Owner Catherine Richmond, left, and employee Leora McMullan with some of the many items available for purchase at Seeking Chameleon. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com
Treasures on the porch at Seeking Chameleon in White Rock. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com
By BONNIE J. GORDON
Los Alamos Daily Post
Catherine Richmond, owner of Seeking Chameleon, has always been a treasure seeker.
“If there’s something about it that I love, I want it!” she said. “I love making things and I’m attracted to stuff that can be used to make something wonderful. It’s a treasure hunt! Sharing things through the store is so rewarding. Being able to hold and admire the item while it’s in the shop is great but passing it on is even more fun.”
This is not your garden variety second-hand store. You might find almost anything at Seeking Chameleon, from jewelry to tools or from clothing to dishes, it’s all there.
Richmond opened the store in 2015 and has been at her current location since February 2017.
“I’m committed to the White Rock community,” she said. “Every day people thank me for being here.”
2020 was a challenging year as the store contended with closures, reduced hours and safety requirements due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Sales are down by half, Richmond said. A federal grant through the state provided relief. Richmond was able to hire Leora McMullan to assist her at the store in August. She’d been manning the store alone.
“Being here all the time cemented my relationships with my customers,” Richmond said. “But it’s great that Leora can take over and give me some time to myself.”
Richmond was disappointed to be shut down for two weeks in November by an upsurge of the pandemic, but happy she was able to pay McMullan for the entire two weeks.
There have been a few bright sides to the pandemic.
“I’ve gotten new customers because people don’t want to leave the Hill,” Richmond said. “Shopping has become a leisure activity. I’ve had numerous sales from my Facebook page, too. From older folks to kids, everyone can find something in the store. I’m especially proud of how many guy customers I have.”
During the pandemic, Richmond has trouble keeping sewing machines in stock.
“People are working on crafts and I love helping them find the right thing,” she said.
Things change every day at Seeking Chameleon as people bring items in.
“I strongly invite people to bring in their cleanouts,” Richmond said. “It doesn’t have to be vintage. People don’t realize that they can sell me their goods. No appointment is needed. Just bring in your items. I need new merchandise!”
What’s new at the store? Lots of new clothing from a department store closure and masks ranging from silly to elegant are two new items. There is talk of a new thrift shop in White Rock, but Richmond sees it as an opportunity to collaborate rather than as competition. The more businesses in White Rock, the better, she said.
Seeking Chameleon is having a sale with tons of merchandise at 20-30 percent off Jan. 26-30. The store is open 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday at 35H Rover Blvd. in the White Rock Commercial Center. Contact Seeking Chameleon at 505.412.0933.
Editor’s note: White Rock and Los Alamos businesses need community support now more than ever!
Glass treasures available at Seeking Chameleon in White Rock. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com
Pottery for sale at Seeking Chameleon in White Rock. Photo by Bonnie J. Gordon/ladailypost.com