The two have always loved clothing. Unique clothing, vintage clothing, clothing with a Western twist.
They’ve also long admired the style of women around them, both the high-end pieces — brand names widely recognized like Chanel and Lela Rose — and the less flashy pieces thrown into ensembles, like a great pair of heels or a piece of grandmother’s jewelry.
This eye for style (and, admittedly, a need for a creative outlet) drove Amberley Baker and Greer Freed to launch Womenfolk, a pop-up clothing boutique that offers a range of styles but only one of each piece. The clothing, drawn from the closets of over six dozen women with ties to Jackson Hole, is largely a consignment operation — Baker and Freed curate a show of pieces they love, and the women who offer their wares receive a cut. For those who donate without wanting a return, a portion of the proceeds are earmarked for Climb Wyoming.
As for style, it’s a bit of a dichotomy: feminine, yet masculine; romantic, yet tomboy. Think: silk dress with a leather jacket.
It’s intended to allow women to explore styles across generations and periods.
“Not everybody here has their families around,” 38-year-old Freed said. “A lot of that stuff you might get from your grandmother or your mom — that doesn’t always happen. It’s another way to bring together the generations of Jackson women.”
The connection between family and fabric is a personal one for the women. Freed’s mother was a buyer for Neiman Marcus in the ’70s and ’80s, the type of woman, Freed said, who rocked a few classic pieces. Baker’s mom, on the other hand, taught her daughter how to blend thrift store finds with well-picked pieces from high-end boutiques, like the Cotton Club Collection in Houston.
“I’ll buy a really expensive top, but if I’m wearing it with jeans I found at a thrift store — that’s how I feel better about it,” Baker, 40, said with a laugh. “That’s how my mom used to dress.”
Fashion is one way the women stay connected to their mothers, both of whom have died, as well as the next generation, two 5-year-old daughters. Ada, Baker’s daughter, has recently become interested in layering skirts, while Reese, Freed’s little girl, hasn’t come across a twirly dress she didn’t love. The girls provide a daily reminder of how fashion functions as expression.
Womenfolk, in turn, provides access to a mix of “heirloom-quality” pieces and well-loved couture items — with the idea that each shopper will pull together her own mashup of style and expression.
In the duo’s first show — Mountain Craft, a display of wares in early June at Nest — “every generation was represented and was interested in it,” Baker said.
The show was designed to pique the interest of all women and curated so lookers would hit a contemporary designer, like Tom Ford, and then “some no-label suede pullover tunic from the 1970s,” Baker said.
“We curated it so you would go through every hanger,” she said.
The items, most priced between $50 and $150, are all one-of-a kind, adding to the excitement when shoppers find the right fit.
“There’s only one size of each thing, so if you find something that works, it’s special,” Baker said. “It takes that perfect match. I think that’s what women had a fun time with.”
Maybe half of what was collected from their original pool of consignors sold — largely because much of the inventory wasn’t put on display. They crafted their first show with a specific style in mind and the idea that Baker and Freed would do some of the heavy lifting when it came to picking and searching.
“Part of it is our eye,” Baker said.
The venture has been months in the making, with Baker and Freed swapping ideas and crafting a business plan when they had the time to spare. It’s a side hustle for both — Baker is a partner at a law firm, Wylie Baker, and Greer works as associate director of development for The Nature Conservancy of Wyoming. In addition to finding time outside their day jobs, the women admit they also were distracted by the inventory.
“You should have seen the fashion shows in her garage,” Freed said.
Maybe one day they’ll have a storefront, but for now the operation is largely online, found on Instagram at womenfolk_jh. The next popup will be 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. July 28, again at Nest.
“We don’t want people to come looking for a bargain,” Freed said. “We want people to come because they want to find something special.”