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By Jesse Busick | The Daily Ledge
Anchorage has a new clothing exchange store in town by the name of “Hut No. 8”. Solange Dixon and Yvonne Carolino (an aunt and niece duo) opened the franchise a few weeks ago. Dixon said, “We utilized all our resources and were able to make our dreams become a reality.”
Between the two of them, both Solange and Yvonne have worked at Fortune 500 Corporations and ran their own business here in Alaska. Solange, purchased El Perico Steak Tacos in 2006,”a food vending booth at the Alaska State Fair”, that she still runs during the summer months. The most predominate career in both their lives is definitely that of being a mom. Yvonne and I had fun comparing stories seeing that we both have four children under our roofs. She said, “I have to leave by 7 because I have a ballet recital to go to”, and Solange after twenty minutes of talking with me had to rush out of the store to pick up her child at school. She said after, “being faced with the reality of being a full-time single parent of four young children that I realized a traditional job wouldn’t work for me.”
Hut No. 8 is no traditional clothing exchange store. According to the franchises main website, “Hut no.8 buys and sells brand name clothes, shoes, and accessories for teens and young adults.” Top fashions, such as Buckle, Abercrombie & Fitch, Hollister and more line their racks with the highest standards. Unless the clothes that one intends to trade with meet their “new & gently loved products” standard they will not be accepted.
One of the goals of the Hut No. 8 franchise is to create an environment of a “rustic beach hut atmosphere”, like you would find on a “vacation getaway.” As I walked in I immediately noticed the wood planked flooring like one would find at the Huntington Beach Pier. The clothes racks are made of well finished 2x4s/8s and plywood with the logo “Hut No. 8”having the appearance of being branded at the beginning of each row. Every pair of jeans is placed at a specific angle hanging amongst scenic pictures of a beach getaway. Not what you would expect to find at your everyday clothing exchange store.
Hut No. 8, intends for their “customers to wear only the best at 70%-80% off mall prices, while shopping in a mall-like environment”. Yvonne, said that people come in all the time not realizing that they are a clothing exchange store. From the modern decor to the slight smell of cologne in the air it was just like being in Abercrombie & Fitch or Hollister except you didn’t need a bank loan to buy a new pair of jeans.
The family connection that Solange and Yvonne have makes the store truly Alaskan regardless of the fact that Hut No. 8 is a franchise. They both loved to tease each other and laugh about the simplest things. I felt at home as I spent my short time with them as I know any Alaskan would.
Stop by and say hi….. 135 W.Dimond Blvd. Suite #101 Anchorage, AK 99515 | (907)-677-6700