Making the Transition from New York to Bozeman This Holiday Season

Andrew Jefferis

Making the transition from New York to Bozeman was nothing short of radical. Shopping goes beyond existing as its own language in such a grand metropolis; shopping is a sport and a coveted one at that. Whether you recognize it or not, shopping is an experience and that experience is tailored to you based on where you choose to invest. Find yourself in Gucci or Dior, you should expect to be offered champagne on your endeavor to find the best suit or dress. Find yourself in JC Penny, you should expect to find items misplaced on racks or screaming children running through the various isles. All in all, experience is pivotal to the retail industry and customers value that, whether it's on the forefront of their mind or not. Some particular Bozeman transplants may understand this and with the holidays coming fourth, should big-name department stores continue to be our go-to? How about the experiences we have in local boutiques in town?

Looking largely at the retail stores located in Bozeman, locals are offered quite a lot in such a small area. We fall short of luxury brands although Schnee’s downtown carries Canada Goose for both men and women; Revolr and Evrgreen downtown carry contemporary Netherlands brand Scotch & Soda. Sure, you can pick yourself up something decent from Kohl’s, Macy’s or Target too but let’s pull our focus in on the local shoppes that deserve more recognition.

Collective by Dawn Josephine, centered in downtown Bozeman, is one example of how a local shopping destination can offer impeccable homemade craftsmanship, high-end furniture, and luxurious accessories minus the label. Her three lines of distinctive jewelry capture the essence of Montana; some with the choice of being one-of-a-kind, embezzled with precious/semi-precious gemstones with sterling silver and gold hand wiring wrapping, or simply, a vintage flare. The artists she selects all come from her worldly travels where she pinpoints unique, quality products with affordable pricing.

If you’re interested in quality furniture, all Dawn Josephine Furniture is handmade in the USA with 80% of the materials having been derived from within the United States. You can choose from over 300 fabrics, frame, leg and arm styles, wood and nailhead finishes to cushion firmness and throw pillow design. In-home consultations are free when you select furniture from Dawn Josephine’s store! This kind of experience immediately sets you apart from non-independent retailers in the city. Collective by Dawn Josephine longs for you to have personable experience; your delight in choosing a local establishment over a big-name brand ensures their success. I highly recommend Dawn’s boutique; the unique pieces you can find are stylish, modern and alluring in their design. Moreover, the candles are far better than those you can find at Anthropologie.

If somebody can’t seem to find something on someone’s wishlist here in Bozeman, it would make sense to run away to the world of deep online shopping. Purchasing clothing on the web amongst other goods we probably don’t need is one of the first things people do when they type into their search bar. Lately, FashionNova has become extremely popular amongst the younger demographic as well as Tobi, ASOS, TopMan, TopShop, Pretty Little Thing US, and Revolve. I have definitely had to turn to online shopping due to the fact that Bozeman’s selection isn’t as voluminous as other major cities. With that being said, I decided to rethink my approach to clothing in terms of experience. You can’t necessarily know how something fits unless you’ve shopped a certain brand before. I know what size I am in J. Crew and that knowledge will forever support me; the same goes for Club Monaco and AllSaints. I can shop online and not have to worry about whether or not I will have to come face to face with the U.S. Postal service for a return. Shopping locally, however, inspired me and I figured, why not just translate my understanding of shopping locally of household furniture, etc. for clothing? Surely, I would be able to find similar items that cater to my taste and preferred style.

In July of 2013, Revolvr Menswear was opened in Bozeman, Montana by Jon and Christine Davis. Their intent was to offer affordable clothing of quality to men who want to appear professional and feel comfortable at the same time. At least, that’s how I interpret their store. Revolvr offers beautiful sports coats and button-down shirts. They also provide numerous opportunities to go back and forth between contrasting styles of tank-tops for the summer. Keep in mind, however, that the material is much sturdier and cleaner-cut than your average tank top. In plain language, you should expect to try on clothing with clean lines, beautiful quality but nothing too over the top. Their sister store, Evrgreen is located only a couple stores away in Downtown Bozeman and caters most specifically to women. In spite of that, I did pick up my Herschel backpack there that I absolutely love for the aesthetic. In whatever way, Revolvr and Evrgreen sell clothing that reflects the vibe of Urban Outfitters and J.Crew. They meet in the middle, offering a local shopper the sort of style that would be familiar in both a major city like Boston and the kind of “outdoor” clothing you’ll typically come across in Bozeman. Designated as the “fancier” stores by those I’ve talked with about the fashion scene in Bozeman, Evrgreen and Revolvr would be the perfect spots to pick up a gift for your friend or loved one this holiday season. If you’re searching for the promise of incomparability to a big box store, these are your best two options.

Many people may claim that “they don’t care” when it comes to style when in fact, style is what defines us. We wear clothing that reflects who we are as people just as how a haircut shapes our identity during a certain period of time. It’s important to care about what you put on your body and where you’re buying that clothing from. The same exact thing goes for furniture. If you were supposedly buying a painting by a brilliant artist for around 6.5 million dollars and later learned that the style was emulated and achieved by a six-year old, would you be angry? Of course you would be; the place you go to for a certain product makes all the difference in quality, customer experience and loyalty to where you live. If that isn’t convincing for you, think about your last vacation. Wouldn’t you have chosen to get a souvenir from a local artist instead of picking up some random crap at the local gas station or airport? That’s because your desire to take something more memorable home is the most important thing on your journey. Bozeman is a beautiful place and if someone were to tell you that they traveled all the way across the country to Bozeman just to buy you a chair from Target, would that chair truly be from Bozeman?

Supporting local retailers should be on the forefront of your mind this holiday season because the luxury of having local places to shop is rare. There comes a time when you see those businesses going out of business because too many people don’t want to take the time and invest in something that is most likely better than what they’re currently throwing too much money at. A local understands what another local wants. How is Target or Macy’s going to understand someone living in Bozeman if they themselves, do not?

Challenge yourself in discovering the other local hot spots in Bozeman this winter. If you’re hyped up about the upcoming sale going on at Macy’s or JC Penny, chances are, those were the items people didn’t want in the first place. (Insert teeth-clenching smiley face here). I believe that everyone who has moved out to Bozeman came here with a similar mindset. That mindset was to get away… to get away from the hustle and bustle of wherever they originated and find themselves in the mountains. They didn’t come all of the way here just to stand in Barnes and Noble and wonder what is worth reading. They came here to explore the local bookstores with staff picks and the local eateries to discover something new about their tastebuds. You came here with the intention of letting go of what you used to know and get into the minds of people who want the same thing as you. At least, I did. I came here with an open mind and by giving it a try, I found countless treasures along the shelves and display cases of local boutiques that I never would have found otherwise.

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