Have you ever instantly fallen in love with a business? When everything about it just feels…right?
Sage Shop is one of those places. I’m not sure if it’s the charming Montana Dutton who owns this chic little shop or if it’s the fact that they regularly rotate different local artists’ work, ranging from metal works, to sketches, to paintings from local tattoo artists. Maybe it’s the guts of the place. The gritty, raw, and contagious passion of Sage Shop is tangible to anyone who walks through the doors. There is something to be said about businesses that just ‘click’ with their customers, or whose vibes are filled with such a sheer creative force that it throws you back—astounded and wanting more.
Every time I have encountered this type of fervent passion, regardless of the industry, the common denominator is always one person whose energy radiates through every facet of the business.
As the sole proprietor, Montana Dutton is the creative drive behind Sage Shop.
“In the winter of 2013 I took a big leap and moved to the Okanogan from Seattle, determined to create a simpler life. Dreams of chickens, gardens, goats, clotheslines, and finding a close-knit community fully occupied my mind,” said Montana.
She uprooted herself without any intention of joining the cannabis movement, but it appears fate had other plans.
“I met Buffalo Mazzetti, long-time medical grower and environmental activist, at Barter Faire, who was a founding member of the Okanogan Cannabis Association. We worked closely with Representative Joel Kretz, lobbying to allow cannabis to be grown outside as an agricultural crop and not just as an industrial warehouse commodity. Representative Kretz sponsored HB1991 and HB1992, bringing cannabis production to rural areas much in need of the economic benefit. Deciding to open this store was a natural progression of becoming involved in the burgeoning industry,” said Montana.
This woman knows her stuff. She is the exact type of person you want to go to if you are trying to treat an ailment through naturopathy. A yoga teacher with her master’s degree in oriental medicine and acupuncture, Montana is the total package.
I can’t speak for everyone, but when I go to a recreational store I’m looking for someone who shares my holistic view of cannabis. I sincerely appreciate Montana’s ability to share the importance of the mind/body/spirit connection to every customer who comes through her doors.
Most people who know Omak have heard of the historic Omak Stampede, which started in 1933 and continues to draw thousands of spectators to this day. Many would argue that it is one of the best rodeo events in Washington. One of the many noteworthy features in the store is a large edifice of wood with a bull’s skull emblazoned upon it. This attention-grabbing centerpiece is made from the original Omak Stampede grounds’ bleachers, and it’s weathered quality adds to the old-timey feel. Nothing says western rustic chic like old wood from a famous rodeo.
Along with providing high-quality products ranging from tinctures to topicals, Montana makes an effort to ensure a large portion of her glass comes from local artists like West Coast Glass, which has their studio in nearby Wenatchee. Below the light fixture that hangs over the counter (which, ahem, is also made from those historic Omak Stampede bleachers), you will find bud from all over Washington, edibles, THC drinks, and a huge selection of concentrates.
Not all recreational stores are created equal. Some have a more to offer than just the products themselves. Sage Shop offers so much more than just products; you are offered a deeper connection to the natural world. When I asked Montana about her inspiration while dreaming up this place, she explained that drawing from her local surroundings was an important factor.
“My wish is to reflect and showcase the best of the Okanogan. The landscape, local artists, and wares from our abundance of cannabis farms within the county. Sage is a sacred herb used to cleanse and purify energy. The store name not only references an abundant local plant, but it’s associated spirituality and wisdom,” she explained.
“I hope that your visit to the Sage Shop will evoke a feeling of connectivity. It doesn’t make a difference if you are a grandmother with back pain or a 20-something who smokes every day, we want everyone to feel comfortable and cared for here.”
I asked Montana what one message she would like to convey to DOPE readers, and her answer was as genuine as it was poignant.
“Go for a swim in Omak Lake, ski the Loup Loup in the winter, and smoke a joint while you are out soaking up the sun and adventuring. Enjoy the simple things in life, take care of what matters, act for the good of all, and take good care of yourself. Be of service, stewardship, responsibility, generosity.”