Raising the (Denim) Bar

By Beacon Staff

Downtown Kalispell’s newest bar caters to a different crowd.

Patrons can order up a skinny leg, stonewash or a high-waisted, deep indigo boot-cut. Joe’s and James hang at the bar, along with Free People and Citizens of Humanity.

And while there’s no alcohol, Fawn Boutique and its denim bar aim to serve another thirst – women’s love for clothing.

“I love to be comfortable and I love a great fitting jean and a cute top,” Fawn owner Lynde Price said. “To me that’s Montana. We don’t go around in high heels and skirts all the time, but you still want to look cute and stylish.”

On Friday, Sept. 26, Price will celebrate Fawn’s grand opening with a public party from 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Local musician Andre Floyd will entertain and food will be catered from downtown businesses like Ceres Bakery, JD Morrell’s and Simply Sweet Baking Co.

Fawn owner Lynde Price, right, organizes jeans behind the denim bar at downtown Kalispell’s new women’s fashion boutique on Main Street. The boutique can cater to patron’s requests of certain styles and fits instead of having to try on a number of jeans.

Located at 219 Main St., the boutique sells women’s specialty clothing, shoes, accessories and maternity clothes. Styles range from fitted loungewear and comfy sweaters to cocktail dresses and work attire. In maternity, there are flattering dresses and tops and the popular Bella Bands, a seamless knit band pregnant women can wear at their waistline to hold up unbuttoned pre-pregnancy pants or slightly big maternity pants.

But with 30 different styles and 12 different designer brands, the store’s main feature is its denim bar.

Piles of jeans are stacked on dark wood shelves behind and underneath the bar’s granite counter. In the center of the shelves, one pair of each jean hangs on display. The idea, Price says, is to cut down on the often-frustrating trial-and-error part of shopping.

Rather than randomly grabbing jeans off the rack at a department store, Fawn customers can describe what type of pant they’re looking for and the bartender can immediately narrow down their search.

“We should know our denim well enough that we can pull something for them that’s exactly what they want, whether that’s something to match a certain top or a jean that will flatter their body,” Price said. “Every woman has that go-to, favorite pair. You’ll find that here.”

Fawn employee Stacey Schultz help hang an assortment of jeans behind the denim bar.

The boutique is months in the making. Last May, Price along with her husband Tim and her sister and junior partner Hailey Morin began gutting the historic downtown building.

A false ceiling was ripped out to reveal original tin tiles, which were then painted silver. Brick walls were hidden behind inches of plaster and three layers of carpet and tile was pulled back to show off wood floors. Track lighting, mirrors and wood accents complete the store’s combination of modern and historic architecture.

And in a corner near the dressing rooms, comfy chairs and a big-screen TV make for an entertaining waiting area.

At the same time the Prices were making renovations on the boutique, they were also undergoing a major construction project and addition at their gym Flathead Health and Fitness, located just a block from the boutique on First Avenue West.

“We didn’t plan to have both going at once, but things with construction and funding came together so we went for it,” Price said.

The choice to put the boutique in downtown Kalispell was a conscious one: “Boutiques simply belong downtown,” Morin, who also is a co-owner of Bliss Salon, said. And the large investment in time and money to remodel the building was part of the trio’s larger view for the downtown area.

Price pointed to Camas Creek Yarn – another recent downtown addition that underwent an extensive remodel before opening – as an example. “They’re swamped all the time,” she said. “I think we’re setting a trend along with them that hopefully other businesses that come into downtown will follow.”

A green wool Sweetees brand of dress is displayed in the window at Fawn in downtown Kalispell. The dress is practical for dressing up or down.

“You put in the time and sweat and money because you’re committed to the town and the business,” she added. “It shows you’re here to stay.”