ShowRoom started as Julia LaTray, Maren Lorenz and Tanya Cohen. We originally thought we were renting a space to meet with clients. Julia is DonkeyGirl Designs, Maren is Bean_an_ti clogs, and Tanya is @piece furniture.
After a few months of that, it occurred to us to bring some of our friends' wares into the fold. So we added a gorgeous case full of Young in the Mountains jewelry (because Mariele of YITMs is Maren's sister. Fun fact!) and many CLT bags plus a rack full of Tiny Paper Boat linen clothes.
But we still weren't calling ourselves a shop. Or maybe just a teensy bit. As we continued to add goods from our maker friends, we came to accept that we really did have a store on our hands! During the holiday season of 2019, we packed our space full of beautiful offerings, and got such a great response from our Missoula community, that we committed to being actual shop owners with an actual store. We expanded our space, and made plans for the future.
Then I bet you know what's coming next. COVID! And worldwide social/political protests in response to George Floyd's murder. Maybe not the easiest time to be a small business owner.
But also? An extraordinary opportunity to re-calibrate. We're not going back to business as usual. We're not going to relinquish time with loved ones. We're not going to live in such a way that we have no energy for community activism. We're not focusing on profits as our definition as success.
Starting August, 2020, we began doing monthly fund raisers so we can donate to causes we care about. Also, a minimum of 10% of profits get donated.
Most recently, Maren and her family moved to Maine for awhile to run her friend’s bar. You can still purchase her clogs on-line.
And in May of 2021, Tanya and I moved to a new location in downtown Missoula. We miss our old neighbors and neighborhood on the other side of the river. But having extra space to spread out has been fantastic.