Sweet Potato Lingerie in Steamboat closing its doors

Downtown store's last day is today

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— Leslie Faulkner said she tried everything she could to try to save her lingerie business, but she’s shutting the doors to her downtown Steamboat Springs store one last time today.

Faulkner is hosting a clearance sale at Sweet Potato Lingerie in the lower level of Old Town Square at Seventh Street and Lincoln Avenue until the store closes.

“I tried promotions, and I tried new ways of marketing,” she said, “but nothing worked.”

Faulkner opened Sweet Potato on Eighth Street in December 2007. The store moved to Old Town Square last year because Faulkner thought it was a more affordable location.

The store featured cosmetics, lingerie, men and women’s clothing and professional bra fittings, as well as adult sexual health education classes.

Faulkner said her decision to close the store came after a yearlong struggle to keep the retail business afloat in a souring economy. She also said the construction along Lincoln Avenue slowed business and contributed to her store’s closing.

“I’ve been contemplating this for the last year,” she said. “We’re in a very, very bad economy right now. I’m not closing for a lack of love, that’s for sure.”

Stacey Bodden, who owns the Deep Steep Tea Co. that neighbors Sweet Potato, said her business also was affected by the construction and the store’s downstairs location.

“We had an awful, awful time from April through June,” she said. “It’s too bad to see Leslie’s store go. It is a challenge down here, especially when you see all of these vacant stores.”

Bodden said business has picked back up since the construction ended for the summer season, but challenges associated with her store’s downstairs location continue.

She said the past reduction in business has influenced her marketing techniques as she tries to get her tea used in local restaurants and hotels.

Faulkner plans to explore the possibility of running her business from home.

Reflecting back about her years in town, Faulkner said it was all about making the customers feel comfortable.

“I would always strive to make a 70-year-old woman feel just as comfortable to come in for a bra fitting as a young couple would be coming in to find romantic games,” she said. “This store proved to be exactly what I wanted it to be.”

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