Tuesday, January 26, 2021
Independent Goods dotes on Indie Makers
Artists Karen Jacobsen, Jineen Griffith and Deanna Schrell show off Griffith’s original painting in front of the mammoth wall image.
Wednesday, January 4, 2017


Jineen Griffith is used to surveying a larger-than-life landscape and encapsulating it into an oil painting a foot to a couple feet wide.

On one recent night she held one of her paintings of Redfish Lake in her hands, amazed to see how the image had been blown up to cover a wall a few dozen feet wide. It was emblazoned with the motto, “The mountains are calling.”

The wall serves as the backdrop for the new Independent Goods store at 330 Walnut Avenue in Ketchum.

Store co-owner Susan Nieves shows off the repurposed tennis rackets.

It’s a unique store founded on its owners’ love for a good story.

Mark and Susan Nieves have traveled throughout Idaho and a handful of other states searching for unique handcrafted products with a story behind them.

“We look for people who create something with a passion,” said Susan Nieves.

There is, for instance, a copper flask created by Jacob Bromwell, historically accurate right down to its 1819 American birch stopper. Elk and other antlers are mounted on the wall, created out of  cardboard—or, more accurately, reclaimed Baltic birch wood. Older style tennis rackets have been repurposed to feature the mugs of some of the game’s biggest stars.

Mark Nieves shows off Cardboard Safari’s environmentally friendly Baltic Birch plywood antlers.

There are longboards and powder boards handmade in Montana, blankets made from recycled plastic bottles  and axes lovingly restored by a Forest Service volunteer.

The Nieves left behind software and web development careers in the getting-too-big city of Seattle three years ago in search of a small town where they could see the stars splashed across the sky.

Ketchum’s “small town, big life” motto reeled them in. And their own personal shopping tastes led them to this venture.

“We’ve been thinking about this for the past five years. The items we carry in this store are the kinds are things we’re drawn to personally,” said Susan Nieves.

Those items include General Knot & Co. kits and carryalls made of vintage fabric. The carryalls were created by two entrepreneurs who formerly served as design executives for such companies as Ralph Lauren and Levi’s.

“Mistaken lyric” coasters sport such sayings as “On a dark desert highway, Cool Whip in my hair...”

There are custom Apres Ski bottles designed by Reclamation Etchworks and cute T-shirts, including one featuring a sheep in wolf’s clothing—a nod to Susan’s stint with Trailing of the Sheep Festival.

“It’s an idea we’ve been working on for a long time,” said Mark Nieves. “To see it happen is absolutely wonderful.”


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