BY TERESA HAMMOND
Traci Codde knows a little bit about small towns and hard work. The Riverbank mother of two and Riverbank High Grad Night pioneer is now branching into the Oakdale business sector.
Codde, along with the help of her father, Norman Gilbert and a small village of supporters recently opened the doors to Momma’s Closet. Located at 139 N. First Ave., Oakdale, the shop offers a unique blend of old and new treasures. The newly opened shop is open 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Wednesday through Saturday and 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. Sunday.
“The vision came from … back in the south you can walk into the ricketiest buildings ever and they are gorgeous,” she noted of her findings while shopping in Tennessee during a trip to visit family. “They are mixed with new and old and vintage and you name it, they’re doing it. It gives it a different look and people are loving it.”
A previous vendor in the space, when under different ownership, Codde shared her shop hosts multiple vendors with a unique approach. Rather than have vendors separated by booths, all are blended throughout the shop offering a more traditional retail feeling to the space.
“Everything is tagged with the same tag so you have no idea there’s vendors in here,” she said of the shop’s assortment of home décor, furniture, wood signs and more. “It’s the vision of the way we’ve mixed everything together.”
The shop name, as well as the purple front door, however, are where the real story lies. Still employed in a professional career, the small shop was a dream Codde once shared with her mother, Barbara Gilbert. Codde lost her mother to pancreatic cancer in February 2017.
“This was her dream,” she said of her mother’s desire to have a shop. “She retired at 59 and this was something her and I were going to do together.
“I don’t know what her vision was,” she continued. “I just know what she wanted to do, was to do something like this.”
As a former vendor of the previous owner, Codde said when she learned of the shop vacancy she approached her father with the idea of bringing her mom’s dream to reality. Unsure of how his daughter would juggle her career as well as the retail space, Norman questioned his daughter’s ambition – briefly.
“Mom always said if you don’t leap, you don’t know,” she reminded her father.
And so, the two leaped.
The father/daughter team secured the space on Aug. 1 as new tenants, the shop was open for business Aug. 10.
“She’d be pretty stinking proud,” the current shop owner said with tear-filled eyes, noting her mom would also be surprised by Norman’s hands on involvement as the handyman. “She would be pretty amazed with all we did.”
But it could not have been done without the help of family and friends. As Codde looks ahead to the future success of the shop, she shared she’s encouraged by the foot traffic thus far from Cahoots to the south of her and Last Call Brewery to the north.
“It took a village,” she said. “I had friends, family … when you’re trying to pull something off like this, you call your peeps.”
And she also feels she has a bit of a guardian angel, in the form of her mom.
“She’s looking down and thinking wow, this is amazing.”
BY TERESA HAMMOND