What’s a mountain dandy?
It’s more the effort made than a specific look or style, said Christian Burch, “that the person has taken some pride in what they had put together, either in a room or on themselves.”
For the past couple of years, Burch has documented the concept on his blog and Facebook page, “just kind of for fun.”
But last weekend he took it another step, opening a small retail store in Gaslight Alley with the same name.
Over the course of about a year Burch made road trips to Nebraska, Kansas, Oklahoma, Arkansas and Colorado. He also headed to Utah, Nevada and California. Along the way he gathered wares — old signs, vintage photos and magazine covers, even an old basketball trophy from Cotulla, Texas — and vendors.
“I wanted to curate it,” he said of his collection of home furnishings, accessories, body products, cocktail accoutrements and even books, “so people could see how to live with it.”
The inventory leans toward the retro — ’60s, ’50s, ’40s and even earlier. There are leather chairs and couches and a curious pommel horse. An old movie studio light has been remade into a more functional household lamp.
Shelves hold candles and table linens and handcrafted Oliver Cade “neckwear.” Another shelf carries a variety of salts from the Jacobsen Salt Company, unusual cocktail bitters from Dram, out of Colorado, and high-end chocolate bars by Hammond’s.
Books include the titles “Industrial Chic,” “Beyond Chic” and Alfred Tong’s “A Gentleman’s Guide to Cocktails” and “A Gentleman’s Handbook.”
“It’s ended up taking a masculine bend,” Burch said, “like the big brother store to Made,” which is just across the way from Mountain Dandy and owned by Burch’s partner, artist-entrepreneur John Frechette.
Traffic was steady Saturday afternoon, the very first day Mountain Dandy opened its doors, and Burch said items were selling. Though at least part of the volume of visitors was due to Burch himself: An artist and author, he has been teaching art and literature at the Jackson Hole Community School for eight years.
“I like design,” Burch said. “I like style, and I like the effort put forth by people with what they’re wearing and what they do with their homes.”
Now they have a place to go for a little help.
Mountain Dandy is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. daily. Call 690-0606.
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