E26: Bringing Joy to Palisade with Kristen Seymour of Harlow and The Merc

Today I have the pleasure of speaking with one of my favorite people in Palisade and beyond, Kristen Seymour.

Kristen and I chat about how her two local businesses, Harlow and The Merc, tie into Palisade’s history, what she’d change if she could start over again, whether she was expecting to be honored with both business of the year and person of the year recognition by the Palisade Chamber of Commerce, and her goals and ambitions as a small business owner in Palisade.

Kristen shares the path that brought her to Palisade, how raising kids here is different from the other places her family has lived, what Palisade does right and what could use a little more work, and the awesome power of locals supporting local businesses in the off-season.

More about Harlow and The Merc

Music: Riverbend by Geoff Roper.  

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Transcript:

Welcome to Postcards From Palisade, where we hear from the people who are shaping our slice of western Colorado. I’m Lisa McNamara.

Today I have the pleasure of speaking with one of my favorite people in Palisade and beyond, Kristen Seymour. Kristen and I try to keep it together while we talk about her two downtown business, Harlow and The Merc, what it was like to get the double recognition of business of the year and person of the year from the Palisade Chamber of Commerce, how raising kids in Palisade is different from the other places her family has lived, what Palisade does right and what could use a little more work, and the awesome power of locals supporting local businesses in the off-season. All while we try to keep our giggling to a somewhat acceptable level.

KS: I’m gonna be silly in the whole thing. I can’t be serious.

LM: Why not?

KS: Oh, you want me to be serious?

LM: I want you to be Kristen. On today’s Postcard from Palisade.

KS: So I’m Kristen Seymour and I own Harlow and the west slope mercantile, otherwise known as the Merc, here in downtown Palisade.

LM: And so your two stores, Harlow and the merc, they’re both, I mean, I would say they’re both anchors in the downtown Palisade business district. So tell me about the personalities of each store.

KS: Yeah, absolutely. I appreciate you saying that. We’ve only been open two years at Harlow and coming up, a year on the merc. And I know Palisade has changed so much over the years, so it’s kind of. Kind of fun to be thought of as anchor, being essentially new kid on the block, but a lot of us are. Right.

LM: I’m like, I’m also the new kid on the block.

KS: Right, exactly. Yeah. There’s a lot of us doing good things here. so Harlow is, I guess, what I would consider, like, your typical but not typical gift shop as far as we have candles and jewelry and tea towels and it’s kind of girly and fun and it’s great for retail therapy for yourself or gifts. It’s just a great energy. and then the merc came to be because we had some t shirts at Harlow, baseball hats, some palisade things. And we were just running out of room on a regular basis, shifting things around, trying to make it work. And then the space came open on Main street and so we jumped at it to open up another store that kind of has a little bit more of an outdoorsy vibe. I just want to say a little more masculine, but that’s not the wording I want to use. It’s just more of a Colorado lifestyle vibe.

LM: Yeah, it’s, like, adventurous. Outdoorsy.

KS: Yeah, exactly. We were noticing at Harlow especially farmers markets or girls trips or couples trips, the men would come in and they would take a quick circle around Harlow and wait outside. And we’re like, no, no, no. But there’s some fun stuff over here. So now I just feel like we have a store where people can walk in. If they don’t consider themselves into a traditional gift store vibe, they can go in the merc and check it out. So it kind of hits both boxes. They have a different feel, for sure.

LM: Absolutely. You’re awesome.

KS: We’re trying to do this with a straight face. I love Lisa.

LM: I am not usually this giggly. I’m so giggly today. I think it’s because I’m trying to be serious and I have a really hard time. Okay.

KS: Yeah, no, we can’t. We don’t need to be serious.

LM: Okay.

KS: So I will say being serious, that’s one thing I always tell, like my employees, is this is not a stressful place. Never. No one’s lives are on the line. We’re not solving world problems. We’re bringing joy. So if we’re goofy in this podcast, it that makes me feel happy because we want to bring joy to people, make people laugh.

LM: I love it. Okay, good. Well, then I will stop feeling bad about being goofy.

KS: Yeah, exactly. More of it.

LM: So the names of both have meaning, right? They have historical meaning. They tie into the history of palisade. So can you explain, like, how they both tie into palisade’s history?

KS: Well, one does.

LM: Now, I will debate you on the other one.

KS: Oh, really? Okay. Oh, yeah, I think you’re right. so Harlow was. I was looking at the names of peach varietals and grapes and just trying to figure out something that would work. And, got some publications from the Palisade Historical Society. And John Petal Harlow came up as one of the first known people, in the area to grow peaches and to bring vegetation. And he was instrumental in the irrigation and he was into mining. his wife Kate had a restaurant in junction where they sold their apples and things. So I don’t know, the name Harlow just kind of, ah, stuck immediately. That was it. We landed right on it. And it’s so funny how many people come in and ask if we have anything that says Harlow because their new grandbaby is named Harlow or their daughter’s name Harlow. So the name is definitely gaining in popularity. So, I think that’s really fun.

LM: Or do they ask if your name is Harlow? Or, your daughter.

KS: All the time, my daughter, all the time. Are you Harlow? Yeah, totally.

LM: So I’m not gonna ask if you’re the merc.

KS: No. Are you the merc? Yes.

LM: But I think so how I would argue that has a historical connection is just if you look at the old issues of the newspaper, the old Palisade Tribune, all the ads are like the blah, blah Mercantile you know, or the so and so Mercantile.

KS: that’s true.

LM: So I think it has the old fashioned kind of vibe.

KS: Yeah, I would agree to that. I would say as a, person who got a degree in marketing and has owned businesses, if I can go back in time, I’d probably not name the store the Merc. I like the name the Merc, but like it’s west slope Mercantile and then we have signs calling the Merc. So like, who names their business two things? Like that is so confusing. Our website is westslopemercantile.com. Our sign on the window says the merc. I know this about myself. That was not the best decision I’ve ever made. But I absolutely love the name and it has stuck. And I hope people can figure out that we are one and the same. But I would probably do it a little differently. Everything was so rushed with getting the merc, getting the lease signed and renovating and opening that it was just, we need a name. Put it up there because we wanted to be open for the first farmers market last year. And so it was a time crunch, so decisions were made.

LM: I remember your final hour, like panic about the name and we were brainstorming, but it’s not like we came up with anything better.

KS: No, it’s a great name and hopefully people. It’s like a nickname.

LM: Yeah, it’s a nickname. A store nickname. It’s endearing. Did you have any sense that it was just thinking about the fact that Palisade has been around for 120 years? Yeah, Palisade has been around for 120 years. Make that a little smoother.

KS: Yeah.

LM: was it important to you to tie into the history and the fact that you’re one of many generations of business owners in Palisade?

KS: Yes, absolutely. We worked closely with Priscilla from the historic society again on, the name and she got us some amazing pictures of Kate Harlow and of John Petal’s gravesite up at Rapid Creek. so definitely wanted to pay homage to that. And also just in renovating the spaces, especially Harlow, we wanted to really highlight what the building already gave us. It was a lot of work. My husband did so much work and we didn’t want to take anything away from the building. Besides like a drop ceiling, you know, but, re exposing the brick wall, putting the new windows in. After realizing what the ceiling with the tin ceiling that was there, it was really important to just kind of bring it back to its glory. And in all the months and months of renovation. It’s corny, but I could feel the building breathe. Like, I could feel a big exhale when we were in there working. Like, this is going to be an amazing spot.

LM: So you both did the design and renovation of both spaces yourself and with Ed, your husband?

KS: Yes.

LM: What vision did you have for the space? Like, what inspired you?

KS: You know, the, Harlow, when we first looked at the space, was, can I just say, a hot mess. Like, there was a lot going on, and we had just moved here to Palisade. we weren’t even really settled yet, but I saw the potential of not only the building itself, but the location and the town for what I know I can do. And I don’t know, it was just this immediate, like, we have to make this space fit the town of Palisade and the agro tourism and the groups that are coming through, and they. I know they want to come and shop. I know they want to have a good time. So, it was just kind of a design idea of making it very open and fun. And once we realized the brick wall was there and Ed didn’t even want to tell me, he was back working in the back room at Harlow. And he got up on a ladder and looked above the drop ceiling and took a picture, and he said, I don’t even want to show you what the ceiling looks like. Cause he knew I’d be like, yes, it’s coming down. Let’s clean it up.

LM: and he didn’t want to do that work!

KS: At that point, he was like, we just got here. Do we have to? But he also loves old buildings and restoring things. We knew it was not even a question. We were just like, okay, we’re in. We’re doing it. so I think it was just like I said, the design was just opening, making it open and airy. And I love the string lights at night when you walk by, like, it just feels so fun to me. I love the storefronts on third. I love how everything’s a different color, so you can tell where Fidel’s is and where we are and the bakery is. We have such great neighbors.

LM: from my perspective, you make owning a gift shop look really easy. I think to a lot of people it’s probably this dream, like, oh, I’ll just buy a bunch of things and, you know, open a gift shop and it’ll be really easy. And I think it isn’t really. In reality, it’s actually really hard to find things that people are actually going to want to buy.

KS: Yeah.

LM: the right quantity, the right mix of things, the right price point. So without giving away any secrets or anything, I mean, how do you do it? Because you do it really well, but how do you make sure you have that mix of things that people that are going to intrigue people.

KS: Yeah. Thank you for that, seriously. I’ve been in the industry on and off for 20 years as a rep, on the other side, calling on stores, both, in person. And then I was a virtual sales rep for a while during covid and owned a store in Gunnison years and years ago. I’ve just kind of honed in on what the trends are. I try to stay up with industry magazines. and I just, honestly, I feel like I shop all the time. Like, literally, first thing I do in the morning is pull up my rep sites and see what’s new or maybe what they’re what, just what the trends are all around. so, yeah, I am. I consider myself a professional shopper. My mom and dad actually, joked with me. My dad said that I am, like, I got my ability to talk to anyone from him and kind of make jokes and make people comfortable, and my love of shopping for my mom. So I was like, the combination of the two just came together into this industry of, like, trying to make people happy and shopping.

LM: Born to do it.

KS: Yeah. Yeah.

LM: Has there been anything that you brought in that was popular that you were surprised at or, like, unpopular that you were surprised at.

KS: I think the scariest thing I brought in, I’ll be honest, was the button up shirts at the Merc that people absolutely love. I had to order them sight unseen. Hadn’t touched the fabric, didn’t even know if this was, like, a real company. And they’re based in Eagle county. They are very real. but it was like we were just getting open. Their minimums were high per custom shirt, and I had to just pull the trigger and order a bunch of things that could have been duds. Could have just showed up, like, terrible. And I don’t order terrible things. That’s one thing I’m very confident, is I order and try to find makers that are amazing. So. But having never seen these things, I was terrified of bringing in this huge order of shirts. And then, sure enough, we had a waiting list all summer. Last summer on the shirts. But we have six new patterns this year. Come on. By the Merc.

LM: I mean, I personally observed at the farmers market when you had the booth outside with the shirts, people getting very angry that you didn’t have the right sizes for them.

KS: It was terrible for us because we could have sold so many more. And then we placed another order, and by the time, because they are custom, by the time we got them, it was maybe the last week of the farmers market in October. So we still had the huge waiting list we were able to fulfill, but that was such a bummer in timing. So I think we learned our lesson this year, but we’re already stressed because these new shirts are going quick, and the reorders on them is. It’s too long. It’s like 100 days out. So that’s a hard planning thing.

LM: Yeah, that is. That’s really hard.

KS: Yeah.

LM: But the cool thing about that is that it is custom and local.

KS: Yeah.

LM: So how do you balance that?

KS: Right? Yeah. You just hope that people will still want them when they come in, and they’ve been great. Obviously, everything you buy is not gonna be a winner, but I feel like, for the most part, really, because I research so much the makers and the brands and the things that they stand behind that we also want to stand behind, so. I feel like, I know what I’m doing.

LM: Oh, good.

KS: That’s a good thing to say! After all these years, I’m confident that I’m doing what I meant to do and the place I meant to do it with the people I’m meant to do it with.

LM: that makes me very happy to hear. So what are the things that. Oh, yeah, you can take a break. And I tend to get into a little bit of a rapid fire question pattern.

KS: It’s fine. Go for it.

LM: I’ll take a water break. So you mention the things that you stand for that, you know, that are important for the vendors to stand for that you stand behind. So what kind of things do you mean?

KS: I love finding a brand like happy earth we carry at the merc. They’re a certified b corp. People over profits. fair living wages, fair working conditions. Super important to me. I don’t. One of my biggest lessons, and I want to share this on our Harlow Instagram post or Instagram Stories. At some point. When I go to market, which is like a big buying event, twice a year, they’re all over the country. But, typically I’ll go and you can meet with the reps and the vendors and see everything. And it’s really neat to meet the people who bring these things to market. but there’s a section called cash and carry at market, and a lot of people aren’t aware of this. And it is essentially, earrings are a dollar, necklaces are $2, and those are the busiest areas at market for a lot of customers. so people are essentially buying earrings for a dollar, going back to their boutiques and selling them for 30. And I will not. I have never. I won’t. It’s such an education piece. Like, I won’t buy inexpensive. Like, I don’t even know how it works. How do you bring an earring to market for a dollar that’s made overseas? So I think that’s one of the biggest lessons for me is I really want to know the maker. I want to know the story. I want to know how they got into it. Are they handmade? Are they on Amazon? Things like that. Like, it’s just so important to me because we can’t. I never want to compete with a Walmart or a temu or whatever it’s called, shein. I don’t want to compete. I want nothing to do with that lane. So they can have their lane, and I’m gonna carry things that people can feel proud of buying and wearing and gifting.

LM: I know tourist business is really important to you, as it is to everybody in Palisade. But how do you make sure that you also keep the locals engaged, because I know that was something when I talked with Jeff and Jody about at Fidel’s, they were like, you know, tourists are important. But then we have this other. You know, how many ever months of the year, when it’s like, we need to have locals come in if we’re gonna stay in business?

KS: Yeah, absolutely.

LM: So how do you balance those two?

KS: Absolutely. we. I think we’re really good at customer service. Like, I just believe in my team so much. and again, we have great products. So I think the combination. We’ve gotten a reputation of being the go to place in town. I know for me, if my daughter weren’t in school in Grand Junction, I wouldn’t go to junction that often. It’s close, but it feels far and it feels busy. Coming from someone who lived in New York City and all, it’s crazy that I’m now like, oh, no, I have to stay in Palisade. so I think we just really try to meet the locals where they’re at with what they need, all the price points. So you can come in and pick up a seven dollar gift or $150 leather bag. Like, we just want to make it where you’re welcome to come in at any time. We’ve got what you need.

LM: Well, I also appreciate, too, that you have a selection of kids stuff, so that, I think all my nieces and nephews get their gifts from Harlow or the Merc.

KS: Yes. Right? Yeah. No, we are huge for birthday party gifts locally. Like, I’m sure people go to parties and it’s all stuff from Harlow, but it’s nice. Moms, families are busy, everybody’s busy. If we can save you a trip to town, quote unquote, and, you can get everything you need here. That makes me so happy. What makes this so special that we’re doing this here in Palisade are the other business owners and the chamber. Like, it is an amazing group who just want the best for each other, work together. And that includes the wineries. I’ve never lived in an area, and I’ve lived in eight or nine states, of such community. I feel like we’re all in it together. We all want the best for each other. So the other businesses in town make what I do really fun.

LM: that actually transitions really well into my next question about you, which is you’ve lived all over the country. You lived in Texas and new Mexico. You’re from Michigan. so what brought you to Palisade? What brought you here? And what makes you feel like this is where you want to stay? Because I’m not letting you leave.

KS: We are not leaving. This is it. Lisa and I are together forever. I did a lot of moving before I met Ed. just on my own, just places here. And then. And then my brother was in Denver and asked me to come out, move out, hang out with them. And that’s when I met Ed. He was working in Leadville. I like to say we’re one of the only success stories that have come out of the silver dollar bar in Leadville. Because if you’ve been to the silver dollar, shout out, there’s probably not a lot of relationships coming out of that place.

LM: Only the strongest ones.

KS: Only the strongest. 19 years almost. so we met. I was living in Denver, he moved to Denver. It just wasn’t working job wise. So we moved to Gunnison so he could work with a friend of his, building houses. And so we lived in Gunnison for eight years. had essentially raised both kids there. Genevieve, Keegan was born in Denver, but, stayed in Gunnison for eight years. Ed went back to school during the housing crisis and that caused a whole turn of events in his career. And we got moved then to Cody, Wyoming, down to Houston. we spent the first year of covid in northern New Mexico, in a little ski town called Angelfire, outside of Taos. And I opened a store while we were there, which was crazy because we were not going to stay there. The plan was to go back to Houston. not that we wanted to, but that’s where work was for him. and I saw an opportunity in angelfire of there needs to be a gift store here. So I opened a gift store a few months after being there. And I actually still have it now. So that store is three years old. I have amazing employees down there. They are just the best. so, long story short, came time to move back to Houston. And we just realized it’s not the lifestyle we wanted anymore. Wanted more time with the kids, less stress. And so he was able to take a position out here in parachute. So we ended up here. Never thought we’d be on the western slope. When I lived in Denver, I was a rep, like I said, for the sales industry. And I would come out to junction or Palisade every eight weeks. For three years. And even when we lived in Gunnison, junction was not on the radar. We went to get out of the cold. We went to go to the movies. We went to fly out, maybe. and as soon as we landed here in Palisade, it was like, this is home. This is the community. It’s the place, with the people.

LM: It is the place with the people.

KS: It is.

LM: How long after you moved here did you open Harlow then?

KS: It was quick. We moved here in August, and then I feel like we signed the lease in October.

LM: So, Ed, again, you moved here. He was like, all right, our life is going to be easy and simple, and you’re like, we’re doing this.

KS: Guess what, honey? yeah. It was quick and the space needed so much work. We’ve always bought old homes and renovated them. So this is the first time the housing market here, there was hardly anything available. and we needed a house to get the kids registered for school. So we bought a house that was essentially new construction, newish. so we didn’t have a project, so I presented him with a project.

LM: I love it.

KS: and he might complain, but he loves it. He’s always been very supportive of the stores.

LM: So it’s not only me who thinks you’re amazing. This year you were recognized with a couple of really big awards by the Palisade Chamber of Commerce. So tell me about those. And were you expecting them?

KS: Oh, my gosh. That was insane. I literally, if I had been expecting them, I probably would have, like, dressed up. I mean, I was fine, but you know what I mean? Like, I was not expecting. So we’re going to the chamber banquet, and I just didn’t think anything. Like, I never saw on the website where you can nominate or vote for business of the year or anything. So going in, I had no idea, and no one ever had made any follow up calls to be like, hey, are you gonna be at the banquet? Are you, Ed, can you get Kristen to the banquet? So I’m like, yeah, let’s just go. We got nothing else going on. And, I mean, we really wanted to go, don’t get me wrong. But.

LM: But that’s funny that they didn’t.

KS: Right? Yeah. Yeah. Cause we could have easily. If you would have been, like, just come over to the brewery, I’d be like. Okay. We got to the banquet, at Ordinary fellow, which was a great event, a great space for it. And it was so fun to see everybody. It was well attended and sitting next to Carol from the chamber. And she’s a dear. I love her, and I have no idea. And she’s nervous because she’s got to go up and give some speeches. She’s like, they gave me ten slides. I’m like, you’re gonna be fine. Little did I know those slides were essentially about me. She didn’t tell me that. So, yeah, Harlow won business of the year. I was shocked and honored and just so impressed with, like I said, my team. It really comes down to my team. Like, they’re the face of Harlow. They’re out there doing the work. They just put up with my shenanigans. so, yeah, that was a surprise. And then sat back down, and they’re announcing they’re talking about citizen of the year. And I don’t even know what they’re saying.

LM: You’re, like, on that high?

KS: Yeah, totally on a high. The business of the year. It’s only been two years. This is amazing. And then Carol says, Kristen, you shouldn’t have sat back down. And it was like slow motion movie. Like, it’s not a Grammy or an Oscar. Or Emmy. But it felt. I’ve never been recognized for something like that. And having not even lived here three years, to be given that, like, it’s. It blows my mind. so completely shocked and just thankful and just full of gratitude for this town. And the thing is, the takeaway is I want to be better for this town. I want to do everything I do for this community. I haven’t lived around family, and I’ve been on my own forever. And so where we go, we want it to feel like a big connection. Like, we’re all in this together. People are looking out for each other, and we’ve definitely felt that in places we’ve lived, but never as much as here. so it was a huge honor. Like, I’m still speechless. It’s still crazy. I should have brought my awards and just put them right here.

LM: You should have brought them and plunked them down. Then we could take a picture with them, you have to take a selfie with them someday.

KS: Here’s your lead in.

LM: Yeah. Doing your job for you.

KS: Are you even a podcaster

LM: I mean, that’s why it’s bad about, like, if it’s, I mean, a friend or something.

KS: Yeah, just. Right, exactly.

LM: We talk about so many things, but, one of the things that I’ve told you this before that I admire the most about you and appreciate the most about you is the way that you build community. And I think that that citizen of the year award really, it reflected that or it was in recognition of that because you are so good at building community. You aren’t somebody who, like, makes friends and holds them. selfishly. You connect people. Exactly. You connect people. Like, I met you. I was like, oh, hey, aren’t you that person who owns, Aren’t you that person who owns Harlow? And you’re like, yeah, yeah, you should come to Palisade wine club. so you did the first time I met you, and, like, we went to one of the first Palisade wine clubs, and then we were in Palisade wine club. You’re like, oh, hey, I met this cool couple. You should meet them. And then we met Ben and Chloe, you know, who are great friends of ours now.

KS: Yes. Yes.

LM: And yours, too. It’s so, like, so many people are. I think it’s hard to have that generous kind of feeling where you want to just share. You want to share things with people, and you want to make. You want to build a community, you want to expand a community, you want to build other people’s communities. So I think that award was so much in recognition of that. And again, talk more about Palisade wine club, because that was a big part of that recognition, too, right? What you started with that.

KS: Yeah, it’s funny because it was such a. Palisade Wine club, its origin story cracks me up, because, literally, the thing we love about Palisade, especially in the off season, also during the year, but in the off season, is when you go to a winery and you run into people, you know, and it’s like, hey, I didn’t know you were going out tonight. This is great. We should meet up another time. But then you never get in touch, and you just, you know, randomly meet up again, and it’s so fun. So the thought was not only, I want to meet up with these people on a regular basis, I want it on the calendar, but also, I know what it’s like to have a business in the off season. In tourist towns, you struggle. You’re not sure what your hours should be, what your days should be. Some days, like, we open up and nobody comes in. You know, some days, I might have a $4 sale in January. So you just want to, like, realizing with these wineries, how can we support them? We all like going out. We haven’t stopped going out. So, anyways, it just becoming a. Became a very genuine. Let’s build a local happy hour club. Let’s reach out to the wineries. Pick a day during the week so they’re not super busy. If they were gonna have tourists in town or any events going on, let’s reach out ahead of time, let them know we’re coming. I always say, don’t give us a discount. Don’t, like, we want to support you. The goal is not for you to give us things. We just want to show up and be there for you guys. so it has been fantastic. This is our second season. I don’t know how many events a year. We’ve been doing, like, eight or ten. At least.

LM: At least ten, right?

KS: and it’s. We’ve had up to probably 80 people. and it’s always the people. I think the best thing is when Ed’s able to come. He travels for work here and there, so he tries to make as many as he can. But when he walks in one his biggest, biggest thing is always after the fact: I didn’t know who to go say hi to first.

LM: Oh, my gosh. It’s so hard.

KS: He’s like, it’s all the people I want to catch up with, and I don’t know where to start working the room or, you know, making, like, going to catch up. It is the coolest thing. Everybody is so excited. People bring snacks to share. I mean, I feel like we’ve connected so many friends through wine club of all ages. That’s what’s great too. Palisade Wine club is one of my favorite things in this town. It has bonded us. It helps us realize that supporting local year round is huge. some of the wineries have gone all the way and gotten food trucks, and even if they don’t, they’ve just really welcomed us with open arms. And it is, if anyone hasn’t joined, I think we’re up to 700 something members in that group. We probably should have had some questions, like, do you live in, in this area? Like, junction is fine.

LM: do you actually live here? Oh, yeah.

KS: But I think people see it on Facebook. We’re only on Facebook, we gotta get on Instagram and get the word out there, but I would say we have the same core group of 40 or 50 members that show up all the time, and it’s so fun. It’s my favorite thing.

LM: It’s definitely one of the things that cemented me here, because when we first moved here, we got right into the bike, the Monday night bike rides, and that was great. But then they stopped.

KS: Yeah.

LM: And then it was like, okay, well, now what are we gonna do? And then I met you, and you’re like, come to this wine club. And then that started right up in November. Like, this. This is great. I very, very appreciate that.

KS: I feel like there’s wineries we still need to get to. We really want to share the love with anybody. So if anybody listening wants to host us, we try to do off seasons, but I honestly think during the week, even sort of in season, we could still make it work. So if we haven’t reached out to you to host, I apologize. Please reach out to us, and we’d love to come and support you.

LM: I am curious about what you think is something that Palisade does really well, and then something like, as a town, and then something that you think that it can improve on.

KS: I absolutely love the events and the farmer’s market and the work that goes into those. I think people don’t realize or want to step back and zoom, out and see that there’s real people trying to make these events happen. They might not please everybody. I know it’s a lot when we get traffic in town for these events and people on bikes that people aren’t used to. I don’t know. I just feel like the town for what we are and continue to be growing into this agritourism destination. I think I just want grace from people that the town and the chamber and CAVE are doing the best they can. It’s a lot of work. It’s a lot of moving parts. I, for one, as a business owner and as a resident of Palisade, I like the events. I like the energy it brings. I feel so fortunate when people come in and say, oh, do you live here? Like, what’s it like? It’s as amazing as you think it is from the three days you’re here, it is as amazing. So I just hope we can all continue to support the organizations that do so much for the town. Things that could change in Palisade. I don’t know if I. I don’t know. Do you have an answer? I mean, not that I want to say. I wish we could figure out. And I know there’s plans in place to make it a more bike friendly town.

LM: Yeah. You know, that would be my answer.

KS: Yeah, they’re working on it. We’re gonna have designated bike areas, but that is something I wish we could really do more about.

LM: so. All right, so my last official question is, what’s your favorite Favorite thing about Palisade.

KS: My favorite thing about Palisade would be all of the events, from the big ones, from Winefest, from the farmers market, down to history night, history talks, down to trivia. excited to try the brunch at Sauvage that they’ll be starting this year. The yoga at wineries. Like, anything that anyone’s doing, everyone’s so creative and just wants to bring people in in a different, different way. And I love that about this town. I love. There’s always something to do. I love that you can ski and hike in a day. I love you can make it to Utah or Denver in no time. This is like magic. I love this place. And I love Lisa.

LM: It’s the best. Oh, you’re the best.

KS: I think one thing for me personally that I really want to improve on in my time in Palisade, which I’m not leaving. It’s home. I’m not going anywhere. I want to get more involved in going to the meetings and attending the ones on Zoom, the tab meetings. I think the tab meetings have been so informative when I’m able to zoom in on those. So I just. Everybody, what’s impressive about this town and this specifically my community that I found here, outside of the general community, which I love, but, like, my people that are here, is we’re all essentially newish to the Palisade area, for the most part, and extremely involved. And I think that’s the way you keep your community, tight knit, informed, and you just look out for each other. But I encourage anybody in town to just get involved and meet the people and go to the meetings and know what’s going on. Facebook, as we know, is, like, screaming into the void sometimes on things. And I don’t think a lot of changes can be made. And if you have a question for a business owner or a trustee or something, I think conversations. I think everyone in this town that I’ve met is willing to have a conversation. so I want to personally get more involved in a lot of the meetings and just. Just kind of know what’s going on. 

I’ll say to the, raising my kids. My kids are 14 and 18. we’ve been here almost three years. They’ve had a lot of places they’ve lived, a lot of communities, a lot of friendships. And I am so glad that we ended up here. They’re thriving. They’ve made the best of friends. Their teachers are amazing. Our son’s going off to college in the fall. Our daughter’s starting Palisade high school. And it’s just been so nice to see their growth. So if you see them at the store working, because, you know, free labor. Hashtag free labor. Not really. yeah, just have a conversation with my kids. They’re great people, and they want to know more about this community, and they feel like they’re a part of it, too. So stop in if you see Keegan or Genevieve working. Say hi. Have a talk with them.

LM: Well, and Keegan has been really involved in the school newspaper.

KS: Yeah.

LM: Which is really cool.

KS: Editor of the Paw Post. yeah. He’s very interested in community and politics, and it’s been fun to see things through his eyes, moving to all these cities and us ending up in a place where he wants to come over and chat with our friends about local issues and things. He absolutely loves it. And Genevieve could. I could skip town tomorrow, and she can run the stores for me. She is so good at it and has such an eye for things. So I feel like we’re doing a good job, Ed and I. I feel like, with the help of the places we’ve lived that have shaped them, life, is good.

LM: That’s a really good note to end on, actually. That’s super good.

KS: Good.

LM: Thank you so much for taking the time to talk to me and for being an amazing person and for being one of the people who really helped me feel like Palisade was home. So I really appreciate that. I always will.

KS: Yay. I’m sorry it took me so long to sit down with you. I sit down with you three times a week.

LM: We’ve been talking about doing this for, since I first met you. Yeah, you were like, I’m not ready. I’m not ready.

KS: Yeah. That was not you at all. You’re so talented. I just didn’t know I had things to say.

LM: Oh, my God. You have so many things to say. Yeah. You’re going to keep saying them, and I can’t wait to see what you do next.

KS: Thank you.

LM: Thank you very much.

KS: Cheers.

LM: Cheers.

Thanks to Geoff Roper for the music.

Thanks for listening. With love, from Palisade.    

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