Ten years ago this month, Elisa Chambers made a bold move: She opened Twenty Two Home as an entrepreneurial extension of her design firm, Snake River Interiors. Recognizing the need for a local source for singular design pieces, she knew the concept hinged on finding the perfect spot. And then, in the waning months of 2011, a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity arose: an employee tipped her off to the imminent vacancy of 45 East Deloney, a frontier storefront owned by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows and occupied by Jackson Hole Clothiers for three decades. The space featured a panoply of cowgirl trappings: changing rooms modeled after barn stalls, rampant wood paneling, welded brand fixtures, and plush carpeting throughout.
Jumping into gear, Elisa drafted a detailed business plan and presented her proposal to the landlords. One of 150 applicants, she appealed to their civic spirit (the rent goes toward the IOOF Foundation which benefits the Senior Center and academic scholarships): as a mother of four babies and partner to a Jackson native, she promised her new business would serve the community and fill a much-needed niche allowing Jackson residents to beautify their homes with finds found locally, rather than online or far-flung. Underscoring her courage as a female business owner, she framed her successes as a designer within the context of her connection to place: community support had enabled her firm to grow and thrive, and the retail extension, against the backdrop of the recession, would provide a do-it-yourself outpost for locals. “Very little was happening because of the recession. People were wary,” Elisa remembers. “I wanted to help locals redesign their homes themselves.”
Despite the competitive odds, Elisa won the lease and quickly dove into the transformation. She cleared out the Western effects and opened up the space, revealing the elegant bones that now define the clean aesthetic of Twenty Two Home. “Those early days were so fun for me—it felt like a diversion from my design practice,” she says. Her small crew of three worked tirelessly tailoring the space and sourcing inventory. Building on her existing relationships with vendors, she was able to buy directly and pass the savings along. Her retail identity coalesced around all she had learned living in Wyoming and all she had absorbed growing up in California.
When the showroom doors opened only weeks after signing the contract, Twenty Two Home received a warm reception by locals, eager for accessible design. The immediate proof of concept allowed the store to quickly grow in scope, with new lines added seasonally including the Signature 22 collection of custom furniture. What initially seemed like a leap became an aesthetic stride forward for the community at large, with homeowners and local designers alike shopping the shelves at Twenty Two Home.
Reflecting on the decade milestone, Elisa turns her gaze forward, as is her instinct, imagining new outlets for her aesthetic and enterprise. “I feel so blessed and as such, always ask myself, ‘What more can I do for the community?’” More as further manifestation of a talented person thriving in an unparalleled place.