CHEYENNE, Wyo. — Cassie and Chance Pennock have learned plenty about the tricks of the retail trade in the little over a year that they’ve ran Creative Compass Gifts.
But above nearly everything else, the duo has found that location and foot traffic are especially important factors. So when the gift and party store’s previous spot off of Logan Avenue wasn’t cutting it, they shopped around for new digs to post up at.
It’s safe to say that the Pennocks’ business will be garnering plenty of eyeballs soon at its new venue.
Work and final preparations are being done for Creative Compass Gifts to open up its new location at the Frontier Mall in a storefront between Bourbon Street Candy and Go! Calendars, Games & Toys, with the Pennocks stating that they’re expecting to reopen there at 10 a.m. Friday, just in time for Cheyenne Frontier Days.
Noting that they want to continue to offer customized gifts for just about any occasion at an affordable price, the couple hopes that the fresh look will give them some added exposure, particularly considering the timing of the opening as thousands of tourists will descend upon Cheyenne this weekend.
“We have a lot of gift arrangements that are already pre-made,” Cassie said. “It’s kind of a wide variety of things and we customize monthly themes. So like with Frontier Days coming up, we’re going to do a lot more touristy, souvenir-type gifts. … Our idea around [the location], too, is that you can come in and you can shop around.”
Creative Compass Gifts is a side hustle for now for both owners involved; as for their current jobs, Cassie is a teacher and Chance is involved in concrete work. But Chance said that he hopes by later this year — around Thanksgiving or Christmas, he suggested — he’ll be running the shop full-time moving forward.
The Pennocks said the trial run at their first location didn’t change much in terms of business sales as many of their purchases were coming from online, leading them to believe the building eventually became “an expense that we [didn’t] need.” But as online sales continued to boom, they figured they’d take a crack at the brick-and-mortar store once again in a new, busier part of town.
“We have really made some changes and figured out what has worked for Cheyenne and what has worked for us,” Chance said. “Even though we have been open, this is like a whole new beginning from Creative Compass for us with a lot of our same things that people have liked. But [we’ll] still bring in some new twists to it and really try to step out and do all of it for the Cheyenne area.”
Working with a motto of “balloons, baskets and bouquets,” the duo said that they planned to start work with flowers soon and freshen up what’s on offer with monthly themes and specials, all while continuing to give customers custom order options for all sorts of moments.
Cassie said that she’s found balancing the advertising portion of the new location difficult and that chain stores — which can offer similar products at cheaper prices — make for a tough barrier to break through. However, she noted that the new location will feature a sit-down area to make interactions more personable while the business’s Facebook page she watches over is always open online for questions.
It’s very much no-frills hard work from the Pennocks as there’s plenty of pride and commitment to what they do. They hope that Cheyenne sees and appreciates them for that.
“It’s really hard to compete with Walmart and Target and the big-box stores right now. … We’re just hoping that maybe more people will come and see that,” Cassie said. “Yeah, we might not be as cheap as a Walmart box store, but we do create our things. We hand-make a lot of our things. … We can get to know [customers] and really create what it is that they’re wanting.”