The Sundance shops provide festival merchandise | ParkRecord.com

The Sundance shops provide festival merchandise

The signs are up, films are playing, but the Sundance Film Festival cannot be complete without the swag from the Sundance shops.

Tracie Murphy, merchandise manager for the Sundance Institute, said that several new items were rolled out this year to accompany the classic items that customers collect each year.

What Murphy is most excited about, though, is a tote with a limited edition poster of a cowboy printed on it from the 2004 festival. She said that, when the posters were for sale that year, they sold out quickly and, since it was a limited-edition item, printing the poster again was out of the question. Instead, they decided to put it on a bag.

"Walking up and down Main Street, it's bright, it's cheerful, it resonates Utah all over it," she said. "It's a great product."

The shop also has totes made out of old Sundance banners as well as small totes that double as lunch bags, she said.

Reusing materials such as festival posters is part of the Sundance Institute's goal to reduce waste, Murphy said. Old items such as lanyards are given to her so she can repurpose them as dog leashes and collars or key chains.

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This year, Murphy said they expanded the dog line since it got such positive feedback last year.

Murphy said that she experiments with new products each year. Sometimes, the gear flies off the shelves. Other times, products don't sell and she designs something else the next year.

She and her team, including her assistant Grayson Orr, begin designing the next year's line as early as March.

Other items with high sales last year that were brought back were the CeCe mugs, which are insulated and essentially resemble a stem-less wine glass, and Old Fashioned glasses.

As for new items that Murphy is testing out this year, there are chef's aprons, Paracord bracelets and PopSockets. Knitted hats have large pom-poms and there are mittens to accompany them.

"We try to keep up with what's going on in the fashion industry today from our point of view and use it to tell our story," Orr said.

Murphy, who graduated from the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, has been working in the fashion industry for 25 years. She has been in her role with the institute for three years.

Murphy said that she still finds joy out of seeing her product all over town both during the festival and after.

"For me, I take really great pride in the fact that people want to buy it," she said. "The fact that this store is packed right now – and this is just one of the six stores that is open – it's huge."

But she said that the success of each year's line is due to a team of players that work together throughout the year.

"It takes a village," she said. "The world is watching and we want to shine."

Sundance Institute shops will be open throughout the festival at the following locations: 523 Main St., 751 Main St., 1895 Sidewinder Dr. in the Park City Marriott, 1750 Kearns Blvd. in the Eccles Center, 1200 Little Kate Road in the MARC, 602 S. 700 E. in Salt Lake City at Trolley Square. A local's shop will be open during the Best of Fest events on Monday, Jan. 29 at the Eccles Center.