By Montanans for Everyone
My husband Alex and I (Brooke), founded The Last Best Company in 2018. For years, we had been making and selling decorated goods at local markets and events in Missoula, Montana as well as offering product customization to local businesses. As our business grew, we began wholesaling our products to retailers. However, when the COVID-19 pandemic hit in 2020, all of our wholesale buyers stopped purchasing.
We knew we needed to pivot quickly to survive. We began making masks to meet the growing demand, and soon hired a team to help with production. In the midst of this chaotic time, we also focused on research and development, and came up with our unique wood patch hat. We laminated various types of laser-etched and cut wood veneer to anodized aluminum and riveted the patches to hats, creating a rugged and durable outdoor brand.
At the end of 2020, we launched Soula Box, a box business featuring 11 other women-owned businesses to build gift boxes and raise money to make gift boxes for COVID healthcare workers. This success led to the acquisition of The Last Best Box, a bi-monthly and one-time purchase gift box featuring all Montana businesses and artists.
In the fall of 2021, The Last Best Company was approached by the Southgate Mall through our hat Instagram page, Last Best Supply, to open a Montana store. The mall was looking for a local brand with roots in the community, and The Last Best Company fit the bill. Our grand opening was in February of 2022, and we are now proud to host over 100 local Montana artists and businesses.
Throughout our journey, we continued to upgrade our wood hat patches, beginning to utilize artisanally patinated copper veneer, bendable birch wood, and a veneer laminated to bonded leather. We also evolved our sewing operation to make high-quality sewn water bottle totes featuring 100% cotton ripstop, all grown and woven in the USA, along with art printed fabric and rivet-enforced webbing. We continue to offer product development and customization for other businesses, helping them elevate their brands with the high quality goods we create here in Missoula.
Today, The Last Best Company is a trifecta family of businesses including The Last Best Store, Last Best Supply, and The Last Best Box. Our goal is to support the local Montana economy, help elevate local artists, and support Montana manufacturing. We are proud to have come so far from our humble beginnings at the Missoula People's Market and are excited for what the future holds.