[San Juan Silver Stage | Updated July 2020 | Kathryn R. Burke]
It’s hard to see happy faces when they’re covered by a mask. But you can hear the happy smiles, albeit a bit muffled, behind them in the cheerful greetings from customers, sales staff, and business owners. After the Covid shutdown, most downtown retail shops are open (although a few have permanently closed their doors). It’s a tough time for downtown merchants—they need all the shopper’s help they can get. So grab your credit cards and head downtown.
It’s not crowded! No need for shoulder-to-shoulder, in-your-face shopping. You’ll see old friends, and if you shop on Saturday, can stop by the Farmers’ Market on the way home. Any day of the week, you might want to combine your shopping trip with a nostalgic tour of the historic alleys, and check out the murals behind Main Street businesses. [Related story]
I recently took a walk downtown, starting in the 400 block at Tiffany’s Etc. and across the street to Little Flower Hemp Company. (Ginger Cat, which had been next door, is gone now, but a lot of the vendors went across the street to Coal Creek Trading, upstairs above Tiffany Etc.)
Shopping my way west, I crossed Cascade and wandered along the 300 block of East Main, stopping in at Mother Earth and Fabula, winding up at SheShe Boutique across the street. (Sadly, our favorite bookstore, Maggie’s, is now permanently closed, as is the adjoining Vine Bistro.) All of these shops and the Bistro were visited in our article last May when we did a girls’ shopping excursion, “Downtown Montrose, An Afternoon on Main Street. It was bustling a year ago, but fewer people now and some missing storefronts. We’re all hopeful it will soon be busy again as we try to get back up to some kind of (new) normal.
Montrose Center for the Arts. Corner East Main and S. Park. Staffed by volunteers (and home to San Juan Silver Stage!), the gallery features work by Ridgway Pastelist Barbara Kendrick. Her opening reception was held the first Friday of July. The gallery is open Tuesday – Saturday, 11 am – 5 pm. Classes are now being offered online and in the gallery. To learn more about the gallery, gift shop, and artists, visit their website.
Tiffany Etc., 439 E. Main. Owner, Glee Westcott, was happy to see people shop all three floors of this eclectic store which carries things for you—clothes, accessories, shoes; for your home—artwork, furnishings, and things for your home—home décor, candles, and silk flowers. During the mandatory store shutdown, Westcott, like many savvy business owners, came up with a clever way to let customers check out and buy new items. Through her Facebook Club, she posts new arrivals, inviting buyers to send her pictures of past (or present) purchases and earning a discount toward future purchases if their photos are used. Upstairs, the new Coal Creek Trading offers collectables, antiques, and art. The building has an interesting history (story here) as does owner Glee Westcott (profiled here). Visit Tiffany FB page for latest specials and store news.
Green Cupboard, 443 E. Main, staffed by volunteers, supports the food bank through Sharing Ministries. When you buy their jewelry and accessories, your purchase helps feed the hungry. The store’s buyer is a certified gemoligist, so the jewelry they carry is top quality yet still affordable. Green Cupboard also has pretty tops, scarves, leather bags and other accessories. Visit their website to learn more.
Heirlooms for Hospice, 435 E. Main. Staffed by volunteers, offers upscale resale shopping for a cause. Clothing, furniture, jewelry and accessories, home décor. All proceeds support HopeWest, a nonprofit organization. Their motto: “Through creativity, volunteerism, and philanthropy, Hope West profoundly changes the experiences of aging, illness, and grief—one family at a time.” To learn more about Heirlooms or make an online purchase to support Hospice, visit their website.
Little Flower Hemp Company, 428 E. Main. Owner, Peggy Baker. A family owned company with the “Colorado Proud” designation, Little Flower organically grows their own hemp and processes it in-house—from Crop to Drop. (We visited their farm last year, observing the process (read story here.) Their topical and ingestible whole plant extracts for humans and pets are small batch and hand-crafted with 0% to less than .03% THC. Little Flower also carries clothing and textile products including backpacks, duffle bags, and hats. The Main Street store is open limited hours, but “shopping online is open 24/7,” noted Baker. They also do home deliveries. Visit their website for information or to shop online.
Mother Earth, 321 East Main. Owner Christy Cole. Step inside to a dazzling array of ancient minerals and fossils, contemporary art, special lamps and lighting, and strings of colorful beads. The store also features jewelry derived from natural crystals, mineral beads, opals, topazes, and unique original designs and jewelry repairs by in-house jeweler, David LeBlanc. [Read more here.] Customers can “play” at the geode cracking station, looking for their own magical surprise. The building has a fascinating history. For nearly half a century—jewelry was made here by the DeVinnys, a family enterprise dating to 1926. Mother Earth also offers weekly instructional programs, which can be found on their Facebook Page.
Fabula, 317 E. Main. Owner Sonja Horn. Fabula is simply fabulous. It’s one of the most fun shopping experiences in Montrose. They’ve got everything to perk up you, your home, your family, your friends. Fabula carries gifts—and toys—for everyone of all ages, from little kids to grown-ups. The store’s selection of items for the home includes kitchen gadgets, tabletop, cookware, candles, soaps, and home décor. You’ll also find jewelry, handbags, hats, baby clothes, kitchen aprons, great socks, and a terrific collection of cards. If you’re suffering from Quarantine Blues, this is the perfect spot to find a cure. And if you’d rather not step inside, Fabula still has curbside service. Visit website.
SheShe Boutique, 340 E. Main. Owner Kimberly McGeehee. During Covid, McGeehee came up with live-streamed “fashion shows” on Facebook, a fun way to let you see how things look on a live model, not just a page on a website. Now that she’s open again, you’ll have a shop in-person and try on great outfits with lots of accessories including jewelry, handbags, scarves, even shoes! McGeehee and her staff will help you put all the right pieces together. She also has some lovely (and well-priced) body products, pretty soaps, fun charms. Visit her online, and check out her Social Media pages linked to her website.
It felt good to be able to walk the streets again, checking in at our favorite shops. “It’s good to be open again!” said all of the store owners, who are also making sure customers respect the rules and suggestions for Colorado’s “Safer-at-Home” program. Come on down to Main Street Montrose, stop for a visit, shop a little, and help celebrate being open again.
(FYI, At this time, face coverings are manditory in Colorado.)