For Linda Winter, ‘community’ reins downtown

From nonprofits to wigs, Accessories owner has it covered

Linda Winter has a propitious view of downtown Greeley from her lair at Accessories With a Flair! And Hair at 801 Eighth Ave. Propitious, perhaps, because the shop is near the hub of downtown activity, and certainly propitious because it has been her view for the past 23 years.

“Well, I’ve only had one meeting this morning, and that’s good,” said the DDA Board member, and perennial supporter of all things downtown and all things Greeley. It’s mid-morning, she said, and it was the only meeting scheduled for this morning, thankfully.

“This was the merchants association, so it’s good to know what’s going on around here,” said Winter, settling in behind a counter filled with plaques acknowledging decades of work promoting area events.

“We’ve created a community here. We exchange customers with each other and that’s important,” she said. “Most of the businesses here are privately owned, so that helps everyone.”

Winter grew up in Longmont, and came to Greeley to go to beauty school. A blind date with her husband, Richard Winter, and she was not only here to stay but to support anything and everything from Girl Scouts, booster clubs, the rodeo queen, women-in-business networking and about every downtown organization she could find.

Winter started her hair salon out at the family farm, about 10 miles outside of town and then opened the downtown studio, featuring the salon, a boutique, accessories, skin-care products, and, perhaps most importantly, wigs. The latter asset draws women not only from around Northern Colorado, but all around, as evidenced by a recent visit from a woman hailing from Sante Fe, New Mexico.

“There’s just not a lot of wig shops around, especially with someone there to trim them,” Winter said. “It’s a needed thing for people who are ill, and ladies who want to change their styles.”

The family used to farm more than 800 acres, but cut down its ownership to some 160 acres. Still, “it’s not a hobby farm,” she said.

Selling more than 500 wigs a year, Winter says that good hair is not necessarily cost-prohibitive. “They start at about $150, and after I trim them, they are often just as good a quality as those that cost $500 or more.”

But if there is one overriding concern for Winter, it’s her treasured downtown. It’s been a work in progress for decades, but one that has really taken hold in recent years.

“We built it into a community, and most of the  businesses are privately (and locally) owned,” she says. “When people come to visit your town, you aren’t going to take them to Walmart. They want to be down here where there’s all this diversity.”

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