with Boulder Housing Partners (BHP) in 2018 to create an Independent Living Community that supports the housing needs of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). BHP’s Bluebell building at 30Pearl made it possible to do just that. Among the 120 apartment units in the Bluebell affordable apartment building, Boulder Housing Partners dedicated 20 to adults with IDD. Flash forward to the beginning of this year, construction on Bluebell was complete. In February, residents started moving into their brand-new apartments. Now that they had access to quality and affordable housing through BHP, we then launched a new program called Ramble Community Connections to help them thrive in that environment.
Since then, we’ve been busy expanding our Ramble Community Connections program. We help these individuals develop meaningful connections with their apartment neighbors and connect with the community by hosting various activities. “We Since then, we’ve been busy expanding our Ramble Community Connections program. We help these individuals develop meaningful connections with their apartment neighbors and connect with the community by hosting various activities. “We recently started expanding our activities to better meet the needs of the residents of Bluebell,” says Programs Director Christina Bremer. “We host a handful of engaging activities such as arts and crafts, movie nights, and social gatherings in the community room on the first floor. For others, we take residents out to experience and enjoy fun things in Boulder. Just last September, the “Bluebell Players” wrote and performed a play called ‘The Adventures of Sally’ to a standing room-only audience.”
We check in with residents weekly to ensure we’re providing the support they need to live successfully at Bluebell. So far, they all seem to love their new apartments and the opportunities provided through our Ramble Community Connections program. Many of them say they are more active living at Bluebell than when they lived at home with their parents – as many of them did. “I go out for walks every day and use my Wii way more to take care of myself,” Claire shared, who’s a resident in the Bluebell building.
We will be expanding our Ramble Community Connections program in 2022, focusing on improving the structure, planning, and variety of activities. “We will be scheduling activities farther in advance so residents can make plans to participate in all of the ones they want,” adds Bremer. “We will also be improving the quality and variety of our programs so we can offer the best possible experiences for the residents at Bluebell. Lastly, we will be looking for ways to encourage more involvement from the community with volunteer opportunities.”
Ramble is excited to announce the opening of our second store, Ramble Marketplace, located in the heart of the East Pearl Residential and Business district. Opened just in time for this holiday season, Ramble Marketplace is a gift shop that offers an inspired collection of products and handcrafted works of art created and designed right here in Boulder, Colorado. Our new store offers unique “Boulder-Born” gifts for the selective shopper including paintings, wall art, pottery, home décor, jewelry, toys, and much more.
In addition to reaching more people with a new range of offerings, Ramble Marketplace allows us to expand our Ramble Opportunities apprentice program that has been creating pathways to community employment out of our flagship store, Ramble on Pearl since 2014. The program expansion is a strategic move to increase the capacity of our program.
Dozens of prior program participants have benefitted from the customer-facing aspects of our original venue at Ramble on Pearl. However, individuals who experience social anxiety struggle with the need to interact with customers at our existing venue. Our expansion into Ramble Marketplace is designed to fit those needs. Here we will be offering packaged gift collections assembled in an adjacent fulfillment space. This will allow us to teach skills in high demand with local businesses and create job opportunities with a broader range of potential employers.
Ramble Marketplace was made possible through our partnership with Boulder Housing Partners and is on the first floor of the Bluebell Building of their 30Pearl Project affordable housing apartment project. Among the 120 apartment units, 20 are dedicated to adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
A great way to stay updated on the program and apprentice updates is to follow us on Facebook or Instagram. In the meantime, we would love to see you at Ramble Marketplace – the perfect place to shop for your holiday gifts! For store hours and additional information, visit https://theramblecollective.org/ramble-marketplace.
We’re almost there! Construction will be completed within a month’s time and the residents of the Independent Living Community will be moving in soon!
For those of you who may have forgotten, 30Pearl is a 120 unit, 3 building affordable housing project that Boulder Housing Partners (BHP) is building in the heart of downtown Boulder. It is located at the site of the former Pollard Jeep dealership and flanked by Boulder Junction Transit Center and Barnes & Noble across 30th. The Bluebell building includes 40 units, 20 of which have been allocated to adults with IDD and selected through a lottery system. Boulder Treasures will provide community engagement services to the Blubell residents to facilitate their connections with each other and the community at large. In addition, we have leased space to operate a second social enterprise to host an expansion of our apprentice program. The other two buildings, Mesa and Magnolia, will be ready for occupancy by the end of summer. Additional, market-rate units will be built by commercial developers on three adjacent plots. With 100’s of additional market rate units being built nearby, the residents of Bluebell’s Independent Living Community will be truly integrated into the heart of downtown Boulder.
BHP will act as landlord to the residents living in these studio, 1 & 2 bedroom units. BHP has created gathering spaces on the 2nd and 3rd floors that will be furnished with TVs, game/puzzle/crafting tables, sofas, etc. where residents can gather for impromptu hangouts, or just admire stunning views of the Flatirons! In addition, Boulder Treasures will provide common space programming within the first floor community space where residents can participate in organized activities led by community volunteers. If you’re interested in joining our growing list of volunteers, email us at email@example.com.
Shop with Purpose. We’ve said it before and if you’re new to our mission, you might be wondering what we mean. In case you missed it, Ramble on Pearl founder Andy Minden sat down with the BizWest podcast in January where they discussed what it’s like to run a small business deemed “non-essential” during the pandemic. Here’s what Andy had to say about the purpose of Ramble on Pearl:
“We’re a non-profit social enterprise, which for a clothing boutique sounds a little bit odd, but what we do is host a job training apprentice program for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We help learn what their skillsets are, what they need some help strengthening over a period of 3-6 months, and then we help them get jobs with local community employers. They are working alongside our job coaching staff and retail staff, so when you come in to the store you might not expect it, but it’s part of what we do!”
Andy also discussed how the pandemic has affected our graduates who have lost jobs due to the pandemic, and our efforts to continue assisting them in finding new employment solutions.
Responding to the the perception that hiring an IDD adult is risky, Andy said: “One of the things we’re pretty proud of with our program graduates, since many of them are filling entry level positions, is that once they do get a job that is well-matched to their skillset…their longevity and retention in those jobs is much higher than the typical entry-level job that rotates in and out of constantly re-training new employees.”
So, what can you do to continue supporting us and your other favorite local businesses? Andy offers some suggestions:
- We launched our online store in May 2020, where you can shop from the safety of your home, and select delivery or curbside pickup.
- Purchase a gift card now to give a friend or to shop later in the post-pandemic world.
- Leave reviews or spread the word on social media when you have a great experience with us or another small business.
- Know that we have taken your safety and that of our employees to heart. We have adopted a complete range of “new normal” safety precautions to provide the safest shopping experience possible. You can read more about these practices on our Shop Small, Shop Safe post. You can also request a free, private shopping appointment to minimize exposure. Contact us by phone at 303-442-2267 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Listen to the full BizWest Podcast episode here (find Andy at 20:30).
Thanks to BizWest for inviting us to chat, and thank you for continuing to support small businesses like ours!
We are committed to keeping you safe during the pandemic as you support our mission by shopping at Ramble on Pearl. From open to close, we will do everything in our power to maintain a safe environment for your shopping experience.
All employees complete a health screening before they come in to work, and we ask that all employees and customers who are not feeling well, stay home.
Masks are non-negotiable – if you are unwilling or unable to wear a mask, we are happy to accommodate you through our online store, for delivery or curbside pick-up.
When you arrive, we have hand sanitizer ready at the door for you to use.
Dressing rooms are open! You are welcome to try on garments in our store, we have removed all porous surface furniture from the dressing rooms so that we can easily and effectively sanitize the dressing rooms between each use.
Our opening and closing procedures include thorough wipe down with a bleach solution on all frequently touched surfaces like door handles and countertops.
We have two high capacity HEPA filters and an HVAC system constantly running to reduce aerosol levels in the store, and on nice days we keep the door open to maintain fresh air flow.
Have a return? No problem! According to the latest studies on fabrics and the virus, COVID-19 was detectable on fabrics for just two days, and when exposed to high heat, the virus became inactive within five minutes. We have therefore set up a “clothing quarantine” for returned merchandise where they are isolated for 72 hours before being returned to the sales floor, and all new apparel is steamed before being put out on the floor
Personal & Private Shopping by Appointment
We understand if you are reluctant to shop while crowds may be in our store. For a more private experience, you can browse our amazing selection of merchandise with a personal & private shopping appointment by calling 303-442-2267 or emailing us at email@example.com.
Available Tuesdays – Fridays
- 10:00 – 11:00 am
- 5:00 – 6:00 pm
If these hours do not work for you, we are flexible! Let us know when you’d like to schedule a private shopping experience, and we will do our best to set you up with an appointment that fits your schedule.
Your continued support during this time is deeply appreciated, and helps us continue serving our mission to build better futures for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities through our apprenticeship program. As always, we welcome donations big and small, which can be made here through our partnership with the Community First Foundation.
SHOP RAMBLE ON PEARL ONLINE
DONATE THROUGH COLORADOGIVES.ORG
Ramble on Pearl is excited to share the release of its updated website and online store. We’ve finally entered the 21st century! Now you can Shop with Purpose online from the comfort of your home or on the run with your mobile phone or tablet: shop.rambleonpearl.com .
As a release special, we are offering 20% off your entire online (or in-store) purchases through the end of May with free curbside pickup or for orders over $100.
For those wanting a bit of help navigating our new website, here’s what is in store for you at rambleonpearl.com
A sneak preview of featured items:
Latest News and Updates: what’s been happening at Ramble these past few months and with regular updates as the months ahead unfold:
Your Impact: stories of our apprentices and how your purchases and donations have help them on their pathways to purpose and community:
But for those ready to just check out our online store and see all the great new spring merchandise that we’ve prepared for you, head on over to: shop.rambleonpearl.com
Regardless of your need for retail therapy, clothes shopping has never been more challenging than during Covid-19 Stay-at-Home orders. We at Ramble are doing all we can to create a safe environment for our customers. Join us this Saturday, May 9, as we re-open for business and welcome you back to Ramble! We are diligently preparing and cleaning our store in preparation of re-opening to make your shopping experience safe and fun.
Here’s what you need to know about our Safety First Policy
- To ensure your safety, we are operating in compliance with the Governor’s Safer-at-Home orders and the safety checklist provided by Boulder County Public Health,
- Including enhanced/more frequent cleaning & sanitizing throughout the store.
- Customers are required to wear a mask upon entering & will be asked to sanitize their hands – That goes for our employees as well!
- We will be limiting the number of people that may enter the store at any time. If we are at full capacity, you will be asked to wait outside a few minutes while we serve other customers. Thank you for your patience.
- We will quarantine any garment returned to us as recommended by Boulder County Public Health.
We’re here for you!
Store opening hours:
Mon – Sat: 11am – 6pm;
Sun: 11am – 5 pm
Personal Shopping Options:
- Shop by Appointment 303.442.2267
- Virtual Shopping Experience email us at firstname.lastname@example.org
- Coming SOON! – Ramble’s online store – Stay Tuned.
Our apprentices are eager to greet you with a smile and say,
“Welcome (back) to Ramble on Pearl!”
We have made the difficult decision to close our doors for the health and well being of our apprentices and staff and to avoid contributing to the spread of the coronavirus. We’re doing our part to Flatten the Curve by shifting our operations online. However, since shopping online can feel impersonal at the best of times, you don’t have to stop showing your love just because you are forced to stay at home. You can still do your gift buying locally and support our small business community and the vitality of downtown Boulder by “Loving the Local”.
Ramble on Pearl has a range of new personalized virtual gift shopping options for you to consider:
- Shop by Appointment or schedule a Virtual Shopping experience with Bozica or Connie. Email email@example.com.
- Purchase Gift Certificates online for your loved ones (or yourself!) to be used for virtual shopping today, or when we reopen.
- And, while our brick and mortar store is closed, you can buy online direct from two of our favorite Brand Partners and we share in the proceeds! Toad&Co and Synergy. Enter our code “rambleonpearl” when you shop at Synergy for a 10% discount on your purchase.
We are extremely thankful for brand partners, like Toad&Co and Synergy, who have demonstrated continuing support of our mission in these difficult times.
Inspiring people to live their fullest lives through socially and environmentally committed clothes, that look and fit as well as they function, from the trail to the tavern and everywhere in between. Look good, do good, and remember, every day is an adventure. In 1996 Toad&Co partnered with Search, Inc. to form the Planet Access Company, a state-of-the-art warehouse that trains and employs adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
Founded by Kate Fisher during her first trip to Nepal in the fall of 1993. Inspired by the beautiful fabrics and textiles of SouthEast Asia and by the friendships she made there, Kate returned home and began to design clothing based on this inspiration. The roots of Synergy were born. Synergy is not only committed to creating clothing with a minimal environmental impact, but also empowering men and women through ethical employment practices.
About 100 Boulderites joined us last night to celebrate Ramble on Pearl’s 5 years in business – not just as a thriving clothing boutique but more importantly as a host for our apprentice program. Since we launched our apprentice program in September 2014, we’ve had 34 individuals participating in our programs with 31 having secured independent community employment – that means once we help them transition to their new jobs as program graduates, they become self-sufficient in their jobs and no longer dependent on a job coach. We are so impressed with the dedication and commitment of our program graduates – their average tenure in these jobs is 20 months. A case in point is Kate, our first program graduate, who has been at her job with the Longmont Humane Society for 4-½ years!
On hand to help us celebrate the success of these amazing individuals were a number of local dignitaries, including: Bob Yates (Boulder City Council), Alan Rogers & Chip (Downtown Boulder Partnership), Nancy Chin-Wagner (Boulder Chamber of Commerce), Lane Landrith (Boulder City).
Representing our Brand Partners were: Kevin Piersol (Kuhl) and Alexis Beunig (Sherpani). We also had a number of representatives on hand from employers of our graduates: Sarah Colbert (Buffalo Exchange), March Miller (The Organic Sandwich Company), and Jacob Street (Spice of Life Catering).
Finally, we would be remiss not to mention Contour Printworks. Representing them were Tim Feaver, Matt Arveson and Jim Remnant. Not only has Contour Printworks hired two of our graduates (Taisia and Ian), but they also provided us with some awesome custom labeled beer supplied to us by our friends at Upslope Brewing.
A highlight of the event was shared by Jeremy Durham & Laura Sheinbaum of Boulder Housing Partners (BHP). Jeremy and Laura joined us at last year’s celebration and almost immediately hired one of our program graduates, Gray.
But last night, they joined our celebration for a very special purpose. Over the past year, we have been exploring opportunities to expand our mission to support the quality affordable housing needs of adults with developmental disabilities in collaboration with BHP. Halfway through the evening, we therefore shifted gears from celebrating the past to looking forward to an exciting new future when Jeremy and Andy Minden (Ramble on Pearl’s President) signed lease agreements for the commercial/retail space at the 30Pearl Project. BHP’s 30Pearl affordable housing project comprises three apartment buildings inter-mixed with market rate housing. This includes one 40-unit building where half of the units have been designated for adults with developmental disabilities. Ramble on Pearl will operate a second social enterprise business venture at this location to host a capacity expansion of our apprentice program. We will also provide support services to the residents of the apartment building to help them connect with each other and engage with the community.
At our gathering, we also celebrated the not so recent arrival of our new store manager Bozica Van Landingham who joined us last April and has been instrumental in driving the commercial success of our boutique these past months. Compared to 2018, our 2019 summer season showed a 50% increase in sales at Ramble delivering much needed financial resources in support of our apprenticeship program. Bozica treats every customer with a warm welcome and makes sure their experience is delightful regardless of whether they just stopped in off the street, or if they are a regular shopper. The result is that although you may have come in expecting to purchase that one special item, you leave with a bag full. That is being Bozica’d!
We are proud to report that the Apprentice Program at Ramble on Pearl has continued to grow and develop! In the two years we have been operating, we have provided the opportunity for a wide range of individuals to discover and demonstrate their strengths as a pathway to securing productive independent employment in the community and becoming a valuable resource to their employers. Below is a snapshot of our Apprentice Program:
Candidates Assessed: 18
Program Participants: 13
Current Participants: 4 (3 in active job search mode)
Graduates Employed: 8 (1 left job to go to university!)
Average Tenure in Jobs: 12 months
Longest Tenure in Job: 18 months!
Ramble’s goal is to thoroughly prepare our Apprentices for community employment while accessing the strengths and skills that make them uniquely prepared for the positions they enter. One of Ramble’s fundamental beliefs is the value of self-determination or the process by which an individual dictates his or her own life trajectory. An individual’s time at Ramble provides an opportunity to develop skills, but is also a time for self-exploration and determining what career goals and ambitions each individual may have. It is especially important that the individuals we serve at Ramble direct their own career development pathway and that Ramble just acts as a facilitator in that process. We are eternally grateful for the opportunity to be a part of such self-discovery and helping these individuals secure community employment that fits their individual aspirations.