BILLINGS — From craft kits for kids to Made in Montana candles to cozy blankets, about 30 Montana manufacturers— known as makers— are selling their products at a new store in Billings.
The store is called Casual Space, located at 601 24th St. W.
The timing is good: The Made in Montana label is as popular as ever, with 2,600 members statewide, including retail stores and makers, 325 Grown in Montana members and 70 Native American Made in Montana members.
Tarin Shilanek is a maker at Casual Space. Her decor sculptures are a fan favorite at a time when Montana made is hot.
“It's kind of amazing,” says Shilanek, who owns Shilanek Designs. “The people in Montana are very supportive of other people in Montana. They love to support local. It's just a really great place to have a small business.”
Inside the store, you’ll find everything from charcuterie boards, leather book covers and wallets, even macrame with a purpose. Each piece is unique, and that’s the idea behind Casual Space.
“The whole idea is for it to be all Montana made, all about local Montana things,” says Alana Sukut, Casual Space owner. "I wanted it to be surrounded by just the amazing talent that is here locally. There is so much creativity right here, and selfishly I wanted to have it year-round. It's hard to find if it's not during a fair or something going on.
Now, Montana has one more space to support small local businesses year-round.