Our favorite shop owners give us the skinny on what to do when you’re not hiking or skiing the slopes.
Christian Burch grew up in Kansas and moved to Wyoming in his early 20s, piecing together a life through mostly teaching and writing young adult books. John Frechette was raised in Boston, moved to Jackson 13 years ago and opened up his first shop, MADE, 8 years ago. Both college athletes, the gymnast and the hockey player met eleven years ago and began a relationship built on creativity and business ventures. Together, they own three shops: Mountain Dandy (a gentleman's shop), Mountain Dandy Showroom (an unfussy interiors shop), and MADE (gifts and items handmade in the USA).
What are three things you wish people knew about you?
1. We love children. We don't have any ourselves, but we are constantly surrounded by nieces and nephews, godchildren, students, and friend's children.
2. We are totally different from one another... Christian likes solitude and quiet and John finds energy in crowds.
3. We realize that we look like Barney Rubble and Fred Flintstone, Gilligan and the Skipper, Fix-it Felix and Wreck-it Ralph.
What is your most cherished possession?
There's a piece of pottery that we brought back from the Dominican Republic. It wasn't for sale, but John convinced the restaurant owner to sell it to us and then he lugged it all the way back in his carry on. It of course shattered into a million pieces causing an argument. Christian spent a day gluing it back together, so now it's a cracked and imperfect version of its' formal self, making it even more special. It sits in our living room... and really symbolizes our whole relationship as a team.
What was the best gift that you received?
We've had conversations about how we both have had many iterations of careers in our lives... some more glamorous than others... but no matter what it was, we worked hard and tried to make an extra effort. That is a gift that each of us learned from our parents who showed us by example to never feel that we are too good for any job, to feel lucky that we are healthy enough to work hard, to shine at whatever we might be doing, and to be gracious.
Christian: Also, my mom once gave me a leather bound copy of my first book, The Manny Files, with the best note that I've ever received.
What is your favorite thing to splurge on?
When traveling, what do you never leave home without?
Christian: Jack Black lip balm
John: Button-down shirts
Where is your all time favorite travel destination?
London is our favorite city to visit... but one place within the United States that we keep revisiting is Lake Champlain in Vermont. It lets us totally shut down and be with family. It's all about walks and cocktails. It's a place where box-checking and researching the best restaurants and shops doesn't exist for us.
What makes someone local in Jackson?
Being a part of the community in some way that adds to the fabric. It's more than an address, but it's about being involved in something larger than just skiing or hiking.
Tell us about your favorite eating experience in Jackson.
After a long day, it is so nice to walk over to the Snake River Grill and order cocktails and split a steak tartare pizza. There's a two-top corner booth away from the main dining room commotion that most people would ask to be moved from... but it's our favorite.
What is the most unique/out of the box thing that visitors can do in Jackson?
In winter, The Elk Refuge Horse Drawn Sleigh Ride... you are right in the middle of thousands of elk.
In summer, ride the Gondola up to the top of Jackson Hole Mountain Resort for cocktails with a view.
What is the perfect souvenir from Jackson:
Anything from our shops (of course)... or an old time western family saloon photo.