DENVER | Hope Tank, a staple of South Broadway in Denver, is closing its doors.
The vibrant shop has been selling gifts and highlighting local nonprofits for almost a decade.
“This is going to be the last holiday season for us in the store in this way,” says owner and founder Erika Righter. “The factors that have led to this change are layered.”
Righter says the biggest factor is the simplest: It comes down to “business.” Increased online shopping and lessened foot traffic have left Hope Tank with a decline in sales. And while sales decreased, commercial rent for the shop in a popular Denver neighborhood increased due to a new landlord.
“We did not know we were getting a new landlord,” says Righter, “and that’s a big conversation point that we need to have. I don’t really hear people talking about commercial spaces…and I think that the small business community is often left out of that conversation.”
Hope Tank is looking for a new brick and mortar location, but the shop won’t exist in the same way it does now. Righter envisions more of a hybrid space, where she can hold community events, expand her consulting business, and focus on new ventures, like writing for popular Denver alt-weekly magazine Westword as a small business feature writer.
She also plans to use the space as a workshop. During COVID-19, Righter bought a laser cutter and began creating wood laser products. She says she’ll continue creating and selling those wood pieces, as well as themed gift boxes, which have been a huge hit over the past year. Righter said she plans to use the new space to house the products and create the boxes, which will be available for purchase online.
Righter is looking all over Denver for a new space and is drawn to neighborhoods that have incentives for new businesses.
“I’m excited to pour into a new community, where we can really be of service and make an impact,” Righter says.
Though the new change happened quickly, Righter is in good spirits and will look back on her time at the south Broadway shop fondly. “I’m super proud of what we’ve been able to accomplish. We are a little, tiny business,” Righter said. “I’m really proud that we’re a space that nurtures people’s inherent activism, if you will. That will always continue.”
“I don’t want anyone to feel like the work stops,” she continued. “It’s just that the store is changing.”
Hope Tank is planning on closing its doors by February 1st, 2022. Until then, each sale continues to support a local nonprofit.