MISSOULA — You may have heard or even celebrated Galentine’s Day. After pop culture references, the day before Valentine’s Day has since been reserved for you and your best gal pals.
But in Missoula, one group is taking the day to celebrate women-owned businesses and even figured out how to give back those businesses.
Galentine's Day may not be the longest-running holiday, but with the help of the Women’s Entrepreneurship Leadership Lab (W.E.L.L) Women’s Business Center, it is becoming a Missoula celebrated holiday.
The W.E.L.L is all about creating an empowering place for women-owned businesses to thrive. And what better opportunity to do that than on a day to celebrate your gal pals? That was the thought of Marguerite Thordarson, the business advisor for W.E.L.L.
“Shoppers will come in and purchase a gift for the next shopper and receive a gift from the last shopper in exchange,” said Thordson.
This is the organizations’ second year putting on the event. And even with a successful extravaganza last year, they have decided to spread the love a little more, by partnering with women-owned businesses around the state.
One of the stores in Missoula participating in the gift forward concept is Sarah Allen, owner of Mood Boutique.
“I just thought it was such a fun idea and just to put a smile on someone's face to come in and do it so I thought it was a no-brainer to participate," said Allen. "I liked that it was, you know, a focus on women and celebrating Valentine's.”
Thordson says that traditionally February can be a tough month for small businesses. So the idea came as a way to help alleviate that and spread some love in the Missoula community.
“Even if you don't have a gal to hang out with on Valentine's Day, just giving a gift to some gal and receiving a gift from a stranger is just kind of another fun way that we can celebrate it together, alone," said Thordson.
The Galentine’s Day event is running on social media, with not only the gift it forward concept, but giveaways and more stores to shop from all across Montana.