Famous actress and talk show host Drew Barrymore has shared the screen with stars like Adam Sandler, Jimmy Fallon, and many more—but recently, she shared the screen with a few small business owners in downtown Livingston.
On Feb. 15, Drew Barrymore and Ross Mathews were seen walking the sidewalks of downtown Livingston, stopping in on local businesses for "The Drew Barrymore Show", which averages about 1.2 million viewers per episode.
Their first stop? Dan Bailey’s Outdoor Company.
“We did not know Drew Barrymore was coming to our store,” said Dale Sexton, co-owner of Dan Bailey’s. “I’m a fan, my daughter and I have watched a number of her movies, like 'E.T.', and we watched '50 First Dates' last week, actually.”
Sexton said they thought only a production crew was coming to do a segment spotlighting Livingston and some of the people there, but:
“In walks Drew and Ross,” said Sexton. “Surprise doesn’t capture it—we were blown away.”
According to Rob Lahren, general manager of Dan Bailey’s, Barrymore did some shopping while she was there.
“She was trying on all sorts of jackets and looking at our jewelry case,” said Lahren. “She ended up buying some things and supporting us.”
In true Montana fashion, Sexton and Lahren put Ross in a pair of waders and even taught the pair how to tie a fly to a fly-fishing rod.
“We just talked about world views and the importance of community,” said Sexton. “That’s what brought them to Livingston and to us, so we feel honored to have hosted them.”
The mother-daughter duo who own Firefly Pottery and Art Studio feel the same way after their surprise visit from the star.
“She’s one of those people where you meet and it’s like you were long lost friends,” said Angie Johnson.
“She cried a little bit and I was shocked,” added Angie’s daughter, Alex Pinson. “I was like, ‘No, this isn’t real’.”
Johnson and Pinson got to sit down and paint with Drew and Ross, talking about the struggles they’ve faced as small business owners through the pandemic and more.
On the show, Drew looks at Johnson and Pinson and tells them how inspired she is by them.
Both Dan Bailey’s and Firefly Pottery and Art Studio received $10,000 courtesy of Barrymore and her show.
“That’s when I bawled like a baby,” said Johnson.
“Just to have our business being recognized was enough for us, but to be given that donation was just ‘wow’,” said Pinson.
And Sexton says he was just as moved by receiving such a donation.
“Holy smokes, that’s such a windfall for us,” said Sexton. “We’re gonna give that back to the community.”