20 under 40: Emily and Luke Dudley, Ohana and Townies
July 26, 2017
When Luke and Emily Dudley's Steamboat Springs jobs ended around the same time, they packed their bags and hit the road. Luke had been working in service industry management and development, Emily in administration and marketing. Luke, 37, had grown up in Steamboat, and Emily, 36, had been living here for a dozen years.
They headed to Lahaina, Maui, where they'd married and had visited several times before.
"We wanted to refresh and figure out what we really wanted to do," Emily says. "We asked, 'What elements of a job would you consider to be your dream job?' Mine was the drawing and design — the more creative side."
"I really liked the hands-on side, creating the product and seeing the end result," Luke says.
They considered how those elements could fit into the Steamboat market, and in July 2015, the couple moved back to the town where they'd found their sense of community, or extended family — referred to in Hawaii as "ohana."
That winter, they opened a shop on Seventh Street of the same name. The space features screen-printed clothing and accessories, postcards, jewelry and household goods, with work crafted by Colorado artists. Their dog Kenna can usually be found snoozing or greeting the shop's guests.
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From the start, Ohana featured live printing demonstrations and fundraising collaborations with local organizations, including Strawberry Park Elementary's Fly Gulch Schoolhouse restoration, Partners in Routt County, Routt County Council on Aging, Steamboat Springs Winter Sports Club and Steamboat Soccer Club.
"We loved the concept of live printing (for local organizations) and giving back," Luke says.
"It's a community that's done so much for us in different ways, so we want to give back, too," Emily adds.
This summer, the Dudleys will open a sister store called Townies. It's in the former Storm Peak Brewery space, with live screen printing in the old brewing area and with coffee, beer, wine and food up front.
"Our goal is to make it a creative community gathering space," Emily says, adding they'll also host screen printing workshops. "For people to come and hang out and hopefully be inspired."
When they're not busy at the shops, the Dudleys enjoy camping, skiing and overall exploring — "a little bit of everything," Luke says.