When you walk into Ramble on Pearl, located on 16th and Pearl Street in downtown Boulder, Colorado, you see a wide range of premier active lifestyle clothing. You see high-end interior design. You see a retail business. But Ramble on Pearl is not in the retail business.
Ramble on Pearl is in the changing lives business. Ramble on Pearl is operated by the non-profit organization Boulder Treasures, founded by Andy and Connie Minden. Their story is one that shatters perspective, it awakens what truly matters in life, and it realizes possibility and opportunity.
Ramble on Pearl is the storefront of a mission conceived out of frustration. Andy and Connie moved to Boulder hoping it offered the life they envisioned for their daughter, Kendra, who has developmental disabilities. While in many respects Boulder seemed an ideal community for their daughter, frustration swelled from the fact that Kendra and her peers were struggling to find jobs, though perfectly capable of independent employment.
On a women’s retreat in 2012, Connie had her revelation,
“One of the speakers was talking about how you come to a time in life when you should look outside of your own family, outside of your church, and look for a need in the community where you can make a difference. I was just really struck by that. I told Andy we have to be the ones to make that difference, to make that change.”
Two months after that retreat, the beginning concept of Boulder Treasures was launched and they were on the path to incorporation and setting up their store and apprenticeship program. At Ramble on Pearl, job coaches train hard and soft job skills as a pathway to independent employment in and around the Boulder Community. The Minden’s held Boulder Treasure’s four-year anniversary since formally launching their apprenticeship program only a couple weeks ago, where present students, graduates, brand partners, and board members converged inside Ramble for an evening of celebration.
Students and graduates seemed to take turns all night hugging Andy and Connie, each with a squeeze cemented by gratitude. Andy and Connie eventually broke from hugs long enough to get up in front of the crowd for an outpouring of their own gratitude. Connie’s hands didn’t leave her heart in an emphatic message that Ramble on Pearl could not go on without the Boulder community.
Ramble on Pearl is able to place graduates in jobs that fit their skill set and enjoy long-term success thanks to willing and open-minded employers. And they are able to offer brand new, high-end apparel at prices customers can’t find elsewhere thanks to donations from a long list of brand partners.
For more on Boulder Treasures, Ramble, plans moving forward, and how you can support their mission, please enjoy this interview with Andy and Connie:
Connie, you mentioned this kind of revelation on the retreat. How soon after that retreat did you start Boulder Treasures?