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48 Degrees North

Hucktown, USA

Bradford Beardall combined his love for Whitefish with his background in design, creating a collection of eclectic “locals only” t-shirts

By Denali Sagner
Bradford Beardall of Hucktown with his apparel designs. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

Bradford Beardall is “just trying to do stuff that people think is rad.” 

Beardall is an artist, writer and the creator of Hucktown, a Whitefish-based clothing company that makes t-shirts and sweatshirts for a local audience. 

In one of Hucktown’s t-shirts, a bear wearing sunglasses surfs under the words “City Beach Surf Club.” In another, a skull crossed with skis sits in the middle of the moniker “Flower Point Social Club,” an homage to the less-traveled section of Big Mountain beloved by local skiers. A third shirt shows a cartoon heart and tree hiking the Whitefish Trails together. 

“I hiked the Whitefish Trails, and I was like, ‘Man, this is such a gift.’ It’s such a beautiful thing to have around town. I made these Flower Point t-shirts and I was like, ‘Oh, that’s just such a cool part of the mountain with that locals really celebrate,’” Beardall said. 

 “I fell in love with certain aspects of Whitefish and the valley, and I looked around I was like, ‘Man, nobody’s making any t-shirts for locals, or something that really celebrates like what we have here.”

Beardall moved to Whitefish in early 2020 to tuck himself away in the mountains and write a travel book. Just weeks after his move, the world shut down due to the pandemic, and the travel book project was left to collect dust on the shelf. 

In lieu of the book he set out to write, Beardall spent the next few months exploring the valley, working on side projects and delivering food. As he spent countless hours in the back of Whitefish restaurants, he began to meet young people who inspired the project that became Hucktown. 

“I had never lived in a mountain town. I feel like this is where young people come, this is where people of all ages come, and they’re always making cool t-shirts that represent who they are,” Beardall said. 

A t-shirt design by Bradford Beardall of Hucktown. Hunter D’Antuono | Flathead Beacon

With input from the community, Beardall set off to create products that combined eclectic designs with “nodes of local culture.” The first Hucktown shirt came out in January 2022. Almost two years later, Beardall has brought a half dozen designs to the Flathead. 

Hucktown’s products aren’t your mother’s tourist t-shirts. While Beardall said that “tourist tees serve a purpose,” he wanted to create art that stretches beyond the classic Whitefish or Glacier National Park design. His products combine real elements of Whitefish life with more imaginative features. Take surfing cowboys, imaginary social clubs and the raunchier “ski fetish” collection, for example. 

Though he has a background in graphic design, Beardall doesn’t design most of Hucktown’s inventory. Rather, he scouts out independent artists from around the world who help bring his visions to life. 

Though the original book project that brought Beardall to Whitefish is a distant memory, the Flathead Valley is home from here on out, and he hopes to continue making community-inspired art that people want to wear. 

“If anything, I’m not a local. It might be another decade before I ever say that. So it’s taken time to listen and to watch. I’m still super conscious about owning anything,” adding that Hucktown continues to be a project inspired by and made for the Flathead Valley community. 

“I want to celebrate where we are.” 

You can find Hucktown on Instagram @hucktown, at www.hucktown.store or by emailing [email protected].

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