By Nature Gallery closing

Fossil, mineral and meteorite collectors will have to find their T. rex skulls elswhere soon when By Nature Gallery in downtown Jackson closes in September. Belle Cose plans to fill the space with its latest operation.

Out with the fossils and in with the fondue pots.

Belle Cose, which sells furniture, kitchen wares, jewelry, clothing and other fine goods, will open a store at 86 E. Broadway with a shopping experience designed to compete with internet sales.

For an interim period it will be a clothing shop, but next year it will become a different kind of store called Shoppe By Belle Cose.

Both will fill the longtime home of By Nature Gallery, a purveyor of art created by natural forces, from meteorites, geodes and pieces of petrified wood to the preserved remains of dinosaurs and prehistoric bugs and fish.

By Nature Gallery will close in September.

“It’s the end of an era,” said Jennifer Burwell, director of operations. “We’ve been here for 10 years.”

Shoppe By Belle Cose will differ from the six Belle Cose stores in Jackson Hole and two in Vero Beach, Florida. It will offer an ever-changing themed shopping experience. For eight-week periods the interior and the array of merchandise — from home decor to kitchen and table wares to clothing — will be arranged around concepts like “Trip to Italy” or “Ski Lodge.”

“We will shut down for 10 days at the end of every eight weeks, close up and redo the store into the new theme,” said Jane Carter-Getz, one of the owners of Belle Cose.

The mix of products for each theme “could be anything,” she said. A “Trip to Italy,” for example, might spotlight espresso machines and other goods made in that country. For “Ski Lodge” shoppers might find fur throws, fondue pots and ski clothes.

When each themed event at Shoppe By Belle Cose is over “the merchandise will fit into all of our [other] stores,” she said.

Belle Cose’s stores in the Tetons include two in the Four Seasons, one in the Westbank Center, the flagship gifts, jewelry and kitchen goods store at 48 E. Broadway, a clothing store on King Street and the Belle Cose At Home furnishings and accessories boutique on Broadway.

Belle Cose always does up the 48 E. Broadway location in a winter holiday theme every year, so it already has some experience with what it plans for Shoppe By Belle Cose.

“The idea is kind of the same concept that we do for our holiday open house, where we shut down the store for two days and transform it into a winter wonderland,” Carter-Getz said. “We’re taking that concept and taking it into a year-round event.”

The idea is to entice people to get out and shop.

In today’s world, she said, “you can get whatever you want online. ... Now you have a whole shopping experience you’re coming to see.”

The rotating themes at Shoppe By Belle Cose “will give us a chance to reinvent ourselves every eight weeks,” she said.

“We may have a good customer but we may see them only three or four times a year,” she said. “This is an excuse for that customer to come in six times a year.”

Belle Cose’s lease starts in October. Shoppe by Belle Cose will probably open next spring. For an interim period 86 E. Broadway will likely be a Belle Cose clothing store, temporarily replacing the one next door to King Sushi on King Street.

Persephone hasn’t yet moved to the corner of King Street and Pearl Avenue, the site where Sweetwater restaurant used to operate, and King Sushi doesn’t open until 4:30 p.m., so that area lacks the usual bustle.

“That street is very quiet,” Carter-Getz said. “We would probably shut that store down for the winter and move all of our clothing to the new location, which has a little more visibility. It’s an opportunity to refresh the King Street space and reopen in the spring.”

By Nature Gallery, meanwhile, is holding a 40% off sale (except on jewelry) to move merchandise. Owner Rick Rolater closed his By Nature Gallery in Beaver Creek, Colorado, when ski season ended, Burwell said, leaving just the Jackson operation. He’s shutting down the stores this year because he is retiring, she said.

“It was convenient that our lease was ending now, anyhow,” Burwell said of the Jackson store at 86 E. Broadway. “We’ll be out of here by mid-September.”

She worked at the Beaver Creek store and is spending the summer in Jackson to oversee By Nature Gallery’s final months here.

Whether the closing sale discount will be bumped higher than 40 percent remains to be seen.

“Summer hasn’t really even started,” Burwell said. “It depends on how well we sell.”

Customers are already taking advantage of bargains on things like petrified wood tables, fossils and geodes, she said.

“Things are just flying out the door,” she said.

Contact Jennifer Dorsey at jennifer@jhnewsandguide.com or 732-5908.

Jennifer Dorsey is chief copy editor and Business section coordinator. She worked in Washington, D.C., and Chicago before moving to the Tetons.

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