By Barry Barbe
Success in the retail business requires much more than stocking the shelves, flipping over the open sign, and filling the till.
In an age of dwindling brick and mortar stores due to Amazon and other on line “conveniences”, success in the industry requires creativity, savvy business operations, and determination. Add in a heavy dash of entrepreneur spirit, and work ethic that puts most to shame, and you get Sara Murray, owner of Prescott fixture, “Fancy That!” on both sides of Granite Street.
Earning her degree in Interior Design at Grand Canyon University, Sara’s first gig was selling furniture in Scottsdale. “Back then, the store focused on Sofas and other large furniture, and I realized no one was offering home accessories, artwork and what not to complete the look.” Sara Says.
Along with her husband, Dan at the time a Tempe Policeman, began offering window treatments and installations before opening their first “Fancy That” in 1985 at Southern and McClintock.
The couple met a few years prior, with Dan teaching Sara how to drive and their first dance to “Sara Smile” at a St Simon and Jude Dance during the summer of ‘76. They’ve been together ever since.
While in the valley, the couple began cultivating a unique look that was over time has become easily identifiable, opening their first Fancy That! in 1985.
“We did pop up stores in empty spaces, had several stores in the valley, as well as kiosks, offering everything from T-shirts, that I designed, and a variety of home décor and jewelry.” Sara Says. And Dan was right there. “I was kind of the courier of the operations. Running between locations, delivering, assembly, and stocking, and now, most of the bookkeeping.” Dan says.
Now a family of three, with daughter Amanda, the family began looking north for a slower pace and new challenge. That was 2001 moving fulltime to Prescott in 2003.
Since that time, Fancy That! has become known for providing an eclectic and distinct ly casual sophisticated collection with a nod to the Ranch and Western Lifestyle and a fair bit of Americana thrown in that appeals to residents and tourists alike from a variety of backgrounds.
Having grown up in the family business, Amanda, and Sara share a variety of responsibilities from manning the register, working the floor and going to market to find new and interesting items.<br />
“We can go to market, go our separate ways, and meet holding the same item saying “this is great” – Amanda says.
“After so many years of going to market, and working together, we both have our favorite lines, but together are able to create a cohesive look to the store and merchandise to fit a variety of demographics and ages.” Sara adds
If you have not been to Fancy That!, you have most likely seen their name at any number of local nonprofit events and raffles to which they contribute gift baskets as well as volunteer their time.
“We really appreciate being able to contribute to the community through supporting a variety of programs.”<br />
“When we began participating in Acker Night, we went all out. We obviously had music, but we also had a fire pit, S’mores and hot chocolate, and at the end of the night, we were like “There has to be a way to make a bigger impact then the tip jar.” Sara says.
Enter the Annual Acker Scarf.
Starting with 200 scarves in 2015, the number has grown to 1,500 over the last several years.
“We pay for the scarves, and sell them for $10.00 beginning at noon at Fancy That! on Acker Night. They are only available that day, no preorders, a different design every year, and they always sell out – with 100% of proceeds going directly to the Acker Scholarship Program.”
“Not only do we get to write a nice check in support of the scholarship program, we also get to add to the sense of community that Acker Night is all about. It’s great to see 1,500 people walking around knowing that they made a donation to the success of the night by participating in our scarf program. It’s also a symbolic way to bring us together as a community.” – Sara Says
Fancy That!, and The Annual Acker Scarf – wrapping community in the holiday spirit.
124 & 109 S. Granite Street