Marketplace: Jackson Hole clothing company Stio expands to Park City
Stephen Sullivan was on the hunt for clothing he could take directly from the backcountry to a bar in downtown Jackson Hole, Wyoming. When he couldn’t find the gear that fit his needs, he decided to make the clothes himself.
Sullivan started his outdoor apparel company Stio in Jackson eight years ago. After growing the brand and opening two retail locations, the company expanded to Park City. It opened a store at 556 Main St. in mid-March.
The store sells high-quality performance wear, including down jackets, rain jackets and durable shirts and pants, said Jack Egan, community marketing manager for the company. It aims to make clothes that are functional and versatile.
“It’s basically designed for everything from climbing big mountains like Grand Teton to walking around town and going to dinner,” Egan said. “The idea is to bring the epic to the everyday.”
When Sullivan began building the brand eight years ago, he started with jackets and other technical wear that could withstand the elements. He sold the products online and the company gained momentum. Over time, he started selling casual outdoor clothing and opened the stores in Jackson Hole. He named the company Stio after his first name in Irish Gaelic, Stiofan.
Now, Egan said, Stio has become a brand synonymous with Jackson Hole. It sells clothes for men, women and children.
He said the company values its small, mountain town roots, and it hopes to maintain its values with its Park City store.
“We want to be Park City’s local brand,” Egan said. “Our goal is to integrate into the community.”
In order to get involved in Park City, the company plans to sponsor and support sporting events and fundraisers taking place in the town. Already, Stio is helping sponsor Running with Ed, a fundraiser for the Park City Education Foundation, and other summer events, Egan said.
He also wants the store to be a place where people can hang out after a day of mountain biking or skiing. Egan said Stio’s Jackson Hole locations frequently host events, and the new Park City store intends to do the same. It plans to add a patio for events, complete with a bike tune-up station.
“We want to have a place where locals come in and not just buy our goods, but actually hang out. This is a place they can enjoy and feel welcome,” Egan said.
To make the space inviting, a guitar hangs on the wall for customers to play and earn a discount on their purchase. Or, guests can work on the puzzles that sit on a table on the lower level of the store.
Stio currently sells the same clothing in Park City that it does in Jackson, but Egan said T-shirts with Park City designs that are unique to the store will likely be on its shelves soon. The brand has also been adding more clothing made with recycled and sustainable materials.
Egan said Sullivan had considered expanding to Park City for several years because of the town’s quick access to outdoor activities and the growing population in the area. Plus, Sullivan has many Park City connections, as do several of the other workers in the store.
When the space on Main Street became available, Sullivan pounced on the opportunity. Egan, a Parkite, was hired to build and manage community relationships with the town.
Six weeks after the store opened, Egan said it has been fun to see visitors who are familiar with the Jackson brand stop by as well as watch customers who have never heard about the brand walk in. He said Stio hopes to keep expanding into other mountain towns once it establishes itself in Park City.
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