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Enterprising Spirit: Perry Street boutique Veda Lux innovates by returning to roots

A little vintage suitcase arrived on Rebecca Daignault-Walker’s doorstep a couple weeks ago, and she said opening it was like Christmas morning.

“It was like opening up your favorite toy like you knew you’re going to get on Christmas Day,” Daignault-Walker said. “It was something you’d seen in your parents’ closet and you’re like, ‘I know I’m going to get this. I’m so psyched to open it up.’ ”

A longtime customer, Daignault-Walker was a guinea pig for Veda Lux’s “snack pack” program, where the Spokane boutique asks several personal style questions and delivers a suitcase to the customer’s front porch with plenty of styles to try on.

The customer keeps what they like and returns what they don’t within a week. Daignault-Walker kept about two-thirds of her snack pack. This program is still in its trial period, and demand has been high, Veda Lux owner Summer Hightower said.

For Hightower, the pandemic has made her innovate in ways she hadn’t previously imagined.

“I started my tiny little business slinging jewelry out of a suitcase, in parks, wherever,” Hightower said. “And now we’re coming onto like 10 years I did this with zero loans, and I had to go back to my roots and be like, you know what, this is super scary. But I am going to hustle harder than I ever have.”

Veda Lux is a tiny boutique on South Perry that sells vintage threads, unique goods and jewelry handmade by Hightower. Customers go into Veda Lux to be styled by the employees, and Hightower wasn’t sure how to recreate that experience without being able to have people in her store.

“People want to come to the store for the experience to get styled, to get that look dialed for them with the accessories,” Hightower said. “It’s a whole magical experience, and people know my store for that.”

The Veda Lux Snack Pack is Hightower’s latest venture to recreate that experience, but not the only. Veda Lux has long had a website, but Hightower admits she wasn’t doing much with it. When businesses closed, she knew that would have to change quickly. She also made the decision that she was not going to lay off any of her employees, so they all got to work.

Instead of simply listing all of her products online, she began to group different products together as gift packages.

“I had to kind of think, ‘OK, what are people’s experiences when they come into my store?’ ” Hightower said. “Most people aren’t coming in there and looking through all these products, trying to figure out like the perfectly curated gift. We help you, we’re there to style, we’re there to curate and show you things that look great together. And so that’s what I wanted to implement into my website.”

An example is the Love Energy Gift Set, which comes with a sage protection kit, rose quartz bracelet, an artist-made sticker, enamel key chain, plantable wildflower greeting card, rose quartz palm gemstone, rose quartz ear huggies and a large raw rose quartz long necklace.

“People are looking for something to make them feel good right now,” Hightower said. “It’s kind of like, support a local business, local artists and also get something to make yourself feel good and feel pretty.”

She also did Mother’s Day gift packages and teamed up with a local florist to have bouquets with each.

Looking ahead, Hightower said Veda Lux won’t reopen until everyone feels safe.

“I want my girls to be safe,” Hightower said. “I want to feel safe. I want people’s parents to feel safe. If they say we can open on June 1 and we’re not ready, we’re not going to.”

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