Rising rent has kids clothing shop Bootyland readying for move that might take it off Capitol Hill

Cassidy and the Bootyland kids (Image: Bootyland)

Cassidy and the Bootyland kids (Image: Bootyland)

Capitol Hill shopkeeper Ellie Cassidy isn’t exactly sure what is next for E Pine and the streets and neighbors surrounding her kids clothing boutique Bootyland.

“Our neighborhood is in a crazy transition,” Cassidy said.

As it begins its 19th year of business on Capitol Hill, Bootyland and its selection of kids wear, toys, women’s clothing and “independent style” might be on the move.

“We’re still trying to figure out where,” Cassidy says about the possibility of leaving the neighborhood. “We’re considering it because there aren’t a lot of small retail spaces available now.”

What is certain is Cassidy will say goodbye to the 1317 E Pine location where the original group of Bootyland momma founders started the store in 1996. Her $25 per square foot rent is going up somewhere around 20 to 30%, she says, making for slim pickings for a children’s retail operation to continue in The Chester building at 13th and Pine. Vintage instant camera shop Rare Medium has already exited the building and moved to the Central District on 21st and Union next to Central Cinema.

Cassidy back in the early 2000s when she first started working at the E Pine boutique (Image: Bootyland)

Cassidy back in the early 2000s when she first started working at the E Pine boutique (Image: Bootyland)

While the specifics of what comes next might still be up in the air, Cassidy is rallying support for her impending move with a fundraising campaign to give shoppers and fans of the store a way to help Bootyland make the big change:

We will continue this tradition and with your support, you will be an integral part of it! We need $5,000 to $10,000 to complete our transition into a new home. Your funds will enable us to cover the cost of moving and setting up an amazing space full of vibrant, creative goods. Your support will help us put the word out about our new digs and our passion for design and ethics.

She’s also encouraging customers to come in and do some shopping now or buy gift certificates as she builds up the funding she’ll need to make the move and, she says, grow in the process.

“Transition is always a great opportunity,” Cassidy said.

Bootyland will hold a “Love” party to celebrate its time on E Pine — and its move — in February. You can learn more about the campaign and events here.

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13 thoughts on “Rising rent has kids clothing shop Bootyland readying for move that might take it off Capitol Hill

  1. Another sad loss of originality to the neighborhood. I don’t have many friends with kids, but when I love going to Bootyland when the need arises!

    Honestly, isn’t this just the kind of shop a landlord would want to keep around? Sad times. Add in the usual line about whatever upscale food concept will be taking over the space…

  2. It makes me sad to lose this fantastic string of little shops- why can’t our neighborhood property owners figure out among themselves how to keep these kinds of businesses along with the new while benefitting from the neighborhood’s boom? If this building didn’t change hands or was extensively rehabbed recently, why do rents need to increase so much? Isn’t some variety in the retail desireable? That block had cachet – I wonder what it’s going to become – these were exactly the type of small/local/independent retail in small grained storefronts that the neighborhood wants to keep. Bootyland was there for years – what a shame!

  3. Capitol Hill is the new Capital Hill. Money is money and if a Bootyland cannot sustain their current situation then maybe it is best to move. I do not have kids but I shop there often for family and friends and I do not live on the Hill. Bootyland has a great inventory for things that I like but the demographic of the Hill is changing and although having this store is great Bootyland it does not fit the changing demographic so asking for additional monies to pay their bills that they cannot cover from sales maybe it is time to rethink if there business is viable beyond the asking for money because they want to stay and sales do not support it.
    We are all adults but would asking for a Kickstarter to pay your rent because your landlord increased your rent be responsible? NO. Just because you want to stay where you are unless you own it do not feel entitled.
    It is not just Bootyland there are many business being forced out but when you base your costs on a rental agreement signed years ago and never planned or expected that rents would increase year after year or even ten or fifteen years your business plan is screwed and that is all on your shoulders for not taking the necessary steps of saving, planning basic business 101. I assume they new prices were going up and they saw things changing. This conversation and planning should have happened months even years ago.
    Yes asking for money now to help them get by is awesome and shows great appreciation for the neighborhood but what happens a month from now, four months from now even a year from now there newly signed lease cannot be paid because the burst in business only lasts as long as this article lasts.
    The neighborhood is changing but the thought process and business practices of the current small businesses need to change as well.
    Your past and current customers are your “Kickstarter” that you have had for years and if they have not already met your goal then this last push will only get you so far before you sign a lease that will cost you way more in the end and those who donate will not be willing to do it again.

    • Thanks for your thoughtful post….a dose of realism. I too have serious misgivings about the whole Kickstarter/crowdfunding phenomenon. If a business has to solicit operating funds from complete strangers (as opposed to friends and family….or, horrors!, banks), then that business is in real fiscal trouble.

      • I am not at all sure these two prior posts have a dose of realism at all. What I hear is that if you can’t pay your rent then get out. It is clear that neither of you have good information about the situation. Unfortunately, it has become common coin on the internet to lambast and roast people on a regular basis with the thinnest of logic. There are myriad ways in which a kickstarter helps businesses, and I am sure you can engage enough creativity of your own to think of several. Posting negative comments of your type serves as a wet blanket, and yet you yourselves have stated that you derive some personal benefit from shops like Bootyland. Why the derision? I am not interested in cynical views, and I know few people who have the time or energy for them. They are less than constructive. Also, a business that has been in existence for 15 years has been doing something right for quite a period of time. That much is clear. So why the personal attacks? Personal attacks are not a convincing argument and make for fallacious logic when they are the basis of a point under debate.
        There are many benefits of crowdfunding, and not only for the recipient of the cash. Of course, for those who can only see dollar signs, this may be hard to understand, but the truth is still there for the rest of us with clearer judgement to see.
        If the point of these two posts was to simply go on a tirade that failing businesses should fail, well, I still don’t see what this has to do with Bootyland. Besides: Let’s not forget that NONE of us stands alone with no help from anyone. We all are in a society that has many thousands of complex interlocking relationships. There is no such thing as a “self-made” person. Such an idea has always been a fiction. Who of us is self-born, needing no one to provide anything for us upon which we build our lives? No. This sort of thought is ridiculous and stems from a very incomplete view of the world and a distorted perspective of how we as humans relate to one another. Humans survive through co-operation. That is how we live. To think otherwise is to misunderstand and perhaps even deny everything we know about the human race.
        Please help each other, for that is how we prosper.

      • I do not want them to fail at all. I do disagree with the save me because I am here mentality. They are asking for “Five to Ten Thousand” to transition.
        My point was how can a business that has been operating for fifteen years need such a small amount in context? The business was not able to save and put aside ONE THOUSAND dollars a year and need to ask the Neighborhood in which they are located to pay an additional amount to help them Relocate or “Transition” to a new space.
        If over the Fifteen years of operation there is no savings to cover the cost then maybe the business needs to reevaluate the situation or redirect the profit.
        There asking for neighborhood help is a slap in the face.
        Just because I want to be here and do what I want and I cant afford it please help me out because a small store front will make all the difference.
        Do they live on the hill or have all the profits purchased a nice house on the east side.
        Over the last fifteen years they have seen the change of the hill longer than most of its current residents so they knew the rents would be going up.
        No lambasting here but entitlement needs to be called out.

      • Interesting. I sense a lack of focus in thought here. First of all, small retail store owners do not get rich. They do not buy nice houses on the East Side from the profits of a retail store. Second, if you do not wish to contribute, then feel free not to. Third, what exactly is an ‘entitlement?’
        This term has been wrongly fraught with neo-conservative connotations over the last couple of decades, and its use here is entirely unwarranted. No one here seriously expects that someone HAS to receive something. What is being asked is that if folks feel like helping, then here’s a way to do that. Actually, what I sense here is a bit of the troll, yes I said troll. If you have an issue, pleas feel free to go to where it actually is and avoid slamming entities that are peripherally connected to your thesis. In other words, there is no need for passive aggressiveness when what you are really upset about is some area of your life you find difficult to control.
        If you find that a business asking the community for anything is a “slap in the face” then I would suggest moving on rather than slapping directly at that business, because this attitude of feeling “slapped in the face” is purely your own subjective response. In the end analysis, neither that business nor any other has ‘done’ anything to you. What has instead happened is that you have confused your emotional response for objective reality. Your emotional response is your responsibility on this context. Please take the trolling elsewhere. Thank you.

  4. So, I said that I like the business and shop there. I said that there business plan of not having the monies to sustain the rent hikes was bad business management. I also alluded that a business of fifteen years not taking into consideration of the changing enviorment and asking their current customers to contribute additional funds after there regular purchases is irresponsible. Where am I wrong?
    I said “Entitled” because they are asking for their neighbors to pay for there relocation assuming that there business NEEDS to be here or THERE, (again they are asking for free money ) they have had paying customers for over fifteen years and if they still have to ask for money in addition to sales and profit is a Huge red flag.
    I did make assumptions of there habitat but if a business is in the same location for fifteen years and watch the changes that were happening did not make changes or plans who is to blame? We can blame the neighborhood for not giving enough, we can blame the neighbors for not going enough, we can blame the neighbors for not going to each of the hundreds of businesses because!
    Use all the fancy words you want but Boottyland cannot sustain their business model and without the request for additional funds in addition to there client base the business is a NoGo.

    • A retail business asking for more money to stay open they just may as well say I bought the shirt for$0.99 sold it for $50.00 but with your kickstarter I can buy it now for $0.33 and sell it for$99.00.
      Location, Location, Location.
      15 years later Bootyland realized that their location is no longer profitable.

      • Still hiding? Is it easy to make pronouncements from anonymity? Clearly the reality that humans survive by co-operation is lost on you. I notice you refuse to address the core of what I have said and instead circle back to the talking points you started with, much like a Fox-pert. Circular thinking is not thinking at all. Besides, if you like the business, as you have claimed, then why all the bile? Why on a public forum? It is hard to believe you on that point. I said before that I sense the spirit of a troll, and here I say it again.

      • Sorry I have been working to pay my, “MY” bills.
        Bootyland was the subject of the post so my comments about a business being irresponsible yes do apply to them but my statements as FOXy as they are/ were and still are about how a business needs to take every change into consideration.
        I do like Bootyland may leave and hope that I will be able to continue to shop there but as a customer when I buy something I do not think it is responsible of them to ask me for additional funds because the neighborhood is changing and their costs are rising.
        It has been changing for years
        Your Co-OP mentality does not apply here. Bootyland is not a Co-Op!
        They are a business that it is in jeopardy they are asking their paying customers to pay for non tangible goods and asking non customers for free money just because they (Bootyland) like there location.
        Call me a Troll all you want but the entitlement of a business (Bootyland) is bad business.

  5. “What is certain is Cassidy will say goodbye to the 1317 E Pine location where the original group of Bootyland momma founders started the store in 1996. Her $25 per square foot rent is going up somewhere around 20 to 30%,
    I know it is hard to say “goodbye” to what you had owned for a long time. But thanks to the internet, you may say goodbye to your physical retail store, bu you can still keep your business. Let your customers know your web address, they will find you there and bring you new customers beyond your immediate local.

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