Jessica Laramie says she’s always had a knack for sewing.
For several years the Butte native has been selling handmade clothing and accessories at farmers markets, art shows and on the website Etsy, showcasing her apparel brand ButteifulGirls, replete with a Montana-themed moniker.
Laramie is now going brick-and-mortar with a boutique she opened Dec. 4 at 1661 Grand Ave., situated a stone’s throw away from Joe's Pasty Shop.
The boutique is called The Velvet Antler Collective, a name that speaks both to the softness and luxury of velvet, but also to the great outdoors.
At Velvet Antler Collective, Laramie sells beanies, scarves, T-shirts, purses, jewelry, gifts and other products while also showcasing 11 Montana vendors.
“It’s all made in Butte or Montana,” said Laramie of the store’s offerings.
The Butte native said she also offers hemming services for jeans, adding that she plans to come out with a website and wants to eventually sell her products wholesale to other stores.
Laramie said what she enjoys about designing clothing and accessories is the feeling of being creative.
“I like taking a piece of fabric and turning it into something, and knowing in my mind what it’s going to become,” said Laramie.
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Laramie has been sewing since high school and several of her family members, including her mother and sister, who are vendors at the store, are also skilled in the craft.
However, her hobby didn’t become a business until admirers of her work suggested she start selling her goods.
Laramie showcased a collection of purses at her first bazar in 2005, and in 2006 she launched ButteifulGirls.
“That was kind of the beginning,” said Laramie.
Laramie’s partner Kevin Warner, meanwhile, said he likes Laramie’s creative side and is happy that she’s making the most of her talents.
“I support her 110 percent,” he said.
As for her brand, Laramie says it boasts a contemporary vibe that lots of women can get behind.
“(It’s) modern, fun and girly,” she said.