Business

Route 66 meets Highway 203 at Carnation's Cowgirls Western Wear store

Phyllis and Marty Kenworthy bring Old West and Hawaiin touches to their new clothing store in Carnation, Cowgirls Western Wear. - Allison Espiritu / Snoqualmie Valley Record
Phyllis and Marty Kenworthy bring Old West and Hawaiin touches to their new clothing store in Carnation, Cowgirls Western Wear.
— image credit: Allison Espiritu / Snoqualmie Valley Record

Calling up her inner cowgirl, Redmond resident Phyllis Kenworthy has brought a piece of the Old West into the Snoqualmie Valley.

Setting up shop with husband Marty in a restored 1938 gas station in Carnation, Kentworthy opened Cowgirls Western Wear just in time for Carnation's Sidewalk Sale in August.

Finding the vintage town pump an appropriate location for the newfound business, Phyllis described it as Route 66 meets State Route 203.

"There's the little connection there to the Southwest, which is our other love," she said.

Believing that it's time to dress again in attractive and figure-flattering clothes that show off a rugged style, Cowgirls Western Wear brings the stylized, vintage embroidery, pearl snaps and structured fit of old-time western shirts as affordable staples of the business.

"What's not to like about a good-looking cowgirl?" she said. "Cowgirls represent smart, hard-working women, and it's time to look good while we're at it."

Teaming-up with Rockmount Ranch Wear, Phyllis ships the western style duds from Denver, Colo., and also features a line of her own called Aloha Cowgirl.

"Hawaii is huge for cowboys," she said. "The big island of Hawaii has cattle and horse ranches. They brought out the Portuguese to teach them how to herd and go out on the range in front of cattle."

Few people have heard about the Big Island wranglers, but Phyllis was inspired by them for her style, mixing Hawaiian floral patterns with plaid prints with a western style flare.

Native American-made silver and turquoise earrings, necklaces, bracelets and pins from New Mexico will also be a part of their western collection.

Phyllis and Marty hope to open the second phase of their business, an Americana Music Stage and eatery called Sliders, by November.

"We'll have six and 12-inch meatball sliders, frend eggplant sandwiches, avocado melts and sides of coleslaw and potato salad," Marty said. "You can sit down, eat and listen to music."

The Kenworthys both love Western-style music and have been playing bluegrass for the past 30 years.

"There's a wealth of bluegrass and we have a lot of associates in Snoqualmie and North Bend," Marty said.

Once Sliders opens, they hope to have Saturday afternoon bluegrass jam sessions, Saturday evening bluegrass show case concerts, Thursday open mic nights and Friday showcase concerts of single, duos and variety acts.

"When you drive along Snoqualmie Valley Route 203, stop in at Cowgirls Western Wear at Carnation Station to see what's up and say 'Howdy'," Phyllis said. "It's hard to miss with the restro gas pumps out front and a smiling, well-dressed cowgirl inside."

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