The two west-facing picture windows in the Sixth Street store that once housed Bricolage are both a blessing and a curse. In the afternoons, the space is filled with natural light. In the summer months, though, that light can bring with it an intense heat. The windows are tinted on the outside—great for saving a little energy, but not a great substrate on which to paint a sign. Tasked with a workaround, Classic Sign owner Noel Weber Sr., painted the windows from the inside and then (carefully) flipped them. Weber's outside-of-the-box solution coincidentally reflects the concept behind new tenant, Peace Valley Dry Goods and Barber Shop.
"It's about breaking free of ... having a closet full of crap [you] never wear ... you only need a few really good pieces in the closet," said Peace Valley co-owner Ryan Peck, pointing to small stacks of high-quality khakis, socks, and denim jackets and jeans; and a couple of uncrowded racks of button-down shirts.
Co-owner and barber Chris Thomas paused mid-cut and nodded.
"It's about 'less-disposable' fashion," he said over the buzz of clippers.
"Peace Valley," is ascribed to early 19th century Native Americans who would gather in the Boise Valley area to trade. If that snippet of history, plus the words "Dry Goods" weren't a tip off, the men's clothing store and barber shop is about getting back to basics.
"Most of our stuff is made in the U.S. or by small family-owned producers," Peck said. The store carries brands like Rogue Territory, Taylor Smith and Tennessee-based L.C King., which has been manufacturing garments for more than 100 years. There's also a small selection of custom-made totebags by Nampa-based Anderson Supply and Peace Valley will soon carry Redwing boots, too. Prices range from around $10 to about $250.
"The better your clothes are, the longer they'll last," Peck said, adding mass-produced jeans might survive 100 or so trips through the rinse cycle, but a pair of Rogue Territory jeans can stand up to thousands.
The "Barber Shop" side of Peace Valley isn't a nod to Boise's history, it simply is what it is.
"It's a classic barber shop," Thomas said. "It has a little bit of a modern feel, but it's definitely based on a traditional shop." Cuts are $25, shaves are $30, get both for $50. Walk-ins are welcome.
Peck and Thomas have been friends for years and, when Thomas moved back to Boise from Portland, Ore. a couple of years ago, his goal was to open a men's store. Peck and Thomas have similar tastes and a shared appreciation for well-made clothes. Peck, who helped found the thriving Boise Rock School, dug the idea of a clothing store/barber shop combo.
Finding a home for Peace Valley in the Central Addition was a bit of serendipity, too—for both its owners and the city. The area, which includes Capitol Boulevard and Broadway Avenue, and Front and Myrtle streets, will serve as a prototype for the city's new sustainable livability plan, part of which is bringing in innovative businesses. Like new (or new-ish) residents Boise Brewing, LoneCone and Ming Studios, Peace Valley fits perfectly into that plan. For Peck and Thomas, who wanted Peace Valley to be surrounded by businesses and organizations also doing cool things, it's like the space was tailor-made.
"We were looking at smaller spaces," Thomas said, "but when we found out this place was coming available, we were like, 'It's perfect."