Small businesses are cropping up throughout the two cities that make up Lewis County’s urban core, catering to locals and tourists alike with a pleasant mix of small-town history and big-city inventory. Dozens of niche vendors offering everything from arts supplies to spa experiences line the streets of the cities’ historic downtowns, and for those always on the prowl for hand-made merchandise, Chehalis has become the place to be.
Brad and Montana Briggs opened Indulge: Fine Decor, Gifts & Antiques in late September, just months after buying the 1915 house in historic downtown Chehalis that now serves as the backdrop for 19 of the region’s “best vendors.”
“We made the decision to open within a few months,” Brad said. “We really wanted to have our own space and invest in the community.”
For Montana, owning an antique store was not a far-fetched idea. She already had her own home decor store nearby. But getting Indulge off the ground was another full-time job.
The bulk of the work came in the form of  renovations, Brad said. Wiring was replaced, floors redone, and some structural changes were made to the house, both for practicality and to best accentuate the hundreds of pieces that would eventually fill the rooms and wide front porch of the Briggs’ new livelihood.
Six days a week, Montana works the front counter. But the store’s unique character doesn’t end with her inventory. Shoppers can also enjoy lunch at Bay Leaf Bistro, a restaurant owned by Joy Templeton that occupies the back of the house.
Brad said local support makes business ownership worthwhile. Both the Briggs and Templeton are looking forward to watching their businesses grow, gaining popularity and vendors.
“We’ve done really well,” Brad said. “We’ve already been really successful.”