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By Tim Latterner | January 24, 2017 | Style & Beauty
Texas transplants Chris and Kate Roberts turn their life experience into a pair of Aspen boutiques.
Husband-and-wife boutique owners Kate and Chris Roberts, shown here on Aspen’s Marolt Ranch, harmonize their disparate shops, Katebaby and Aspen Hatter, with a commitment to town.
At first sight, it would appear that the similarities between Chris and Kate Roberts’s Aspen boutiques are few. The reality of being a small-business owner in town, though, means that this husband and wife run their shops with the same values. “We both thought it important to have roots in this town,” says Chris of his store, Aspen Hatter (465 N. Mill St., 970-300-8355), and his wife’s boutique, Katebaby (205 S. Mill St., 970-925-2400). “That’s what drives us.” Of course, a successful small business requires more than just local roots.
A custom hat shop, Aspen Hatter was born when Chris, an Austin native who has lived on Texas ranches and in the cowboy country of Jackson, Wyoming, moved to Aspen in 2013 and began getting compliments on the brimmed hats he had made for himself. Creating for the public now, Chris, 36, constructs hats for all of town—from the roughneck rancher to the fashion-forward woman. Katebaby was similarly born from its owner’s experience.
“For me, having two young kids, I try and [stock] things I’d want to see them in,” says Kate, 33, also a Texas native, who adds that her buying strategy is to fill the store with “what I actually like”—that is, colorful onesies, dresses, shoes, and décor items, such as dressers and tables, from brands like TOMS, Billabong, and Milly Minis. “I think we’re fortunate that we found passions for specified retail offering something new,” says Kate. “We both are frequented by visitors and locals. We appeal to anyone, not just one specific shopper.”
PHOTOGRAPHY BY JIM PAUSSA (KATE AND CHRIS ROBERTS, ASPEN HATTER); DAN BAYER (KATEBABY)