Connect with us


Making it in Big Sky: Trove West

Avatar photo



Kate Tomkinson opened Trove West as a way to display the best of Montana to those looking for a unique gift for themself or a loved one. PHOTO COURTESY OF KATE TOMKINSON


BIG SKY—Kate Tomkinson, founder and owner of Trove West, aims to support local Big Sky artisans, as well as shoppers in the area with products that cannot be found in your typical gift shop. It’s a display of the life that Montana has to offer, shared with her patrons.

For this issue’s Making it in Big Ssky, Explore Big Sky sat down with Tomkinson about what it was like to fall in love with Big Sky when she first visited in 2001, to opening Trove West as a way to support the local community.

This series is part of a paid partnership with the Big Sky Chamber of Commerce. The following answers have been edited for brevity.

Explore Big Sky: I’d like to start with a little background information on you, when did you first come to Big Sky and what brought you here?

Kate Tomkinson: I first came to Big Sky in 2001 with my husband who had done some work in Big Sky in the late 80’s. I immediately fell in love, as most visitors do. I was still raising kids in Boston so didn’t move full time to Big Sky until 2016 when I decided to open Trove West.

EBS: Tell me about Trove West; when did it first open? What was the inspiration behind the shop?

KT: We opened in June of 2016 in the Meadow Village and have since relocated to the Town Center. Our primary driving force is to steer clear of products that can be found in a big box store. We have curated collections from over 40 artisans from Montana in order to give you the most unique and shopping experience while showcasing some of the best Montana has to offer. Many of our artisans’ work can be found exclusively at Trove West!

We source locally, across the country and from each corner of the globe.  We are travelers at heart and have made trips to Morocco, Tanzania, and New Zealand as well as across our country, and want to bring these treasures to beautiful Montana. But finding unique inventory right here in the great state of Montana is a focus for us! From jewelry, to home goods, art, babies and kids apparel and gifts to cards, and vintage pieces randomly found: we have it all. And I have tried to make our price points friendly for locals, second home ownershomeowners and tourists. [There’s] nothing worse than having to drive two hours to get a birthday present for a kids party.

EBS: How big is your team?

KT: Depends on the season but we currently have five part time employees and of course me and Sadie!

EBS: How do you hope guests feel when they enter your store?

KT: The goal is to make our customers feel like they’ve entered a treasure trove of delightful things!

EBS: What is the best part of working at Trove:

KT: Being a part of this community. Giving back, meeting needs and getting to know locals and visitors!

EBS: What is some good business advice you’ve received that has stuck with you?

KT: I strive to continually change the inventory as no one likes to see the same items month after month.  But equally important is to be reliable and consistent as a business!

EBS: Is there anything else that you’d like to tell the Big Sky community?

KT: Running a business in Big Sky is not for the faint of heart and it is so important that locals try and buy local as much as possible! Also Trove supports two young women in Kenya getting an education not to mention every charity in Big Sky!

Upcoming Events

may, 2023

Filter Events

No Events