Modern haberdashery opens in Town Center
Big Sky resident Kelly Piccardo comes from a long line of entrepreneurs. She’s been working in retail for a number of years, and recently decided it was time to start a business of her own—Antlers—which opened in the Town Center on July 1.
“I think that spirit was always in me,” Piccardo said when asked why she decided to take things into her own hands. “I wasn’t quite sure what I wanted to bring to Big Sky, and I had to build up the confidence to do this on my own, because it can be scary. It’s intimidating. But it’s totally worth it.”
Prior to opening Antlers, Piccardo worked at a local outfitter for eight years as a buyer. She’s used to the retail scene, but Antlers will carry items much different than the usual sports store in Big Sky.
“Different shows, different vendors, different everything,” she said, recalling her February buying trip to L.A. and looking forward to her next one in August. “And I get to go to Vegas instead of Salt Lake for shows. That’s a plus.”
After working in retail for years, Piccardo lost count of the times she had customers come in looking for a nice men’s shirt for a wedding, or a tie or nicer shoes.
“It was men travelling out here, but local guys as well,” she said. “You can’t find an undershirt, and the average shirt has UPF, or a place to put your flies, and I wanted to simplify things. I saw something that wasn’t present in Big Sky, and that there was a need for.”
And even in Bozeman it can be difficult to find non-outdoorsman clothing.
“I am just trying to fill a void,” Piccardo said, describing her store as a “modern haberdashery.”
Customers will find brands like Smathers & Branson—a U.S. company that does needlepoint can coolers, sunglass straps, wallets, luggage tags and more. Another American firm, Beltology, whose slogan is “belts that move with you” will be sold there.
“The leather belts stretch, and who doesn’t love stretch?” Piccardo asked with a laugh. “We can all relate to that, men and women.”
Raleigh Denim out of North Carolina will be sold at Antlers. The brand’s unique raw selvage jeans are made to fit any shape. Bonobos, an online store that’s grown in popularity recently, banks on that same “finding your right fit” philosophy and also will be available at Antlers.
Then there’s Scandinavian company Swims, which offers waterproof and resistant shoes that look nothing like a traditional water shoe. And of course, there will be mountain-inspired clothing, and Stetson hats. Because what man in Montana doesn’t need one of those?
“The whole goal of this is to make shopping fun for guys, as opposed to something their wives or girlfriends drag them to do,” Piccardo said after describing a few of the items that will grace her shelves. To keep shopping fun, there will be a pool table and even local beers on tap. “I want it to be an experience.”
Antlers is located in the space previously occupied by Big Horn Boutique. Piccardo closed on the space in late 2017, and seeing that she wouldn’t be able to open for the ski season, spent the following months updating the shop. A garage door was added to open up things to the nearby Fire Pit Park. Plus, the drop ceiling was taken out and the interior walls were redone in rustic wood.
A huge elk antler chandelier hangs in the center of the store. Piccardo said it used to hang above her grandparent’s bed at their home in Wilson, Wyo.
“And it scared my grandfather. He thought it was going to fall on him, so I said I’d take it,” Piccardo explained. “I was really stoked when it got put up today.”
Her grandparents play another role in the store. They hail from a little town in Oklahoma known as Antlers, and she and her husband Kevin live in a home below Antler Ridge in Big Sky.
“So, I thought there was the family history, and antlers and manly, so this makes sense,” Piccardo said about the process of choosing the name for the store. “You can find them around here, so I worked to decorate the shop with them.”
Piccardo’s looking forward to opening her doors seven days a week from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.