There’s no doubt about it, Tiffany, Etc. at 439 E. Main will be sorely missed, along with long-time owner/proprietor, Glee Westcott, who has had a fantastic run in historic downtown Montrose.
Westcott first came to Montrose in 1980 (she was Glee Stevens at that time), eager to build a new life for herself and her two young daughters. She had already established a successful stained-glass business and it wasn’t long before she landed jobs where she could gain valuable retail experience.
Ed DeJulio, with Flairmont Furniture, became more than her boss; he was a valued mentor who she continued to remember throughout her many years in business.
With the help of her father, Westcott blended her two loves, stained glass and a few antique pieces, in order to open her very first retail store in the old Sears building. She moved to several other downtown locations before the historic 1891 J. V. Lathrop building became available at 439 E. Main in the mid-1990s.
“I had my eye on this building for a long time. It was perfect for me! I could do my stained glass in the back and retail in the front,” said Westcott.
“Glee truly has made a significant difference to the legacy of Montrose’s Main Street,” said LuAnne Tyrrell, who served as the Main Street director from 2001-2004. “She was one of the first to embrace the façade upgrade that the then Main Street design consultant suggested. As a committed and progressive downtown business owner, Glee participated in numerous committees throughout the years.”
“Unfortunately, this building was a victim of the 1950s restoration era that drastically changed the looks of several Montrose buildings,” said Westcott. “I feel that preservation is very important and can lend itself to an all-around improvement and revitalization of downtown Montrose. I was terrified of beginning the project in 2005 but found the right combination of people to do the work.”
Walking into Westcott’s store gave one the ambiance of being transported into a wonderland of sorts. Always beautifully decorated, it offered three floors with an immense variety of home furnishings, artwork, home décor, jewelry, clothing, hand-crafted items, greeting cards — you name it! Westcott prided herself in supporting other locals, such as the Aldridge family who supplied “Papa’s Corn” during the holidays and the SOM shoe manufacturers who make their shoes right here in Montrose. She supported local artists by carrying their items on consignment. Customer service was a top priority.
For years, Pam Cadwallader worked downtown in the same vicinity.
“Whenever I needed a gift for someone, either personal or a business associate, I knew I could find it at Tiffany’s. Glee’s line of cards was perfect and her merchandise was so unique and varied. I will really miss shopping there,” she said.
Out-of-town visitors loved Tiffany, Etc. as much as locals. They would come to the area for the outdoor activities and scenery but didn’t want to leave without visiting historic downtown, especially Tiffany’s.
There were many reasons why Westcott was able to weather the constant changes in downtown Montrose, such as the coming of the big-box stores, internet shopping, and economic downturns. She came up with exciting marketing ideas and promotions. She welcomed and always participated in events such as Main in Motion, Memories on Main Street and Music on the Corner.
“I always love it on days when the horse-drawn carriage goes up and down Main,” she stated. “It’s always so comfortable to be in this building looking out. I love being downtown.”
What’s the future of the J. V. Lathrop building? In keeping with the 1890 era of the historic building, how does the “Wild Horse Wine and Whiskey” sound? The new owners are Scott and Juli Mijares, and their beautiful Bernese Mountain dog, Coda. The Mijares suggest you stay tuned on Facebook and Instagram to follow their progress on further upgrading and restoration of the building. Their plan is to open this summer.
And what are Westcott’s plans? For a while, she is going to sit on her front porch with her dog, Rio, relax and spend time with her husband Joe on their other historic property — the original house on what was Pepper Gardens in Coal Creek. No doubt another restoration project is in the future.
The little girls that Glee brought here years ago are now grown with families and local businesses of their own. She looks forward to spending more time with them.
And what about Montrose Main Street?
“Main Street is looking good right now,” said Westcott.
That statement is echoed by long-time resident and realtor, Peg Evanoika, who was once the chairperson of the Montrose Downtown organization years ago. She has always felt the importance of a vibrant downtown and appreciated Westcott’s contribution to that.
“The downtown is the heart of Montrose. I love to be able to stroll downtown, walk the streets, do some window shopping, have a cup of tea, maybe go to a matinee at our downtown theater. When you are downtown, it just feels as if you are home,” she said.
Congratulations and best of luck to you, Glee. Thank you for keeping downtown Montrose alive and vibrant for so many years.