Once upon a time in a tiny apartment in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Paige Ward dreamed of ridding her home of clutter, specifically plastic. She longed for a space dedicated to zero waste and maximum beauty. Paige scoured antique stores for vintage glass jars to store bulk items, always keeping an eye for products that were and could be recycled or repurposed.
“I looked for an artistic aesthetic,” said Paige. “Craft, utility, and beauty can apply to the products we use in our homes.”
She replaced plastics as their useful lives ran out, drawing inspiration from Instagram accounts dedicated to simple and sustainable living.
“I had become overwhelmed by the chaos that was our kitchen,” said Paige. “It really was a shift in mentality to have objects made of natural fibers, built with quality of craftsmanship.”
Paige and her partner, Evan Hauser, returned to Missoula where they’d met in art school at the University of Montana. The idea for a retail shop dedicated to her philosophy of sustainability grew out of conversations at the dinner table. Three Bales Home Supply launched in February of 2021, finding its home on South Higgins in a historical Missoula storefront that once housed Paxson Grocery.
“I had so many of these things in my home. I want to do the research on the back-end that most people don’t have time for,” said Paige. “I know these objects. I can attest to their quality, that they’ve met my checklist of standards.”
Three Bales is beautiful in its simplicity. The morning sun over Mount Sentinel casts a glow through the front windows, bringing light to Paige’s carefully curated line of home products, ranging from kitchen and cleaning to bed linens and brooms.
With a small space, Paige is thoughtful and methodical about the inventory she brings to Three Bales.
“I love the idea of sitting down to a candle-lit dinner, enjoying quality connection with the people I love. So I bring in the things that I value and love in my own home to the store,” she said. “Everybody eats and cooks to some capacity, so we offer a lot of kitchen items.”
With her commitment to a minimalist-maximalist mentality, Paige looks for products that serve a lasting, often generational, purpose in the home.
“Our grandmothers mended, saved, and reused items in their homes. I’m interested in consuming things well, so I can consume less,” she said. “Three Bales, in its concept, values that.”
She especially appreciates the opportunity to work with family-owned companies that are committed to quality craftsmanship, noting Smithey Ironware Company based in South Carolina for their cast iron pans that are machine finished on the interior. Paige also carries the work of a porcelain ceramic artist who makes timeless and classical pieces that are beautiful enough for a special occasion, but heavy-duty for everyday use.
“You can have really nice things that if you take care of them, they will last,” said Paige. “You’ll find cast iron cookware in antique stores long past our time.”
While the journey to zero-waste is an admirable one, Paige noted that she doesn’t want customers to immediately scrap everything in their home and buy all new.
“I encourage people to trade out things as they have the resources and as other things wear out,” she said. “Replacing everything at once and giving it to Goodwill is not sustainable for your finances or for the environment. Three Bales offers objects that you consume when you need them.”
Paige keeps a log of the home goods her customers hunt for, noting that with the changing of the seasons, she rotates inventory to suit the needs of the community.
“I really want people to honor their own aesthetic and lifestyle,” she said. “I want to honor the richness of people and the objects in their homes.”
From its beginning, Three Bales has offered an extension of her family home, a value with deep roots for Paige. She hosted several events in 2021 and plans to offer more in 2022, especially ones focused on women’s journeys throughout motherhood and home-keeping.
“I want people to have a peaceful feeling when they come here. I want to share this space as a place where people come together to create moments of connection in a time where we really need it,” she explained. “I adore all of these objects, yes, but what I really love is a slower, more thoughtful, and more intentional way of being present in our world.”
Visit Three Bales Home Supply at 1425 South Higgins, Suite 100, by calling 406.728.9559, or on Instagram @ThreeBalesHomeSupply.