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Gavin's Underground

FICE

by Gavin Sheehan
- Posted // 2009-02-08 -

Very few businesses in Salt Lake City aim to be a force in fashion, music and art at the same time. But there is one local boutique downtown that's aiming to do just that with a force.

FICE has been running off 2nd South for ten months now, providing the city with street-class fashion and extreme sport hookups, while also maintaining their walls as a monthly art gallery of both local and national artists. I got a chance to chat with co-owners Laura Hader and Corey Bullough about the shop's brief history, thoughts on art, and a few other questions here and there.  All with some pictures of the shop for you to check out.

Laura Hader & Corey Bullough

http://www.160fice.blogspot.com/

Gavin: Hey Corey. First off, tell us a little bit about yourself.

Laura: I am 24 years old. I'm from Colorado and moved to Salt Lake 5 years ago, to pursue a professional snowboarding career. 


Corey: I'm Corey, I like to rock, the end.

Gavin:
For those who don't know, what is FICE?

Corey:
Fice is an urban boutique/art gallery in the heart of downtown SLC.

Laura: We sell men's and women's shoes, and clothing store as well as monthly art gallery.


Gavin:
Where did the idea come from to start the store?

Laura: I've always wanted to open a store and I met Corey and he also had a passion to open something in Salt Lake so we got together and FICE was created.


Corey:
I don't go to mall, so after living here for a few years I noticed a void in Salt Lake. After taking a trip to NYC and visiting a bunch of cool shops, I came home inspired and decided to take a risk.

Gavin:
What drew you guys to the downtown location on 2nd South?

Corey: We knew we wanted to be downtown, but after a few months of looking, we couldn't find exactly what we were looking for. We were about to give up, when we found the Guthrie Building. The moment we walked in, we knew our search was over.

Laura:
First off the building is amazing. Its one of the oldest buildings downtown and it has a ton of character. We also wanted to be in the center of downtown as Salt Lake is growing and becoming more of an urban center.


Gavin:
Was it difficult getting everything set up or was it pretty easy going?

Laura: For the most part it was pretty easy. All of the companies we talked to had no accounts in or around Salt Lake so they were more than willing to help us get started.


Corey: The building is super old and was in pretty bad shape. After many months of serious work, it was finally ready. I can safely say that I've never worked so hard on something in my life.

Gavin:
How do you go about choosing the art you showcase?

Laura: Friends of friends. Artists we're interested in and people of Salt Lake community is what we stick to.


Corey:
We try to keep a good balance of local/national artists in the shop. We definitely want to support the local scene, but we also want to help expose our local scene to new and different things.

Gavin:
How was the grand opening, and what was that first month like?

Corey:
The grand opening party was pretty out of control, which was exactly what we were hoping for. Corey Smith (Portland/LA) provided the art. For music we flew The Spits down from Seattle and had locals Le Force open for them. The premise was "a grand opening is like losing your virginity, it only happens once, so help make ours a night to remember." So... thanks to everyone who made that an unforgettable evening for us.

Laura: The Grand Opening was a huge celebration for everybody. We had a local metal band Le Force play as well as a rowdy bunch called The Spits from Seattle come down and tear down the house. I think it was exciting for everyone in town to have a place that's not necessarily a music venue come and throw a party to celebrate something together.


Gavin:
Why did you choose to include extreme sports products along with the fashion?

Laura: Skateboarding is not so much an extreme sport these days as it is a way of life for a lot of people involved in the Urban community. A lot of people who are involved in the urban market come from sk8 backgrounds or vice versa.  It just fits together.


Corey:
My biz partner Laura Hadar is a professional snowboarder, so we do carry a few of her sponsors lines, however we don't carry hard goods. We're not trying to compete with local skate/snow shops.  

Gavin:
What brands do you carry, and why specifically those instead of an array of all brands?

Corey:
ALIFE, WEsC, 10 deep, the Hundreds, Hellz Bellz, 3sixteen, and Black Claw. Most of our brands are exclusive to us, or offer us exclusive products just for our store. Basically we just want to provide unique products.

Laura: All the brands we carry are currently involved in whats know as the urban lifestyle. They come from young designers, entrepreneurs, and artists whose lifestyle is directly related to what they do. Art, music, Sk8 and snow.


Gavin:
You also hold a number of music showcases at the shop. What inspired you to bring in music and hold events on a regular basis?

Corey:
Just trying to do our part to help build a stronger downtown community.

Laura: We just wanted to create a place where people could come together and celebrate each-others accomplishments and lifestyles.


Gavin:
A little state wide, what are you thoughts on the local fashion scene?

Laura:
We could use more of it. It seems like a lot of times, people start something really good in Salt Lake and tend to move it once they get established to places where the fashion scene is more established. But they;re are a few really good things going on like. Zurrick shoe company.


Gavin:
Same question, but this time on the art scene.

Laura: The art scene is Salt Lake is amazing. We have so many talented artists in the valley. doing so many amazing things. Its been really awesome to have a place where they can come out and get some coverage.


Corey: The art scene is definitely on the up and up, there are tons of talented young local artists here. I think as a community we need to come together a bit more to support them.

Gavin:
What do you think about Gallery Stroll and how its evolved over the years?

Corey: It's amazing, I absolutely love how many people come out!

Laura: I think its a really great event. A lot of people especially in the summer come out and participate and I think its only bound to get bigger and better.


Gavin:
Anything you believe could be done to make it bigger or better?

Laura: I think the whole third Friday of the month makes no sense. Why not the first or last. The third seems to get lost in the mix of things. We are not a huge city that has so much going on that we need to make room for it. I think we should just have it on a prominent night and really promote it.

Gavin: What are your thoughts on our resorts and how they tend to treat extreme sports?


Laura: Salt Lake City is one of the few places in the country that has really taken extreme sports under their wing. We have tons of skateparks. We have some of the best snowboard parks in the country and in general I think that Utah appreciates what we do for the states reputation.


Corey: Its all about word of mouth, bring a friend next time.

Gavin:
Tell us about some of the events you've got planned down the road?

Corey:
Sorry, that's classified information.

Laura: We are going to release another limited frogskin sunglass with Oakley in July. And we have a handful of local artists lined up for the next couple of months. Like Trent Call for March.

Gavin:
What can we expect from you and FICE the rest of the year?

Laura: I'm busy shredding till the end of the season, trying to film a video part and FICE is going online in the next month so that should be really big for us. We've had a ton of exposure so it will be cool to give everyone a chance to get in on the action.


Corey:
More art, more music, more good times.

Gavin:
Is there anything you'd like to plug or promote?

Corey:
Support local art and community!

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