Let Monarch be your Muse

New vintage boutique deters from fast fashion, landfill



Moncarch Boutique offers variety of options in the store

JOSIE GOODRICH, Reporter/Copy Editor

From being the manager of a hotel, to a paralegal, to working at WSU for the last 17 years, Karly Gomez is adding another item to her resume: owning Monarch Boutique.

All of the businesses and experiences Gomez has been involved in throughout her life have served a great purpose for her and her family, she said. Gomez has always been a fashionista, as well as been inspired to shop and find sustainable ways to buy clothing.

“Looking for treasures has always been something that I’ve loved and a boutique has been something that I’ve wanted to do since I was a little kid,” Gomez said. “I wanted to be a business owner and I wanted to have my own place so that I could do something like this, but it just took 43 years to do it.”

Monarch Boutique opened on August 19, 2022, and just about anything can be found inside, from shirts to glassware and everything in between, Gomez said.

“Vintage places will have kind of a niche or an era that they like to focus on. I don’t have a defined era or decade, I just like all of them,” Gomez said. “I have a 1950s Peacoat and 70s jeans, I mean there’s eras all just combined into the store.”

Pre-loved items are available, as well as uniquely curated things that she has been able to find over the years. Other than bags, purses, wallets, shoes and anything else you can dream of, there are pre-made baskets of unique items that can be bought.

“You can pop in and grab a basket that you could give to a friend if they’re sick or they’re just kind of down, for instance I have one that has this really neat crochet blanket, four really cute squash and pumpkin bowls, books and then this big cookbook that is all about soups that you can make,” Gomez said. “It’s all secondhand items, so giving life to old items and then putting them in the other things.”

Gomez looks far and wide for her items, stretching to the East Coast and any backyard yard sale, she said. Gomez also works with three different vendors across the country, one being in Los Angeles, Texas and another back East. Thanks to Zoom she is able to virtually walk through their warehouses and pick out her goodies.

“I’ve had a lot of people comment on how my prices are really great and actually not as expensive as they were thinking when it comes to vintage. Part of my message is wanting to be sustainable and reusing things and I don’t want it to be so out of a price range that other people of all different finances can’t enjoy something,” Gomez said.

Alongside her vintage pieces, Gomez has a trunk of items ranging from $1-5, that has anything and everything, she said. The trunk has a sign on it that says, “Fast Fashion Deserves a Second Chance Too.”

“I know that fast fashion is a big problem right now, clothes are just constantly being reproduced and rather than having them land in a landfill, if they don’t make it to a thrift store and into someone else’s closet, I would rather they go in this trunk and you can get them for a yard sale price,” she said. 

Jody Kennedy, senior apparel merchandising design and textiles major, is a new employee of Monarch and has grown not only her love for fashion, but for the boutique, she said.

“My favorite part about working there is our company culture. Karly provides a really, really safe and welcoming atmosphere in the store and she allows me to be a part of honestly any part of the business that I want to be,” Kennedy said.

Kennedy knows how wasteful the fashion industry is, and although she loves the industry and wants to be a part of it, she does not want to be a part of the problem. Because of that, Kennedy is a huge advocate of shopping secondhand, she said.

“I think shopping secondhand and shopping vintage clothing is one really cool way just to make your own personal style unique and special to you by finding pieces that really speak to you,” Kennedy said. “It’s also just really helpful for our planet, our economy and just the fashion life cycle.”

Kennedy hopes that Monarch can become a safe place for those needing a break from Pullman and looking to spark their creativity, she said. Not only is it a safe, welcoming space, but it is affordable for almost anyone. 

“With Monarch, she keeps her prices really honest and extremely reasonable and something that’s really accessible to everyone in the Pullman community. It’s a really cool way to allow people to change up their fashions and explore new trends, while also keeping it at a really reasonable price point,” Kennedy said.

There will be a grand opening this weekend for Kure & Co., Monarch Boutique, Palouse Wellness Massage and Terracotta, Friday through Sunday, Gomez said. There will be a punch card promotion on Saturday where making a purchase from all four businesses in the month of October (four punches total) earns you 20% off a service or class or purchase of an item. The punch card will only be available to get on Saturday.