ABSAROKEE — Both the Cats and Griz are in the playoffs this weekend and if you’re looking for that good luck charm, this might just be the thing.
One Absarokee woman is making Cat and Griz gnomes.
Mary Sharp has had the itch to create for as long as she can remember.
“I drew pictures of the Lutheran church and sold them at a craft fair here in town and I was probably seven or eight,” Sharp said on Thursday.
Sharp’s had a store on Etsy for the past decade and opened her brick-and-mortar location, Montana Creatives Floral and Gifts, nearly three years ago.
But this year was a doozy.
“Tourist season’s great when we’re not flooding,” said Sharp.
The historic June floods took a toll on Sharp’s business and many others in Absarokee. Tourists altered vacation plans and traveled elsewhere.
“It’s really been hard this year. Right now, it’s month to month,” Sharp said.
Sharp has persisted and it’s creative projects like this that have kept her afloat. Everything from handmade signs to refurbished furniture, and now this, homemade gnomes.
“People wanted Valentine’s gnomes and other everyday summer gnomes and I couldn’t find them wholesale and I thought, well I bet I can make those,” said Sharp.
Christmas gnomes, Halloween gnomes, and Griz and Cat gnomes honoring the University of Montana and Montana State University are now a part of her inventory.
“Sometimes people buy one of each, you know, ‘cuz they have friends, one likes Griz, one likes Bobcats, so,” Sharp said.
And her store also includes the work of many other Montanans.
“I’m here to try to help the other artists and the makers make a living,” Sharp said.
It’s her Made in Montana spirit and creative ingenuity that’s helping not only her business but many others stay afloat in a year that’s certainly been challenging.
“We all just need to help each other,” said Sharp.