BOZEMAN – The East Main Trading Company in downtown Bozeman has discovered and sold treasures to collectors for well over a decade.
This week, they announced that they are selling their shop and could be closing their doors for good.
“It’s been a really fun business,” said Jessica Boerger, half-owner. “We’ve enjoyed it. We’ve met fantastic people. We’ve seen fantastic things and we just love doing it.”
Boerger and Lee Phillips have both sat at the helm of the East Main Trading Company for nearly 15 years.
The shelves inside brim with treasures, each with a story of their own.
“That was the big fun of it, too, was going to people’s places and hearing their history,” Boerger said. “We’d go on a house call, thinking it might take 20 minutes to look at a couch and we’d be there two, three hours.”
“I’m turning 66 and this is the steadiest job I’ve ever had in my life,” Phillips said.
Lee said his love of collecting everything from the Gallatin Gateway to Yellowstone ran over its cup and into the store.
“Just finding the good stuff, you know, actually the stuff that you like to take home,” Phillips said.
“He gets very excited about finding different tools,” Boerger said. “He found a furring plane that I think he smiled about for three months.”
Everything from the dusters to the cowboy hats to the guitars to decorations, Lee said everything in here has its fair share of memories, which they bought in the hopes that they would be able to share them with everybody else.
Now with the doors closing, they hope it continues.
“I’m glad they like it,” Phillips said. “I mean, it sure has been fun for us but the market’s changed a lot, more in the last two years than in the last 10.”
For now, until a buyer comes forward, the store will stay open – continuing its story.
“We’ve really appreciated all of the people that have shopped here and I have made some really dear friends that I will continue to see and do things with,” Boerger said.
“I’d just like to go set a teepee up some creek and stay there for about three months and not see anybody,” Phillips laughs.
Both owners say the store will have a sale after it is sold and that could be a while.
Reporting by Cody Boyer for MTN News