When I opened thistle creek in June 2020 the entire nation was in turmoil. Established stores were closing, most of us were staying home and when we did venture out we were masked and wary. Certainly, on paper, this was no time to open a brick and mortar store in a small Western state far away from any metropolis. There was no data to study. And there was certainly no crystal ball. But my sense was that local folks would want to stay close to home and those in the larger towns would need a place to escape. I am still willing to put money on that bet.
Now, as Kate and I are both vaccinated, we are gearing up for spring. The mountains are snow capped but spring is in the air. Neighbors are planning their gardens and our daffodils in the front of the shop are defiantly poking up toward the sky. The number of RVs on I-90 may be an indication that the campers, hikers, and fisherman are heading back to Montana for their summer rituals. We can hardly wait to see them. The friendships we have made over the past nine months have solidified our place in Big Timber and our loyal neighbors have given us a good start here. We believed that if we could make it through the isolation of COVID, we could plan, really plan, about staying here for a really long time.
So today, as March winds down and Spring continues to tease us, we will add cotton and silk shirts to our cashmere collection. Outdoor plates and utensils and picnic ware will co-exist with our Italian serving pieces. It is time to dream about summer and let the creative juices flow. A good time to re-imagine this small shop on Main Street in the heart of Big Timber. A time to say thank you to our townspeople who kept us afloat during the long winter days and a time to welcome new travelers to our special part of the world.