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Meet Carrie Chisholm, Co-Owner of Wellness Mercantile Haskill Creek

We are thrilled to announce that EVOLVh is now available at Haskill Creek, a wellness mercantile nestled in the picturesque Whitefish, Montana.

We had the pleasure of chatting with Carrie Chisholm, the Co-Owner of Haskill Creek, about her story, what inspired the launch of Haskill Creek, nurturing their community, and of course, which EVOLVh products are her personal favorites—enjoy! 

Can you share a little bit about your personal journey and what eventually led you to create Haskill Creek?

My personal journey with self care is a lot like most people trying to lead a healthy, balanced lifestyle. I have always tried to be thoughtful about what I put into my body and the effects of my choices on the environment. I really trusted what companies were saying at face value without reading the fine print. Being a busy mom to two active boys, and maintaining a full time career, I didn’t have the time or energy to do that kind of digging. But at the end of the day, I want products that are clean for me, for my family and for the environment, but I also want them to do their job.

When we were dreaming about what Haskill Creek could be, we really had a lot of fun envisioning a store that we would want to shop at. We wanted to design a destination that feels fresh, inviting and trustworthy. It was important customers could trust that what they purchase at Haskill is not only clean and effective but can also be effortlessly incorporated into their existing lifestyle.

We are really excited about what we have been able to create this first year in business. Our amazing staff with the support of local health experts spend countless hours not only researching ingredients and companies, but personally testing the products we carry at the store. This is a never ending process, we don’t carry 100 different choices in each category–we’re on a constant search for the best. We want to make clean living fun, easy and accessible for anyone.

Do you have any tips or advice for someone who may feel stuck in their wellness journey or are not finding the answers they need with conventional medicine and traditional pharmacies?

I can relate, there is so much information and products out there, it can be paralyzing. My advice would be to start small. Pick one thing that is really bothering you and have some fun focusing on that. I really want to emphasize the fun part, because taking better care of yourself and having control of your health choices, should not only be empowering, but fun!

For me, that start “small” was sleep. I had no trouble going to sleep, but staying asleep throughout the night was not just frustrating, it was significantly affecting my quality of life. On top of that, my conventional go-to-sleep remedies would leave me feeling foggy and sluggish the next day. So, I focused my attention on just my nighttime habits. I found that slightly adjusting my nighttime routine, paired with some natural supplements have drastically improved the quality of my sleep and my life! Feeling success in one area of your life, can make it much easier to tackle others.

Also, don’t be afraid to question what you read or what you are being told. I sometimes feel like a detective, researching what ingredients really are or what a certain company or product is all about.

How did you come to define the standards and criteria for the brands you choose to work with?

There are a lot of amazing companies, websites and organizations out there doing hard work in defining what “clean” means and how various ingredients affect people and the environment. Like most of these groups, we are doing our own extensive research to define what clean means to us and our customers. We have an amazing staff with a wide variety of health needs that have a voice in the products we carry and we have an advisory board of practitioners that weigh in on various ingredients.

As a result of this research, we created a comprehensive system that we use to assess every product that we may be interested in offering. It is really more than just a list of banned ingredients. We try our best to weigh efficacy with the cleanliness of the ingredients and the sustainability of the packaging and the company.

Can you share more about the Save Farmland initiative and how Haskill Creek contributes to preserving local farmland?

Save Farmland is a nonprofit that my husband Scot founded with other members of the Whitefish, MT community.

Its mission is to acquire and protect farmland in Montana and beyond; and help new farmers get started. For example, providing land at a fraction of the cost and trying to help out with other farming startup costs that are a huge barrier for most.

Montana used to grow 75% of its own food, and now it's down to 3-5%. This is similar across almost all the states. Save Farmland is trying to reverse this trend.

Haskill Creek donates $1 of every order to the cause! So far we’ve donated tens of thousands and continue to find ways to organize around and support the effort through many things that we do as a business.

Beyond being a destination for wellness, beauty, and lifestyle products, you host some fun community events! Can you share more about what kind of events you host?

One of our core values at Haskill Creek revolves around strengthening community. We want Haskill to give more than it takes from the place that helped get it started.

Part of this is hosting all sorts of free events at the property to bring the community together. We have a popular summer series of events that includes bands, food trucks and games for kids. Hundreds of people from the local community come out for these, and it’s truly been a joy to watch the community come together to enjoy each other’s company and the space on a weekly basis.

We also host health and wellness related events and workshops that feature local practitioners that can share their expertise in a variety of topics. For instance, we recently had a well-attended brain health event that has served as a catalyst to host a dedicated health and wellness community day, where we’re inviting wellness practitioners of all types (everyone from holistic doctors to chiropractors to yoga instructors to IV therapy practitioners) to come out and speak to our customers about what they have to offer, and how it may enrich their lives.

What is next for Haskill Creek Farms?

In the immediate future we are opening up a 4,000 square foot second store in downtown Whitefish, Montana.

This store will have an expanded selection of products and we hope to create a more holistic and clean ingredients-focused alternative to the traditional pharmacy like Walgreens or CVS.

We also have plans to expand our educational programming on-site and online, and eventually have an online store where anyone can shop from.

Running a business can be overwhelming, especially when combined with the daily stressors of life. What are some of your favorite ways to de-stress and take care of yourself?

We tend to make life so serious all the time (myself included); so to destress I try to do something light hearted, like watching a funny movie with my kids, or going on a hike. With a crazy schedule and two wild kids it’s hard to find dedicated alone time just to decompress, but I’m working on that!

What does wellness or living a healthier, happier life mean to you?

I try to keep it simple and have as much fun as I can. That’s when I’m happiest. So to me, it's trying to relieve stress the best I can, get really good sleep, and make sure I’m doing things that I enjoy with family and friends.

Montana is renowned for its natural beauty. What are some of your favorite activities or places you recommend visitors explore?

There are so many amazing places to visit and things to do in Montana. We live in Whitefish and the town and community has so much to offer. 

As a ski resort and summer destination, downtown Whitefish is a quintessential resort town–we’ve got tons of great restaurants and shopping. We also have a really incredible hiking and mountain biking trail system which I love to take advantage of.

A lot of our downtime revolves around activities that we enjoy doing as a family–for us that primarily means boating on Whitefish Lake in the summer and skiing at Whitefish Mountain Resort in the winter. We also spend a lot of time traveling around the state with our children for sports as they’ve gotten older–some of my favorite places we’ve visited include Missoula and Bozeman.

We’re honored to be stocked at Haskill Creek. Do you have any EVOLVh favorites?

We are thrilled to have EVOLVh in our store! We did a lot of research and tried a lot of different hair care products and you were the overall favorite amongst the staff. I have quite a few favorites!  Daily, I use the SmartColor Shampoo and Conditioner.  Once a week I swap that conditioner for the UltraRepair Reconstructing Masque. If I am planning to do my hair for an event, I will use the InstantVolume Duo with the InstaVolume Mousse. At my last hair appointment, my stylist commented that my hair was in great shape and felt really healthy. That is a great compliment to your products, because that was a first!

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To our EVOLVhers in Montana, we hope you'll be able to stop by in person to shop, discover, and connect with the amazing Haskill Creek team!