Cantafio expands with SleepOverzzz

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— Cantafio's sells glamorously slinky sleepwear, but the new SleepOverzzz store sells comfy flannel jammies.

That pretty much sums up the difference between Denise Cantafio's two stores in Old Town Square.

But there's more to the story. Cantafio was a school teacher when she first moved to Steamboat, but she saw a niche in the local retailing scene. She filled it with a small store on the garden level of Old Town Square that provided women with things that were in relatively short supply in Steamboat lingerie, perfume, cosmetics and swim suits.

Cantafio always wanted to expand her offerings, but didn't have the room to grow. When Amallama moved out of its space upstairs in Gondola Square this fall, Cantafio seized her chance.

"People have been coming in ever since I opened (Cantafio's), asking for linens," she said. "I had tried towels downstairs, but didn't really have room to do it right."

In her new store, Cantafio has an even tighter retailing concept than she has downstairs in Cantafio's. Not surprisingly, sleep is the theme at SleepOverzzz. And the core of the merchandise lines consists of out-of-the-ordinary bed linens, heavy robes, and warm pajamas.

Cantafio has cleverly purchased an eclectic selection of accessories that augment the "sleep theme."

There are aromatic candles, a small book interpreting dreams, wooden clocks, little tins of Badger Balm, an herbal sleep enhancer and "Pajama Party," a "girl gathering kit" packaged in paint cans.

"I think the accessory items we carry enhance the store," clerk Jeanine Bell said.

Working with a limited amount of space, Cantafio opened up the space with a painting of a starry night in a small alcove above the entry. She selected another starry night pattern for the wallpaper.

A designer bed serves as a display for bed linens. However, because there isn't room in the store for a full-size bed, Cantafio had the rails shortened until the headboard and the foot of the bed are only about 4 feet apart.

It might seem like a luxury to have two separate retail spaces a mere two flights of stairs from each other. But Cantafio believes there is an opportunity for the two stores to help one another.

"We're trying to create synergy between the two stores," she said. "We definitely send customers upstairs and downstairs."

SleepOverzzz is located next to the soon-to-be expanded Backcountry Provisions, and upstairs from Mocha Mollys in Old town Square.

Store hours are 10-6, Monday through Thursday, 10-7 Friday and Saturday, and 11-4 on Sundays.

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