By Zandra Johnson
The Sleeping Indian Fine Wool Apparel building in Troy isn’t so sleepy after all.
The old school house at 218 Spokane Ave. is the manufacturing base for the company’s hand-made wool clothing which is specialized for outdoor functionality.
Sleeping Indian has been operating in Troy for three years, and they have been in business since 1989. They fill private orders from their website and from clients obtained at some of the biggest NRA shows in the country. Although they aren’t a traditional retail outlet, Sleeping Indian welcomes local customers too. “If there are vehicles out front, we’re here,” said operations manager Taylor Pollock.
Their wide variety of beautiful products can be seen in their building on racks of example pieces and in a room with items for sale. Coats, shirts, vests, hats, pants and more are available in many wool patterns and textures for every season.
The company offers hunting clothes designed for the most rugged terrain and serious outdoor enthusiasts in both women’s and men’s varieties. They have more casual styles and dress items as well, and they are all hand cut and sewn for a standard not easily matched.
Their products’ quality and versatility have caught the attention of some clients you might not expect for a small business operating in Troy, Mont.
The United States military recently extended a contract with Sleeping Indian doubling the amount of a previous order.
The Air Force’s Survival, Evasion, Resistance, Escape (SERE) Specialists train airmen to survive in any situation, anywhere on earth. Whether it’s in the arctic, the desert, a jungle, at sea or as a prisoner of war, they learn to be as prepared as possible. When airmen attend this training, they wear a uniform to help, and that’s where Sleeping Indian comes in. They make a military pant and shirt set for SERE trainees which get shipped to Fairchild Air Force Base in Spokane, Wash. and are then distributed to airmen.
Sleeping Indian also makes an effort to support local causes. They donate items to departing school board members to thank them for their service to the community, they donate scraps of wool to volunteers who make pet blankets for Kootenai Pets For Life, and they work with another local business, The Twisted Turtle in Libby, for final touches on their apparel. The screen printing and embroidery store does all of Sleeping Indian’s needed embroidery work.
Sleeping Indian currently has two part-time fabric cutters and four part-time sewers. With a recent increase in orders they are also looking to hire. If you have experience sewing and you are looking for work, Sleeping Indian might be a great option for you. You can reach them at firstname.lastname@example.org or go to their Troy location.
The two women who were there sewing during The Montanian’s visit were Diane Dudley and Gaye Gill. Both were happy to share their love of Sleeping Indian. Gaye proclaimed, “We’re grateful and blessed to have the opportunity to stay in Troy and make a living.” Diane reiterated her co-worker’s statements and added her own, “We work for wonderful people.” The length of time to finish an item depends on what it is, but a coat can take a day and a pair of pants can take about half of a day.
They are able to do custom orders for local clients who come in, if they want to get measured to ensure a proper fit. If you live nearby and are considering a purchase, stopping in is highly recommended. A deeply discounted ‘friends and neighbors’ price is available for those locals who order directly.
For people ordering online, Sleeping Indian ships worldwide. With business growing at Sleeping Indian after an order is placed, there is a six to eight week turnaround time from start to finish.
Taylor Pollock told the Montanian, “We love this location for our facility and want to keep it here providing local jobs. All of the materials we use are American made and heavy duty. Our products will last customers well over 20 years.”
If it’s time for an investment in your outdoor apparel, Sleeping Indian garments rank high on the list for local shopping and high quality.
(Picture) Johnathon Graves cuts a piece of fabric for an Outfitter Jacket. Photo by Zandra Johnson, The Montanian.