Creating Ambiance, Feeling Like Home

We love to shop local.

One of our favorites to peruse in our hometown is Sweetbriar Gifts, in rural Rangely, CO.


Though it looks small from the outside, this expansive decor and gift shop that has many products you just wont find anywhere else. We thought you'd enjoy this excerpt from  Creating Ambiance, Feeling Like Home by Heather Zadra in Home on the Rangely's Volume 2, Issue 2 article: 



Sweetbriar owner Kathy Staley has worn her share of professional hats. As a teenager, she worked in a florist’s shop, a trade that later proved useful. She’s been a school bus driver, a waitress, and a bank teller. Most of Staley’s impetuses for jobs were the usual ones: she needed the money or wanted to pick up a new skill. Sometimes she saw a need and tried to fill it.

In the case of Sweetbriar, the home decor and gift shop that Kathy and husband Gary “Creature” Staley opened 20 years ago last November, the store both posed a challenge and offered the community something new. It was also just the right venue for the Staley’s’ range of abilities.

“She’s real good with people, she knows how to order the right stuff for people in small towns that they like,” Gary Staley says. “She’s creative at building gift baskets and flower arrangements. She’s good with her hands, she’s good with her books. She does everything.”

Meanwhile, Gary brings to the mix a “figure it out” mentality he attributes to instruction from parents, grandparents, and longtime mentors Julius Poole and Hershel Pilcher.

Kathy Staley moved to Rangely from Grand Junction after she and Gary married in 1980. She liked the small town and developing new skill sets there, from launching her own dog grooming business to briefly selling personalized gift baskets. Through each new undertaking, Gary, a longtime Rangelyite and district manager of two local oil companies, supported his wife’s vision, serving as lay carpenter, repairman, plumber, or contractor as the occasion required.
By 1996, Kathy was ready for something new. On a whim, she called up sister-in-law Teresa and Teresa’s mother, Mina Pauls, to ask whether they’d ever thought about running a gift shop. They hadn’t. Would they consider it? Staley wondered. They just might, the women replied. 

Continue reading online at our publication here

Other articles in The TANK issue include:

  • History Mystery
  • A News Story
  • County Characters
  • From the Farmstead

To read the issue click here!