Gary Taylor had long considered the idea of creating a Western wear shop, where fellow enthusiasts would be able to buy shirts, boots and other gear.
When he went with his girlfriend Shellie Milhone to Pour Boiz tattoo shop in Traverse City, he noticed they were moving out of their Cedar Run Road location.
It dawned on him that he could possibly move in.
A few months later, Ironhorse Western Wear is now open for business. Taylor, Milhone and partners Pat and Lee Winfrey converted the storefront to a renovated retail shop.
“We gutted it,” said Taylor. They had the front counter crafted to resemble a western bar, which they also used to display jewelry.
Lee Winfrey did the bulk of the drywalling, and all contributed their time and taste.
“We ground, polished and waxed the [concrete] floor,” Winfrey said. “It gave it a rustic look.”
Taylor says he believes the area is ripe for a store featuring Western and motorcycle-oriented clothing, and has stocked a variety of boots, hats, clothing and accessories.
“If you want a $20 pair of boots, I can help you. If you want a $500 pair with ostrich leather, we’ve got that too,” he said.
“You can get a hat for $6, and we have some for over $100.”
Taylor says he believes a variety of people will end up shopping at the store.
“This area needs something like this, blue collar to white collar,” he said. “I’ve got some doctors from Munson coming in and farmers. Someone will pull up in a Beemer, and then a 1970 Ford pickup.”
Taylor said in addition to giving certain groups 10 percent off, he will also work with area charities such as the Make-A-Wish foundation.
They say the idea is to provide Internet pricing in a brick-and-mortar store, where people can actually try on the items they are interested in.
“My intent is to do volume,” he said. “There’s not a lot of mark-up, so I am passing the savings on.”
Additional stock is arriving daily, both western-style and for motorcycle riders, from brands such as Rampage Western boots and jeans from Rock and Roll or Ely and Walker.
“I think we’re one of the only stores in the area with kids boots that aren’t plastic,” said Taylor.
Ironhorse is open Mon. through Fri.10am- 7pm; Sat. 10-6; and Sun. 11am-4pm. Taylor said the store’s website is currently under construction; but they are on Facebook. Call (231) 932-0095. 4125 Cedar Run Road, Traverse City.