Arts & Culture » Arts: Feature

Life on the Edge

Razorz Edge offers their customers (and their employees) the opportunity to express their individuality

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If you didn't go to Razorz Edge,

at 427 N. 4th Ave, in preparation for the festivities over the past few weekends, you messed up.

Upon stepping into the shop, you might think you've mistakenly walked into a Hot Topic. The most prominent clothing color is black. There is a fair amount of leather and scull paraphernalia on display. They've even got the T-shirts plastered with offensive sayings and edgy graphics.

But, spend no longer than thirty seconds in the Razorz Edge and you'll find that it is a far cry from your average Hot Topic.

Lauren Baker, owner of Razorz Edge along with partner Rachel Balls (yep, that's really her last name), did work at the popular alternative clothing chain for years and admits that she drew inspiration from their aesthetic. But Razorz Edge is more grown up, boutique-like and the feel is distinctly different.

First off, an employee will greet you, instantly, without fail. And they aren't the disinterested, gum smacking, dead-eyed sales associates that you find in the mall. These are people that actually seem to like their jobs.

Sarah Kingston is one of these rarities. With jet-black hair cut sharply at the bangs and thick eyeliner, she says that one day while perusing the shop, she was approached by Baker and asked to be a model for a photo shoot featuring some of their merchandise. After the shoot, she began working as a sales associate.

Sarah isn't the only one of their employees who has done modeling for the store. In fact, most of the staff has been featured on Razorz Edge's Buzz Blog. These habitual photo shoots originated previous to the store's opening. Before taking on the business, Baker was working with models who were wearing clothing that she was designing; similar clothing to what is sold in her store now. In the beginning she even sold some of her original pieces in the shop, but not anymore.

These days Baker isn't designing, instead she's consumed with keeping the store stocked with stylish, up to date merchandise. She says she discovers trends by surfing social media, finding out from her vendors which items are best-selling, going to trade shows and keeping an eye on what people are wearing.

Razorz Edge is located in the perfect spot for her to see what styles people on the street are sporting. Situated on 4th Ave., Baker says that she could think of no better place for her boutique to be. It fits in perfectly to the alternative culture that thrives on 4th. And the influx of business Baker says that they received directly following the inception of the streetcar certainly doesn't hurt.

The aim of Razorz Edge was to give customers an elevated experience that Baker didn't see people getting in other retail shops she worked in. As a local business, they don't take their customer's business for granted and those working in the store make that be known. Marissa Myers, who has been working at Razorz Edge for around four years, says that one of the reasons that those shopping at the boutique receive a better experience is because of how involved each employee actually is in keeping the business afloat. Whether that be by modeling or by aiding on the business end, she says that each person on their team feels important and works seamlessly together, making the staff more like family than associates.

Similarly, Marissa says she sees Razorz Edge as more than a job, rather, as a safe haven. A home, where her personal style is not judged, but encouraged.

"I can come to work wearing a bustier top and booty shorts if I wanted to," she says.

"I would never do that, but no one would say anything if I did."

The bottom line is, she says, "that I can be myself, and that is the best part of working here."

Those feelings, having the ability to express her individuality and not having to conform to any kind of dictation, are exactly what drove Baker to open the store in the first place.

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