Why Coldwater Creek Won My Heart
I am a first time customer of Coldwater Creek. I live in Georgia, so I have never seen a store or heard of them as they don’t have any physical locations in my state or anywhere around it. In fact, the retailer doesn’t have a very large brick-and-mortar presence, but is very active online and well-known in the Northwest United States.
My sister was the one who got interested in this women’s fashion retailer and encouraged me to give them a try. Before ordering I wanted to find out more about the store and about their story, so I read their About Us section. Coldwater Creek was founded in 1984 in the Sandpoint, Idaho. Today the headquarters are in Hingham, Massachusetts. The company was started by a husband a wife and saw incredible growth through the years until 2008. At the highest point of business Coldwater Creek was pulling in $1.15 billion per year and operating just over 300 retail stores. Unfortunately, as we all well know, after the 2008 recession and then resumed growth, many brick-and-mortar apparel retailers could not get back on their feet due to Amazon and similar online retail takeover. Coldwater Creek also experienced trouble and had to refocus the business direction.
Today the company operates only 8 physical stores and is focused on its online operations. Since I never heard of them before, I was eager to find out why. I guess the main reason is their style, which seems to target a bit older women than me. But who am I kidding? – I am no spring chicken with 39th birthday fast approaching, so looking for retailers like Coldwater Creek is right in line with my aging and changing preferences.
Another aspect why I got interested is the inspiration and the idea behind the designs. According to the company’s website, they focus on women from all walks of life, because there is never a time when we don’t want to feel fashionable and comfortable. The design and the earthy colors are inspired by timeless beauty of nature of the Great Northwest, and I think I can see that. Looking at all merchandise and knowing where their inspiration comes from, I envision the mountains and the vast prairies when looking at cozy shirts, understated dresses, and subdued scarfs that can double as shawls. It seems that clothes are speaking to me and calling me to travel west and get lost in nature.
I love the fact that there are no stick thin models in the online catalog, so every piece of clothing seems inclusive no matter what body type you have. It’s very refreshing to browse unintimidated instead of having to look at those 5’10” models that wear size 0 and understand that that particular garment will never look like that on you. Coldwater Creek takes this out all together and displays clothing with full focus on materials, colors, and design. I feel that with today’s technology and flashy models we are getting distracted from what matters.
I definitely loved browsing the website and looking at various categories of clothes. I started with Sale section and was pleased to see many items discounted by 30%, especially sweaters and pants. The prices are not very cheap, but I’ve seen worse; I have also seen better. But I think we always pay for what we get, and I understand that quality of Coldwater Creek’s materials is top notch, per many happy customers’ reviews on the site.
I have to admit that I am used to a bit different fashion – tight shiny leggings, short dresses, long cute sweaters, skinny jeans, and tank tops. The clothes here are a different. I saw a lot of lose fitting items, long pants, shirts, cozy jackets and sweaters, cardigans, vests, tunics, some jewelry, comfy shoes, home décor accents, and lose sleepwear. Everything just speaks about comfort and quality. I noticed lots of colors that one could see in the forest of by a river – blue, navy, green of all shades, brown, yellow, grey, white, black, pink, and red. Many garments were adorned with flowers, horses, tree motives, animals, hearts, and ornaments. New collection featured hearts and “love” for the upcoming Valentine’s Day.
I am planning a trip around California in spring with my family, so with that in mind I picked a jean jacket, lined with faux shearling, and a comfy one-size-fits-all poncho. As I mentioned before, the prices were on a steep side, but I found the jacket on sale and in addition to that 30% discount, I also had a coupon for 25% off and free shipping, which helped tremendously.
My jacket’s full price was $99.95, but with sale I got it for $79.95. The poncho was also on sale - $49.95 from $59.95. On top of these savings I got $25 off with the coupon and $14 off with free shipping. As you can see, the savings were significant.
It took about a week to get my order, but I wasn’t in a hurry. Both items came packed nicely in separate taped bags, with thin gift paper between bends, under the collar of the jacket, and around the wrists of it. The poncho looks very nice on me and will be taken to a trip with me in April. It’s loose, can be worn on top of everything, great for layering, and makes me feel ready for a trip to be one with nature.
The jacket looks nice and of high quality, but I got a bit disappointed with sizing. I normally order everything small, so after looking at size chart I decided to do the same here. However the jacket looks like large or extra-large on me. I am not planning to put lots of extra layers under it, so I don’t need it to be this wide. The length of sleeves is nice, however. Being 5’9” tall I experience too short sleeves quite a bit. I decided to exchange the jacket for extra small, but got another disappointment – the exchange is not free, but it’ll cost me $6.95 for shipping and handling. I will still do it, but the company should reconsider this policy as so many retailers charge for returns, but not for exchanges.
In conclusion, I think I will buy from them again, especially from Sales section. If I am ever close to their store somewhere in Texas, Iowa, Illinois, Kansas, Massachusetts, Michigan, Ohio, Oklahoma, or New Mexico, I will definitely stop by. I will, however, keep in mind to go lower in size than I normally do next time I buy anything from Coldwater Creek.