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Growth in store for Kalispell boutique

by BRET ANNE SERBIN
Daily Inter Lake | February 27, 2022 12:00 AM

Elly Jaymes clothing boutique in south Kalispell is truly a homegrown operation.

Founder Kelly Gehrt launched Elly Jaymes from her house in 2016. The name “Elly Jaymes” is a combination of the names of Gehrt, her husband and their four children.

“It started out of my living room,” Gehrt recalled.

Over the past six years, the operation has grown far beyond Gehrt’s expectations. Last March, Gehrt moved into a spacious warehouse on U.S. 93 South, and in the fall, she introduced in-person shopping at the location.

“It’s far surpassed my expectations,” Gehrt said. “It’s been incredible.”

Elly Jaymes started humbly as an activity for Gehrt when the youngest of her four children went to kindergarten. As she entered a “new stage of motherhood,” Gehrt wanted to pursue her entrepreneurial side.

At the time, the Bigfork native was living in a small town in Oregon. The shopping scene was limited there, so Gehrt found her niche selling boutique clothing online. When an opportunity materialized to return to her home state, Gehrt was eager to bring her family and her business to Montana.

“We’ve always wanted to move back and raise our kids here,” she said.

Since relocating to the Flathead, interest in Elly Jaymes has skyrocketed. Gehrt said the company fulfills an average of 500 orders every day, and clothing sales reach 150 stores across the country.

The local demand is just as high. In-store shopping wasn’t originally part of Gehrt’s plan, but it became a necessity as more and more local shoppers wanted to stop by the warehouse to try on items they had seen online.

“There was lots of demand for in-store shopping,” Gehrt said. This desire prompted Gehrt to open up a shop inside the warehouse in November 2021.

Gehrt believes Elly Jaymes’ style and affordability have attracted shoppers to the store. Elly Jaymes’ carries jeans, tops, shoes and accessories at prices that are intended to be accessible for working mothers.

Gehrt emphasizes affordability “so people can shop and have fun,” she said. “Retail therapy is a real thing.”

She describes her style as business casual. “It’s conservative yet trendy,” Gehrt said.

Elly Jaymes prides itself on lines like Judy Blue denim. The jeans are prized for their stretch and fit, Gehrt said.

“We basically have something for everybody” when it comes to denim, Gehrt said. Elly Jaymes reportedly sells thousands of Judy Blue jeans every week.

New arrivals come in every Monday, Wednesday and Friday, with 30 new clothing and decor items arriving every week.

Elly Jaymes uses four models in a range of sizes to display its new styles. The store carries sizes small through 3X “so we’re not leaving out any of the demographic,” said Gehrt.

In addition to traditional in-store shopping, Elly Jaymes hosts special events and uses a VIP Facebook group for live sales and giveaways. Gehrt said she hopes to add more in-store events to make sure local shoppers get early access to new items and sales. “It’s fun to let locals have the first crack at it,” said Gehrt.

Elly Jaymes is located at 2307 U.S. 93 South. Hours are 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday and 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday.

For more information, visit https://www.ellyjaymes.com/

Reporter Bret Anne Serbin may be reached at 406-758-4459 or bserbin@dailyinterlake.com.

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Elly Jaymes introduced in-store shopping in November 2021 (courtesy photos).

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Elly Jaymes moved into a warehouse on U.S. 93 South in March 2021 (courtesy photos).

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