We had the good fortune of connecting with Monica Barrett and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Monica, how has your background shaped the person you are today?
I was born and raised in Colorado. But that isn’t where my story begins. My parents are immigrants from the former Soviet Union, my mom from Belarus and my Dad from Ukraine. I would say that is the part of the background that makes the most impact on who I am today. My parents came as teenagers, but with the help of their parents and their community, they developed the work ethic that has become synonymous with immigrants. They came without any money and barely any language. They had a wonderful community here that supported them and parents that both loved and pushed them to be their best. They each found a profession through the local technical school, my mom headed to corporate America and my dad to watchmaking. Right Time Watches was born when I was a very young child, and it has been my second home for as long as I can remember. Growing up I held many jobs, working at the ice rink, retail, child care, the golf course, and so many more. No matter where I worked, I typically still spend at least once a week at the store. It was where I grew up, a part of me. I always felt like Right Time was a part of me, and I a part of it. Mostly because, even when I was young, I was given a lot of responsibility, but also the freedom to make decisions. I was empowered to make real, important, decisions for the store, and I never took that lightly. It has been amazing, as Right Time grows to see the little footprint that is my own that I have made. The little piece of a much bigger whole that is the impact that I have made. It is also cool to see that from my siblings as well. I like to thank my family heritage for this, but I know it is more special than even that, my siblings and I are best friends. We actually like and respect each other and enjoy spending time together. That makes work so much more meaningful and keeping Right Time growing that much more important. So yeah, Right Time is a part of my family. But really, it is my family that makes Right Time what it is. By extension, the employees that aren’t actually part of our biological family, are part of the Right Time family and share a special connection with us and with our customers. We aren’t the biggest watch store in town, nor do we sell the most expensive watches, but we absolutely have the BEST customers in town, and I like to think that we attract them in some way 🙂
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
We have a family watch store called Right Time Watches. It was started by my father when he was young and fairly fresh out of watchmaking school. After doing trade work from home for some time, he was finally able to open his own store on Colorado Blvd. He was so young looking at the time, that he often pretended to confer with an older gentleman that worked for him, since customers thought he was too young to know himself. I remember him spending many late nights working in our basement on watches that had to be repaired for trade or for his own customers. Once he had his own store with customers, he couldn’t do watch repair during the day. He steadily grew his business taking on new watch brands that Colorado or sometimes even the United States had never seen, and even opened a location in Cherry Creek Mall for some time. My mom left corporate America in 2001 to come to the store. Her incredible sales skills helped propel the store forward, as well as myself and my siblings joining full time. In 2007 we opened our flagship location which I am currently writing to you from. My personal challenges come from managing a store as well as my family at home. The time management is extremely difficult to master. It takes a new found resolve to be more efficient in the time that I do have at the store, as well as enjoy more fully the time that I spend with my family. I have the support of my entire family, for which I am thankful. I can’t imagine how my parents did it without siblings! We want the world to know that at Right Time, we want to make every visit a special experience. We aren’t wearing suits and serving champagne (although happy to pour some upon request), but we do work hard to know as much as we can about watches so that when you come visit, we can really help you find the watch that is perfect for your needs that day. We love working with our customers and they truly do become our family. We love that they come to visit us, not always to buy a watch, but sometimes just because they want to come hang out. Events here are so much fun! We love to go all out. We have a South Platte River cleanup coming up with our brand Oris and a Challenger Race at Bandemere coming up with a brand called Reservoir. Our brands are also what make us unique. We don’t carry the brands that you may see at a Jewelry store, or that you have even heard of sometimes. Since the beginning, we have looked for small, independent brands to make up most of our inventory. We love finding something new to introduce our customers to. These are the brands that make up the heart and soul of our industry. We love when watch really and truly connects with the customer. When they walk out smiling from ear to ear, and better yet, when they send us proud photos later on.
We call them #happywrists When someone makes a purchase for something like a watch, we really want make certain that the watch brings them joy. We understand that watches are mainly a want and that people work hard for their money. When they choose to spend it with us, we want the watch to always bring a smile to their face. Some people reading this might thing I sound crazy, but we have converted many previously non-watch people into “watch people”
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
I love this! We have a sister from a family owned watch store in Winter Park, Florida coming to visit us. We are absolutely going to show her everything Colorado has to offer. Monday–We start local. Head to Early Bird in the Landmark for bomb breakfast (with GF options!) and a blackberry juice
We always take our guests up to Red Rocks, because if they can’t catch a show here, they have to at least experience the energy. We hike the surrounding area and end up at the top of the stairs, overlooking the city. Love the combination of people enjoying the view, tourists, people working out, and everyone else that ends up at Red Rocks on any given day.
Save up for dinner at the Fort, since you kind of have to try to eat some buffalo, elk and Rocky Mountain Oysters. I love the peanut butter stuffed jalapenos personally! A walk around downtown Morrison to finish off the evening
Tuesday–Kick of breakfast at Snooze, because the wait is shorter on a Tuesday Then we head to the Springs for a mini tour. Love the dark cave tour at the Cave of the Winds, a jaunt through Garden of the Gods, and finish up at the Cheyenne Mountain Zoo. Love this zoo! Love the layout on the mountain which make it feel so distinctly Colorado. If you aren’t hiking up to the next zoo exhibit are you even in Colorado?
Dinner at the Broadmoor, because it is fancy and fun! Stroll around the ground of the hotel after dinner
Wednesday–Head up to the hills! Hit a quick breakfast at First Watch then West we go. I love the Boat so I am taking my friends to Steamboat to catch the last little bit of Spring Skiing. Dinner on the mountain at the Truffle Pig–bacon wrapped dates are everything. Walk around main street for cocktails and boutique peeping
Thursday–Another ski day! Start with breakfast at Yampa Valley Kitchen—Great beverage options with or without alcohol! Love the Wagyu steak and eggs. Also very Gluten friendly. Hit the mountain for a full day of fun! Finish off with an early Dinner at Cafe Diva at the base of the mountain. Then head out to Strawberry Hot Springs to catch sunset on the river. That is an all evening hangout. You can even stay in a little cabin at the Springs if you plan enough ahead of time.
Friday–Breakfast at Creekside, then a hike up to Fish Creek Falls. A skate at the ice rink with some on ice bumper car action! Head back down toward Denver–Hot Sulpher Springs on the way. Dinner at the Tabernash Grill. Stay the night in Winter Park
Saturday–Maybe just a quick breakfast smoothie to save up for lunch on top of the Mountain at the Sunspot. Ski the rest of the day. Head back down to Denver
Sunday–Brunch at my fave Root Down! Have to try the carrot soup with pear chutney–it is everything. Spend the day downtown walking, maybe a stop at the Oxford Hotel for a spa visit! Dinner at Atelier by Radex on 17th!
That would be the Colorado trip that I recommend! Of course there are so many options!
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
I would love to give a shoutout to the Colorado Immigrant community. Different years, different global events, mean that the waves of immigrants change throughout the years. They come from different parts of the world, often speak different languages, have diverse skin colors, and incredible cultures. But one constant remains the same, they bring with them a little piece of their home.
They make our American culture so much better by doing so. They add color and beauty and spice to our lives. I am grateful that America took in immigrants when my parents came, and I hope they continue to do so forever moving forward. Immigrants are the backbone of our nation. We began as immigrants and we should always be welcoming immigrants. Some of the things I am most proud of in my life are because of my immigrant parents. Thank you immigrants for taking the ultimate risk, for moving home, for leaving behind home and coming here to start a new in a place that might be completely different from home and in a language not native to you. I am continuously inspired by the strength you have.
Other: We also have an IG handle called ColoradoWatchGirls that is a bit more personal than the regular IG page.