Sacramento's Trumpette, the upscale baby clothing and toy store in the Pavilions Shopping Center, will move June 1 to a building on I Street near 20th, a place where many family portraits were taken for six decades.
If you guessed the building once belonged to Sirlin Photographers, you get a gold star. It went up for sale after founder Ted Sirlin died in 2009, and in one of life's little twists, Trumpette owner Jon Stevenson made a startling, post- purchase discovery about Sirlin's widow, Theda.
"She lives across the street from me," he said, "and I bought her building, and my dogs get walked by her house every day. Isn't it funny?"
Stevenson began work Friday to add two doors on the building's I Street facade. The second floor is home to Trumpette's headquarters, formerly on Old Placerville Road. The consolidation, Stevenson said, reflects that business is growing fastest in wholesale.
His contemporary designs are sold under the Trumpette brand in 24 countries by retailers such as Barney's and Nordstrom. Now he's knocking off Trumpette with low-cost Trumpette Too to fend off copycats at discount retailers.
"We're broadening out, and we're getting more brand recognition," Stevenson said, even among celebrity couples such as Brangelina and TomKat, whose kiddies have sported Trumpette.
For the last five years, he said, revenue has doubled every year, grossing "in the millions." Stevenson, also Trumpette's lead designer, markets signature socks, including models that look like Mary Janes, skater shoes or ballet flats. Other products are shoes and Schleppbags (not just for diapers). Look for new product lines for home and men.
In less than a decade, attorney David Girard has opened a winery that bears his name, won critical praise for his distinctive Rhône varietals and lured thousands of consumers annually to his vineyard outside Placerville.
It was no mean feat for a man whose life's work has been in the legal field, representing schools and colleges on regulatory and contract matters.
You might expect this experience to give Girard an edge as a small businessman dealing with county regulation.
Instead, his situation has taken its own twist, and in this case it hasn't been little, but lengthy.
Girard has been waiting since October 2010 for El Dorado County's permission to increase the number of events he can hold. He is hoping to grow his business and is building a $1 million-plus event center, set to open in July.
"We figured we could put together a package for a corporation or organization where they could have a day of rafting and team-building," Girard said, "or they could go to Tahoe and come back here."
Boutique wineries, he explained, make 80 percent of sales on site, where they get the best profit margins.
Girard wants to hold concerts in an outdoor stage area that isn't zoned for winery use, said Pierre Rivas of El Dorado County Planning Services. He said staff members will advise the Planning Commission on June 14 to allow 100 events, up from 25, on existing winery property where the events center is being built.
Outdoor concerts have prompted some neighbors to log complaints about noise, though others told me they don't mind the music.
Rivas said the staff will advise that 48 of the 100 events be allowed on the open-air stage if Girard gets a property line adjustment. He must comply with noise codes, though.
"They told me that concerts would have to end at 7 p.m.," Girard said. "I said, ' Concerts don't start until 7 p.m.' "
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As a newly minted columnist, my life has taken its own little twist, and it comes with a humbling lesson.
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