128 W. 14th St. C-2
Owner: Keena Kimmel
Established: November 2013
What inspired you to start your business?
My husband and I are both artists, and traveled together for seven years selling our work full-time at festivals and markets around the West. We'd alternate with selling books and trinkets at flea markets, too. Durango was always home base, but the time came to put down some roots, and run with the same idea at a brick and mortar location, and so, White Rabbit came to be.
What is your motivation? What keeps you going and inspired each day?
I'm inspired each day by the cast of characters who visit the shop-people from all walks of life, who find bits of whimsy in this little space that allows them to put seriousness aside for the time being, and just play. So many beautiful people- many visiting again and again to see what's new that's sprinkled about. Some tell me that they visit the shop when they're having a bad day, and the space just brightens their spirits. That keeps me going, and then some. That, and spending my days beside the Animas River.
How did you wind up in Durango? What brought you here?
I was lined up to go to art school in Portland, Oregon in 2000, but stopped in Durango en route, and never left. Durango and the community here, felt more like home than anywhere else I'd lived. I transferred my credits and finished school up at the Fort in art and sustainable agriculture, and the rest is history.
What is your business moto or team moto? What keeps you going every day?
"Always learning." As the business matures, I often dream of cloning myself or hiring employees as my to-do list grows. Determined to run things solo, though, I am a wearer of many hats, and am constantly taking on new challenges and projects that I learn as I go. Perpetually curious, being a bookmonger/student of life suits me well.
What advice would you give to someone opening a new business in Durango?
Start small, keep it simple, and build slowly over time. I've seen so many incredible Durango businesses fold due to high overhead costs. Bigger isn't necessarily better if it means getting in over your head. Starting small means the only way to go is up!
Happiest moment as a business owner?
Those occasions when folks first step into the shop, and their face lights up as they take it all in, and they beam a big smile before they even know I've seen them, as their brains process the many layers of what this little rabbit hole contains... that makes it all worth while.