Kelly Piercey has filled her new Penn Valley business with many of the things she loves — a selection of bareMinerals makeup, bamboo clothing, Dermalogica Skin Care products and more.
“If they make me feel good, hopefully they’ll make other people feel good,” she said.
Kelly and her husband Todd opened Whim, a gift and beauty boutique, on April 1. The shop, which is located next door to Blue Cow Deli at 17562 Penn Valley Road, sells a variety of beauty and skin care products, clothes, jewelry and other accessories. The store is open from 10:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
The couple, who have been married for nearly two years, have long had their sights set on opening a business in the area. Kelly, who is originally from the Bay Area, has lived in Penn Valley since 2000; Todd, who is originally from Massachusetts, moved to Penn Valley in 2002.
Kelly used to operate Kelly Ann’s Day Spa in the Bay Area, and wanted to start a new venture in the beauty industry that allowed her to have more one-on-one customer interaction. Todd is a retired contractor who had all the necessary skills to help turn Kelly’s vision into a reality.
“This was always Kelly’s dream, a store like this,” Todd said.
But the process of opening Whim hasn’t been entirely smooth. The couple signed a lease on the storefront in September. About two weeks later, Kelly was diagnosed with breast cancer.
Her diagnosis came about six months after Todd was diagnosed with a cancerous tumor on one of his kidneys, and had to have the organ removed.
But the couple never thought about putting their plans for the business on hold, Todd said.
“This was a done deal,” he said. “She was going to get better and she was going to open the store, period.”
So Kelly began six months of radiation and chemotherapy. Todd served as her caretaker, with help from members of Kelly’s family. In the evenings, whenever he could, he would head over to the storefront and put in work on a major remodel of the space, which included installing new floors and raising the ceilings.
Kelly finished her treatment about three weeks ago — just in time for the couple to open Whim’s doors. It’s the couple’s commitment to each other — and to the business — that kept them focused on their goal, even over the past several challenging months, Kelly said.
“We’re just a really good team,” she said.
The couple, who split time in the store, said they’re already welcoming a steady stream of customers. Kelly said a popular feature has been her complimentary makeup consultation, where she’ll match the proper bareMinerals foundation to a customer’s skin tone.
One thing they’ve heard often from customers so far, Kelly said, is “Thank you for bringing this store to town.”
Many customers have told the couple they’re glad they don’t have to go down the hill to Roseville to find some of the products Whim offers.
“We’re thinking of renaming the store, ‘Thank god I don’t have to go to Macy’s,’” Todd joked.
The couple said they’re grateful for all the support they’ve received.
“The community has welcomed us with open arms,” Todd said.