“We're super excited,” shop owner Laura Stupar said. “We're going to be amongst great, great friends of ours. It's going to be a retail district destination. They have lots of events that are happening over there. We're just excited to have a fresh start. We should be there for the holidays.”
The shop features clothing, shoes, accessories, beauty products and houseware items from local and national female artists and creators. Find items like funky patterned clothing from California clothing brand Nooworks, statement earrings from local creator Sigfús Designs and prickly pear cactus lip balm from Sonoran Rosie at this specially curated boutique.
“Everything that we carry fits in the category of sustainably-made, ethically-traded, women-owned, women-ran (and) fair wage,” Stupar said. “We've definitely tried to incorporate locally-made goods, handmade goods as well as some imported goods, but they all kind of land in those categories. And we try to keep a rotation, so we try to keep things fresh and we stay loyal to brands, but we always try to stay on top of what's the latest and the newest.”
At the new location, shoppers will experience a larger boutique and more items, including an expansion of the apparel section with even more clothing labels to choose from.
But there are a few things that won’t change at the new location, such as the friendly faces who greet you, that it's a safe space for everyone and the customer-focused shopping experience you'll have — principles that El Be Goods was founded on.
“It's not a gendered space to be in. And that's another thing, we really try to carry something for everyone,” said shop manager Katherine Spaeth. “So we do have succulents that we rotate out in the hallway. We have gender-neutral scents and apothecary items. So that kind of thing. There really is something for everyone here. No matter your background.”
El Be Goods has a shopping program that steps away from the traditional “help yourself and complete a transaction” shopping experience, according to Stupar, who has a background in fashion. Spaeth has a background in retail merchandising and graphic design.
“They (the team) are researching all the time, they’re styling, they know their product, they know the history, the heritage, the background and they're going to educate and support you,” she said. “So it's not just a matter of coming in and completing a transaction and leaving. That's huge for me, you know, we have a client-type program that's a big part of our DNA, so it's not just clerking. It's really about customer service and valuing and spending the time with the customer.”
Keeping Tucson fashionably sustainable 👚
When Stupar and her sister, Kristen Repp, opened El Be Goods in the fall of 2019, they spent nine hours plastering the shop’s entrance hallway with rainbow-speckled wallpaper, #ThisIsTucson reported in 2019. Since then, the colorful wallpaper has been a welcoming sight to shoppers and those casually walking along Congress Street who catch a glimpse through the shop’s open door.
While the same rainbow-speckled wallpaper isn’t coming with the team to the new shop, Stupar hinted that a new wallpaper with a new aesthetic will take its place to welcome local shoppers.
The shop’s design and aesthetic are inspired by Tucson, which Stupar calls a “beautiful painted desert,” but she says she felt like “there needed to be more color in terms of products and offerings,” hence the colorful product choices and shop design at El Be Goods.
“This is a really niche area to be in since we are, you know, the only boutique on Congress,” Spaeth said. “So it's a really great opportunity for us to offer locals and tourists just a little part of our utopia of Tucson and what we hope to look like as a city. It's a great opportunity for us to offer something new and exciting that people haven't seen before.”
El Be Goods is also the host of the seasonal Wild Wild West pop-up market held at The Royal Room. This year’s event will be on Nov. 6, according to Stupar.
Despite hosting the upcoming market and possibly moving shop locations around the same time frame, the team isn’t stressed.
“I think we've got it down to a science,” Stupar said. “We're kind of worker bees and we've got a lot of support and help from families and whatnot, too. And it's only a four-minute drive. So that's kind of a reassurance for keeping a little calm. … We're good planners, we thrive under stress better, so I think we'll be OK. And we've had some time to do a lot of preparation for it.”
Even with a new location opening in the next few months, El Be Goods doesn’t have plans to stop there.
Instead, they want to keep bringing unique, sustainable goods to the greater Tucson area and plan on opening a second location, possibly in midtown Tucson, in the future, according to Stupar.
“There is really something for everyone,” Spaeth said. “And (don’t) just assume, because we only have women's apparel currently, that that's all we have. There really is so much packed in a small space. And that this is a really safe space for people of all different backgrounds (whether) you’re visiting Tucson or are local to Tucson, there really is something for everyone. And it's a really special space.”