Dandelion Keeps Things Fashionable in Downtown Redding
By Sue Ralston
Fine & DandyDecember 2015
By Sue Ralston
Photos: Jeannine Hendrickson
Earlier this year, Dandelion Clothing, a fixture on Market Street since 1999, moved to a new location on Pine Street that’s airy, large and inviting. Owner Linda Morris is thrilled with the completely renovated new space. “We’re just amazed with it. We have more parking, more room, good windows and good lighting,” she says. And there’s a fresh exterior, painted by Wonderland Signs to match their logo.
Dandelion carries not only clothing and accessories for women, but carefully tailors them to the local market. “We gear our products not only to local tastes, but to the local climate. So we carry lots of cotton, breathable fabrics. We have lines like Fresh Produce and styles that keep you cool,” says Morris, who is committed to filling the shop with unique merchandise not found at any store in the mall. To match Redding’s mild winters, she stocks lighter-weight winter coats. As fall’s chill turns into winter, customers seek out the cubbyholes nestled with socks and scarves for sale.
Morris, who was raised in Medford, Ore., remembers strolling her baby through the streets of Ashland, admiring the shops there. She originally opened Dandelion as a boutique in tiny La Conner, Wash., a scenic waterfront village that draws lots of tourists to its restaurants and shops. She grew tired of the rain, though, and moved to Redding, where her now-grown daughter Angie Harnden lived. Angie helped her find her first Redding location, on Market Street, and still works with her mother, providing expertise on keeping Dandelion’s fashions current.
Morris carries a variety of sizes and brands, says there’s something for everyone, and enjoys the personal touch of helping each customer find just the right items. She and her other employees offer a friendly, relaxed atmosphere in a shop overflowing not only with clothing, but with distinctive gift items such as scarves, scented candles, jewelry and bags. And Morris can’t imagine being located anywhere but downtown. “I’m not a mall person,” she says with a laugh. “And there’s always so much going on downtown – new shops and restaurants are opening.”
Michele Goedert’s downtown office is within walking distance of Dandelion. “I like the eclectic mix of merchandise, the jewelry line, and the customer service,” Goedert says. “They have great scarves so I know I can always stop in for a gift. And their customer service is great.”
Dandelion is a leading dealer for Brighton jewelry and accessories, and is the only Heart Store north of Sacramento, carrying as much merchandise as a free-standing Brighton store does. “We always have sale racks and items that we’re discontinuing,” Morris says.
“We really turn our merchandise over to keep it fresh.” She also gives back to the community that supports her shop. “Whatever we don’t sell at our sales, we donate to One SAFE Place. That way, the clothes get back to some people who really need it.”
The shop closes annually for a couple of days right after Halloween to decorate for the holiday season. Known for its many themed Christmas trees, Dandelion not only decorates, but also offers ornaments, garlands, table toppings, candles, children’s stocking stuffers and other décor for sale during Christmas. A popular service is the chance for women to make a wish list to let their husbands or others know what they want. Morris and her staff will then pull from the racks the customer’s requested items so the gift-giver can pick and choose. If the item isn’t in stock, Dandelion can usually get it shipped in time for gift giving.
Personalized service and a congenial atmosphere have enabled the shop to survive the recession and continue thriving. They’ve adapted to the changing retail climate by putting on fun events and staying in touch with customers through their Facebook page. And, as Morris says, “We really love our customers. The people who come in here are all really great.”