It Takes a Village

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utahvalley360.com

Moving forward doesn’t always mean bigger, fancier, and different from the past.

The Village at Riverwoods, for many of its new residents, is smaller, simpler and similar to decades gone by.

This award-winning “walkable community” has attracted people of all ages, genders, backgrounds and goals. But one common thread is that living at the Village opens a new chapter for its residents.

Take John and April McKinney, who have turned the page and opened their empty nest chapter — and a new store, Color Me Mine.

Their new loft home, which wasn’t completed at press time, is situated directly over their art shop.

“We love the idea of being so close to our store, and to the other stores and restaurants around here,” April says.

The McKinneys lived in Orem in the early 1980s, and then moved to California where John worked as a businessman and CPA. After retiring, they began looking at Utah. Three of their four children live in Utah Valley, and they wanted to be closer to their kids and grandkids. They also wanted to go back to school. John is pursuing his MBA at BYU, while April is finishing her bachelor’s degree that she left unfinished years ago to raise a family.

Another one of their passions has been art and pottery. As they watched the Village unfold, they started to envision a life where they could live and work in the same place.

“Things began to fall into place for us, and we began planning our store and our loft home above it,” John says. Part of the charm for this urban living is drawn from John’s past.

“My grandfather lived above the grocery store that he owned,” John says. “We have come full circle now that we’re returning to his way of life.”

The loft unit above the store is approximately 2,000 square feet and includes double-high ceilings and large rooms. John, who confesses to being a technology buff, has installed video cameras in the store that he can monitor from his home office directly upstairs. “I want to be able to see what is going on down here — for security purposes but also for fun.”

The McKinneys have an obvious excitement for what they’re working toward.

“I love this new chapter of our lives,” April says. “I love being in school, I love being here at the store, and I love working with the customers.”

The McKinney’s children and other relatives also work at Color Me Mine. “It is nice because we all have our roles,” April says. Each family member has strengths, such as computer skills, people skills, finance background, etc., that make the business work.

The commute to work involves coming down the stairs and around the corner. No I-15 traffic, no shaving in the car.

Color Me Mine includes a separate “party room” for groups who want to create together. Groups have come in for bridal showers, baby showers and group activities.

Many of the McKinneys’ customers so far have been other residents of the Village, including Gary and Glenda Shumway, who were also looking for a way to simplify their lives.

At age 60, the Shumways were ready to start a new chapter. After raising six children — with the last one set to get married in August — they decided to sell their Orem house and find their “final home.”

Glenda became fascinated with The Village at Riverwoods and became a spokeswoman for the development at Provo City Council meetings. “I want to see this project succeed because I believe in it — obviously,” she says.

The Shumways held several garage sales and gave away a lot of their furniture to allow them to downsize into their new “flat.”

“Our new home feels more spacious than our old home, even though it’s smaller,” Glenda says. “The floor plan has open areas that allow us all to be together in the same room. I can have all my girls in the kitchen, and there is plenty of room.”

Glenda enjoys walking to her part-time job at Alard Jewelers.

“It is fun to help young couples and to be involved in the excitement of people’s lives,” Glenda says. “And it is so convenient for me to be so close to work.”

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