BUTTE – A new gift shop on Main Street in Uptown Butte has opened up just in time for the holiday season.
But among the store’s many virtues, business owner Pat Campbell says, she’s perhaps most proud of the store’s contribution to the revitalization of Main Street.
In the past year the block between Park and Broadway Streets has seen a handful of new businesses, including For Heaven's Cakes bakery, which recently expanded to include a coffee shop, and a new apparel and swag shop 5518 Designs, whose owners hosted a grand opening Friday afternoon.
Campbell, meanwhile says she excited to see her store Beautiful Butte … and Beyond be among the new kids on the block.
“We all want to enhance Uptown Butte,” said Frank Campbell, Pat’s husband.
Campbell launched Beautiful Butte in October because, she said, she’s always had a flair for arts and crafts and an affinity for Butte-themed memorabilia.
“I just like doing creative things,” said Campbell.
A few years ago Campbell started experimenting with decorating keepsakes, coffee thermoses and other memorabilia by transforming photographs of Butte scenery into logos with the aid of a computer.
With the help of her son Matt Campbell, a web designer based in Arizona, she researched how to transfer the designs onto her gifts using techniques like sublimation.
To test the waters for her products, Campbell began selling them at the Butte Farmers' Market, and in August 2016 she successfully sold her gifts at a trade show in Las Vegas.
“That sealed the deal,” said Campbell, who noted her sales at the trade show made her confident about opening a storefront for her products.
Today Beautiful Butte boasts over 200 products, Campbell said, and most of them feature her designs, along with designs and images based on the photography of Scott Campbell, her son and NorthWestern Energy technician.
Items based on Campbell and Scott’s designs include framed photographs, decorative keepsake boxes, apparel – which Campbell prints at the Butte-based printer Chaos Customz – serving trays and calendars, among other products.
The store can also make customized keepsakes if customers bring in their own images.
“I do a lot of custom work,” said Campbell. “I [love] having the connection with people. And everybody has a story.”
While many of the products feature her own designs, Campbell said Beautiful Butte also offers products from third-party vendors, a majority of which are Montana based.
“We really tried to reach out to the artisans in the area,” said Campbell.
Beautiful Butte hosts 24 vendors, and their products include, among many others, coffee from Blue Bean Coffee Roasters, a Livingston-based company, alpaca yarn and knitted goods from Butte’s Snowdrift Alpacas, ceramics from the Mining City’s Copper Creek Studio and handmade leather products by Butte resident John Welter, who owns JW’s Crafts.
The store also features Montana-made soaps, lotions, dog treats and chocolates.
Although Campbell has a passion for Butte-themed gifts, she’s not a native of the Mining City.
She and her husband Frank moved to Butte from New Jersey 41 years ago. Frank, who had been a lineman for a New Jersey company, said the family moved to Montana after he was offered a position at Montana Power.
The couple said that moving to Montana from the East Coast was definitely a transition, but they created a home for themselves and raised two children in Butte. Campbell, meanwhile, worked at the Office of Public Assistance in Silver Bow for 18 years.
All-in-all, Campbell said, what draws her to the world of memorabilia and gifts is the simple fact that “keepsakes last forever.”
And that’s the inspiration behind the store’s motto, “special gifts for special people,” Campbell said.