In Bozeman, Montana, I teach creative writing in an old elementary school turned arts hub called the Emerson Cultural Center. Last spring, a new boutique moved into the building. I first smelled the shop's woodsy soy candles. When I stepped into Wilder Goods, I knew I had entered my new favorite store.
Wilder Goods began when two jewelry crafters came together with a shared vision: to create a space where fellow makers and artists could sell their goods. Mariah Palmer and Jen Tapp own two separate businesses, Everything Golden and Clyde, respectively. They both make jewelry, and they both sell handmade and vintage clothing. Wilder Goods brings their work together in one place. The store also offers ceramics, art, and other goods crafted by local and regional makers.
As Mariah said, their collaboration aims "to share beautiful things and support smaller economies." In today's globalized economy, knowing where our things are made and how can be a rarity. This gap between consumer and maker creates "a spiritual void," Mariah explained. "It's not just about stuff," she continued. "It's about connections."
Jen elaborated on their mission to connect the consumer to the clothing item or piece of jewelry, saying, "We want to bring something special to the community that the buyer will feel good about." She described some of the environmental and social injustices of the clothing industry, including toxic runoffs and unjust conditions for workers. "It can be overwhelming," she said. Spaces like Wilder Goods empowers the consumer and the maker to create a more just and sustainable world.
And thinking globally, acting locally never looked so pretty. From cute beanies to fun capris, classic Levis to funky prints, the clothes forge fashion with comfort. "With woman's body issues," Jen said, "sometimes clothes buying is a struggle, and I love when someones feels happy or good or pretty in presenting herself. I want them to feel confident in their clothes." Well, with a wide range of sizes, cuts, and prices, it seems every lady can find that perfect dress or shirt at Wilder Goods.
Here's a little fashion shoot I did with my friend, Emma Horton to showcase some of the clothes Wilder Goods offers. If you're in Bozeman, you can swing into Wilder Goods on the Emerson's first floor, south side. For you outta-towners, Wilder Goods ships - here's their website.