Three blondes, one bright idea

Gretchen Couch pauses for a photo with her husband, Jamie, outside Three blondes, one bright idea in Payette.

In April 2014, Gretchen Couch and two friends, Cami McCaslin and Grace Slate decided to check out a few local vintage furniture and shabby chic sales. Two things stood out to them: These sales were super popular with women and the prices were super high.

The three of them got to thinking:

“As we drove around an idea started brewing in my head and the three of us decided we should spend the next few months painting furniture and creating and then have our own sale in the fall. We wanted to offer beautiful pieces at affordable prices,” Couch said.

We worked all summer on pieces, came up with a catchy name, and that September we held our first ‘Shabby Chic Yard Boutique.’”

The venture proved successful, with Couch having to block off her driveway until opening time each day.

During their first year in business, a special project helped steer Couch toward a new business model:

“Sometime during the first year two clients asked me to paint something for them,” said Couch. “I was very hesitant to paint furniture that belonged to someone- what if I messed it up? Both clients were adamant they wanted me to do this so I stepped way out of my comfort zone and took the challenge. Since I took on those first two pieces I have never had a month without custom orders. Some months I would have [five or six] items lined up to complete.”

During the next four years, each of these women saw life outside their business move on massively, with McCaslin and Slate taking on family responsibility which saw Couch taking the reins solo. By December 2018, she had the idea to open a store around their hme decor business.

On Sep. 19, the idea became, ‘Three blondes, one bright idea,’ with Payette Chamber of Commerce celebrating the day with a ribbon cutting.

Owned by Couch, this home decor boutique is only open two weekends each month. Couch says she needs the rest of the month to get orders filled.

“This allows me time to find pieces, paint, and restock, as well as create unique displays for each monthís opening. My husband is a huge part of this process though he prefers to stay behind the scenes.”

This and the fact that Couch also works at Ontario Animal Hospital as a full-time Veterinary Technician.

Couch chose the name to honor her friends, who she credits as a key component of her concept.

“I chose to keep the name because I thought it only right to pay homage to how we started. Grace and Cami will always be a part of Three Blondes.”

Couch also tries to bring in new items each month, “so it will never be the same from month to month.”

Three blondes, one bright idea next opens on Nov. 1 from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Nov 2, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., and again the following weekend during those hours.

You can find Couch on Facebook by searching ‘Three blondes, one bright idea,’ and on Instagram at @threeblondesonebrightidea.

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