ELKO — When Hayley Bammesberger first opened a boutique in 1997, she didn’t think she’d be in business more than two years. Twenty years, a remodel and several name changes later, Indigo is celebrating a landmark anniversary with a month-long sale.
“We have some of our favorite things,” Bammesberger says of the sale, raffle and more than 100 mystery bags to be given away starting Sept. 1. “It’s our customer appreciation.”
Bammesberger started out creating floral arrangements and selling antiques. She formed the business around her hobbies, wanting to have a career in Elko after she and husband Rick Bammesberger moved from Utah.
“My husband brought me here, and I wanted to have a business,” she says. “We had no idea what it would turn into.”
Two years turned into 20, and the couple has become vested in the community and raised three sons, twins Brady and Brandon, and Caden, in Elko.
The store evolved over the years, starting out as Hayley’s Gifts & Antiques, shifting to Hayley’s Fine Gifts and shortening to Hayley’s. Services and products changed with the name, moving away from floral design and antiques and getting into what the owner calls “gifts with meaning.”
Now, the boutique is called Indigo after undergoing a remodel in 2015 to open up the space while staying small, supporting an environment Bammesberger describes as “airy and peaceful.”
“We keep trying to bring goodness to Elko — our treasures,” she says, explaining how when she goes to market in New York, she looks for merchandise with a story that shoppers cannot find at big-box or online stores. “I’ve always gone with stuff I love so it’s easy for me to sell it.”
The shop at 386 Fifth St., where it has been for two decades, features fair-trade items, mom-and-pop creations, product lines whose proceeds go back to their makers, natural cosmetics, including some for men, doTERRA essential oils and more. A mainstay always has been handcrafted Sorrelli jewelry, and a display case near the checkout stand showcases an array of glittering semi-precious stones and Austrian crystals.
“Even though we’ve changed it to Indigo, people still call it Hayley’s and always will,” Bammesberger says. “And that’s OK.”
Realtor Jill Wickens is one of the longtime customers who still calls the store Hayley’s. She first met Bammesberger when she started working for an agency on Fifth Street near the shop.
“I loved the energy. It was kind of my sanctuary. If I was having a bad day, I would just go to Hayley’s and feel better,” says Wickens, whose favorite purchases include spicy apple candles and chandelier-style antique gold earrings by Sorrelli. “I’m absolutely obsessed with Sorrelli.”
The boutique has that effect on people, says Bammesberger. She credits the like-minded owners of businesses, such as Cowboy Joe, on the block for bolstering each other.
“You can get a cup of coffee and come in and look around. People leave happy, wouldn’t you say, girls?” she asks two of her five employees. Personal assistant Mary McGarry and store manager Dezie Konakis chime in without hesitation: “Yes!”
That kind of support is one of the reasons Bammesberger says she loves living in a small town, “because everyone is willing to help out.”
Her customers patronize her store and have become friends. In return, the shop owner supports the community. Bammesberger has served on the board of the Downtown Business Association, including a stint as vice president for 12 years, through which she helps plan the Snowflake Festival.
“She always contributes to the community,” Wickens says. “She never says no.”
Wickens described how she always can rely on Bammesberger to find just the right gift for real estate clients. The Realtor likes to give homeowners a housewarming gift, and a personalized Christmas ornament or welcome basket from Hayley’s — “I still call it Hayley’s,” she says — can be just the right touch to memorialize the occasion.
“She goes above and beyond,” Wickens says, “and I consider her my dear friend.”
Friendships like that are what Bammesberger says she’s celebrating on her 20th anniversary. The celebration sale features weekly deals and a drawing for a grand prize of $500 in merchandise to be announced Sept. 30.
“I’m super grateful for the opportunity to bring a business into Elko, “Bammesberger says, “and that my customers have turned into friendships.”