Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Crazy Fox Beginning

Crazy Fox is two people (or is it are two people?).  The official corporate name of this 'Mom and Pop' business is Blue Cove Inc. which stands for the two owners, Maya Blue and her husband Cove.  Cove likes to say "I'm Crazy ... she's the Fox."

Maya and Cove met forty years ago on Haight Street in San Franciso and have been together ever since, most of that time working together in the 'schmatta' business.  At that time Cove was making marbleized fabric in Berkeley CA, as well as working doing continuous yardage silk screening in an old firehouse in west Oakland. Some of the fabric printing company's clients were young, up and coming designers like Betsy Johnson and a young fashion designer named Karen Alexander.  Karen also shared the old firehouse building with Cove's Firehouse Fabric Printers (screen printers).

Hand printed fabrics were wonderful but rather expensive to produce, especially for a small garment manufacturer.  So as our hand-made arty printing business declined, Karen Alexander's ready-to-wear clothing manufacturing business boomed.  Her first successful product was a very popular line of women's dresses called Foxy Lady.

With most manufacturing operations there is always some overage. In the garment business there is also the problem of what to do with the samples, returns, damages, refused shipments, previous season's overstock, and excess fabric, buttons, findings etc.  To make a long story short, Cove and Maya ended up acting as a jobber for the Foxy Lady line (Shady Grove Inc.) and selling the overstock at flea markets and swap meets all over the country.

              Maya Blue and Cove at the Common Market in Houston, Texas mid 1970s.

At different times during the 70s, Cove and Maya had a little store (Paradise Cove): ran trunk shows and sales; and travelled in their Volkswagen bus to flea markets.  As the 80s came along, it was time to move and leave the San Francisco Bay Area. But before leaving they had a brainstorming session with Maya's cousin "Flash" Gordon of the Haight-Asbury Free Clinic fame to determine a legit name for their women's clothing business. Since they were heading to Indian country (Santa Fe), it was Flash who put together the brand Foxy Lady and the phrase 'crazy like a fox' and ended up with the name "Crazy Fox."

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Crazy Fox - Santa Fe

Crazy Fox street view downtown Santa Fe, NM in Santa Fe Village.

Crazy Fox has been in the same building for almost 30 years now.  The "Village" as it is called is an old car dealership that was converted to the first Santa Fe mall in the early seventies.  It is a funky mix of old time local small business.   The history of the building and its tenants would make a great blog in and of itself.

There are very few shops in Santa Fe that have been in the same location and under the same ownership for 30 years ... Crazy Fox is one of them.  

This Blog will feature both the story of Crazy Fox and the story of small clothing stores in Santa Fe - "The City Different." 

Friday, March 11, 2011

Crazy Fox - on Don Gaspar in Santa Fe

Don Gaspar Avenue in an undated photo.

Crazy Fox is an "outlet store" for woman's clothing on Don Gaspar Avenue between Alameda and Water St. in the histortic downtown Santa Fe.

The street was named after Don Gaspar Ortiz y Alarid.  He was a local young man who was an officer in the Mexican army when Santa Fe was part of Mexico in the 1840s.  Don Gaspar became a wealthy property owner through his trading activities with Americans, Mexican and Indians. It is said that the area was used to grow corn and was the site of the first bridge over the Santa Fe river.     

Crazy Fox
227 Don Gaspar 
Santa Fe, NM   87501
505 989-7935
crazyfoxsantafe@earthlink. net