LB - Yavapai Herbal Services

Home | Classifieds | Place Ad | Public Notices | Galleries | Kudos | Obits | Real Estate | Subscriber Services | Villager | Health Directory | Contact Us
The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : features : business & economy May 29, 2016

1/23/2013 8:08:00 AM
Fashion Crossroads going out of business
One of first retail stores in Verde Valley Plaza
Gladys Bridgewater is closing down Fashion Crossroads in Cottonwood’s Verde Valley Plaza after three and a half decades in business. VVN/Philip Wright
Gladys Bridgewater is closing down Fashion Crossroads in Cottonwood’s Verde Valley Plaza after three and a half decades in business. VVN/Philip Wright
The Bridgewaters opened Mode O’Day in the 1970s in Cottonwood. Its name changed to Fashion Crossroads in 1981, and the store became a business fixture.
The Bridgewaters opened Mode O’Day in the 1970s in Cottonwood. Its name changed to Fashion Crossroads in 1981, and the store became a business fixture.

Philip Wright
Staff Reporter

COTTONWOOD - Gladys Bridgewater doesn't remember the exact year during the 1970s when she and her husband Dick opened Mode O' Day in Cottonwood's Verde Valley Plaza, but she remembers a lot about what was going on then.

Gerald Ford was president of the United States. Love Boat, Happy Days and Little House on the Prairie were all on television. The population of Cottonwood was about 2,500 and many of those residents were wearing bellbottoms and maxi dresses, and they were paying 5 percent sales tax. Maybe the biggest change from that time is that the town now has stoplights.

Gladys said that her husband Dick had applied for the Mode O' Day franchise without her knowing.

"I didn't know until I got a call and they wanted to come interview me," she said.

The interview worked out, and Gladys became the owner of her own Mode O' Day retail store.

"When the shopping center was first built we were one of the first stores," Gladys said.

Mode O' Day had 800 stores nationally when Gladys opened her Cottonwood store.

Verde Valley Plaza was the first shopping center in Cottonwood. Driving through the shopping center back then one would pass Babbitts grocery and department store, Thrifty Drug, Sprouse Reitz and Pizza Hut.

Gladys said those days were a time of personal customer service, and people shopped for the experience of seeing the clothes and being able to touch the fabric and learn about what was new in the fashion world. She said women came from all over the Verde Valley to shop at Mode O' Day.

Then, in 1981, Mode O' Day became Fashion Crossroads, and the Bridgewaters expanded their store.

Gladys and Dick had three daughters, twins Rena and Renee' and younger sister Robin. All three girls graduated from Mingus Union High School and all three worked in the store during high school after school and Saturdays.

"We expanded when we took the new name," Gladys said.

She explained that there was a vacant space next door, which doubled the size of the store.

After the girls left college and Cottonwood, they still came home in March each year to help Gladys take inventory in the store.

"The girls and I were talking about the fun we've had over the years," Gladys said.

Dick passed away a couple of years ago.

"We lost one twin (Renee') just before we lost my husband," Gladys said.

Gladys kept the store open and profitable through all of the changes Cottonwood and the economy went through. She worried about staying open when Wal-Mart came to town.

"I was fearful they'd put me out of business," she said.

But she was able to survive that and the addition of two more shopping plazas in town.

By 2000, the Internet was becoming more prevalent and online shopping was becoming more popular. In addition, the big mega stores and online outlets were creating new competition for Fashion Crossroads.

Fashion Crossroads officially closed Dec. 21, but Gladys is keeping the store open from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. long enough to sell off the remaining inventory and the store's fixtures.

Gladys and her daughters said they are so grateful for the support the family received over the years.

"It is hard for me to give up what I do, because I love it," Gladys said. "I love my customers."

Taylor Waste

    Most Viewed     Recently Commented
•   Man trapped in wrecked vehicle for three days on Mingus Mountain (8067 views)

•   Marana man suffers skull injury, brain bleed following ATV crash (3511 views)

•   Blaze erupts from panel van at gas station (2619 views)

•   Man arrested on numerous charges after crashing stolen motorcycle (2576 views)

•   Smoke on the mountain, where lighting struck repeatedly (1877 views)

Reader Comments

Posted: Saturday, January 26, 2013
Article comment by: Elaine Farr

I'm sad to see you're going out of business, you've been a wonderful business in our town. Good luck in your new adventures

Posted: Thursday, January 24, 2013
Article comment by: Valerie Myers

Thank you for writing such a wonderful article about Gladys. Members of my family have been shopping with Gladys since 1975 when we moved back to Cottonwood. I moved in 1990 and still went to see Gladys everytime I got the chance when I was in town. I now live out of state and make a point to always go see Gladys when I fly home. She is one terrific lady and I will miss seeing her beautiful face when I go to Cottonwood. May God bless her and the girls as she sets out on a new journey. I love you Gladys! Take Care.
Valerie Myers

Article Comment Submission Form
Comments are not posted immediately. Submissions must adhere to our Use of Service Terms of Use agreement. Rambling or nonsensical comments may not be posted. Comments are limited to Facebook character limits. In order for us to reasonably manage this feature we may limit excessive comment entries.
Submit an Article Comment
First Name:
Last Name:
Anti-SPAM Passcode Click here to see a new mix of characters.
This is an anti-SPAM device. It is not case sensitive.

Advanced Search

HSE - We want to hear from you
HSE - Father Son Look a Like Contest
HSE - Readers Choice 300x100
Find more about Weather in Cottonwood, AZ
Click for weather forecast

Submission Links
 •  Submit your feedback about our site

Find It Features Blogs Celebrate Submit Extras Other Publications Local Listings
Classifieds | Place Ad | Galleries | Kudos | Real Estate | Subscriber Services | e-News | RSS | Site Map | Find Verde Jobs | Contact Us
LB - Coldwell Banker 1019

© Copyright 2016 Western News&Info, Inc.® The Verde Independent is the information source for Cottonwood and Verde Valley area communities in Northern Arizona. Original content may not be reprinted or distributed without the written permission of Western News&Info, Inc.® Verde News Online is a service of WNI. By using the Site, ®, you agree to abide and be bound by the Site's terms of use and Privacy Policy, which prohibit commercial use of any information on the Site. Click here to submit your questions, comments or suggestions. Verde News Online is a proud publication of Western News&Info Inc.® All Rights Reserved.

Software © 1998-2016 1up! Software, All Rights Reserved