What’s new? pt. 2

A first look at Sandpoint’s latest businesses

By Cameron Rasmusson
Reader Staff

Editor’s Note: New businesses are springing up all over Sandpoint this summer, and here at the Reader, we’re making an effort to introduce them to the community. Are you a new business owner in the greater Sandpoint area? Contact Cameron Rasmusson at [email protected] to be included in future articles.

Outdoor Experience

Alright, alright—Outdoor Experience is hardly a new business. In fact, it’s one of the more venerable downtown businesses in Sandpoint. But it is moving on to its next chapter under new ownership. And while customers can expect the same great shopping experience, new owner Jennifer Curto has a few ideas of how to expand and enhance business offerings for outdoor lovers.

“We’re pretty excited,” said previous owner Kevin Nye. “I’m most excited about the prospect of what Jenny can bring to the business and what she can add to it, because she’s such a vibrant and intelligent young woman. It will continue to be a good asset for the downtown community.”

Nye can be confident in Curto’s abilities — after all, he’s known her for a while. They became acquainted when Curto joined the same running group as his wife. One day, he casually asked her whether she’d eventually like to take over an outdoor supply store. Turns out the idea stuck in her head, because that off-hand remark gradually evolved into a full-fledged business deal.

“I think the number-one first priority is to honor the 33 years of Outdoor Experience — the first priority is to maintain what these guys created,” Curto said. “ But I also see some fun areas to expand, including the running category and the backpacking category.”

Community is the name of the game for Outdoor Experience, which specializes in clothes, equipment and goods for hiking, camping, kayaking, cross-country skiing, climbing and just about every other good time to be had in North Idaho nature. The store originally started out in the 1970s as Outdoor Connection, was purchased by Nye and his business partner in the 1980s and has been a downtown fixture ever since.


It seems there’s just no perfect way to shop for women’s clothing.

Traditional department stores are overwhelming and impersonal. Shopping online, meanwhile, is convenient but unreliable.

Cabi is designed to solve those problems while also injecting a vital element to the wardorbe shopping experience: fun. Thanks to Cabi stylist Phyllis Foro’s new studio in Cedar Street Bridge, all that and more is just a phone call away.

There’s a reason why Foro calls her location a studio and not a retail store. Her job is all about helping clients choose a wardorbe from Cabi’s specialized line of clothes, which can happen one-on-one or through popular “trunk shows.” These shows see women inviting their closest friends for a social occasion that involves drinks and appetizers, pleasant conversation and, most importantly, trying on new clothes. It’s a different way to find new clothing, but Foro says it’s not only more fun — it’s also an entry point to a style trend that has been spreading through word of mouth over the years.

Cabi clothes are known for their quality and versatility. Many articles of clothing are reversible or have a second design when turned inside out, while others take on a new life when paired with different colors. The upshot is that Cabi clothing can build a full seasonal wardrobe with comparatively few pieces.

“Cabi has good quality, it lasts a long time and the colors are amazing,” said Bizarre Bazaar co-manager Cherie Warber, who has stocked her fair share of Cabi clothing over the years.  

Cabi isn’t just a way to rediscover the joy in finding new clothes, Foro said. It’s almost a way to reorganize an entire life from the closet on up.

“It’s a way of putting together your wardrobe and never having a moment where you don’t know what to wear,” she said. “You could virtually get dressed in the dark.”

To schedule a consultation or a trunk party, call Foro at 206-948-2179 or email [email protected]

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