Sheridan-based Bighorn Design Studio buys 1890 Inc.

Josh Hodges makes eclipse shirts on the screen printer at 1890 Craft Apparel on July 25, 2017, in downtown Casper. The apparel business had to outsource some of its manufacturing due to high demand on eclipse merchandise. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City File)

1890 Inc., Casper’s home-grown apparel and custom screen printing shop, has been sold to Sheridan-based Bighorn Design Studio.

“It all has happened so fast,” said Bighorn Design Studio owner PJ Treide.

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Treide has been eyeing expanding into the Casper market since last year.

“We had a (pop-up) location at the Lyric during the Eclipse, and I just remember seeing David Street Station for the first time and thinking, ‘man, I’d really love to be a part of Casper,'” said Treide.

His company had been in touch with various brokers in Casper when a friend told him 1890 Inc. owner Scott Cotton was interested in selling. It took about two weeks of negotiations.

“Within two days we had an offer on the table to Scott after two meetings, and as of Friday we had a deal in place,” said Treide.

Oil City News reached out to Scott Cotton but did not hear back by press time. Cotton, who was profiled in Forbes Magazine leading up to the Eclipse Festival in 2017, posted an announcement on his Facebook page last week:

There couldn’t be a better group of people that I would trust with my company! Casper is in for a treat with 1890 being powered by Bighorn Design Studio!
On to the next thing!

The transaction means that 1890 Inc. will cease to exist as a standalone company. 1890’s apparel brand will now join Bighorn Design Studio’s other brands, such as Surf Wyoming, Go Slo, Bison Union, among others. By mid-November, all of Bighorn Design Studio’s brands will be available in 1890’s location.

The 1890 Screen and Stitch manufacturing arm will be absorbed by Bighorn Design Studio, where custom orders and design will now be handled. Manufacturing will also continue in Casper in addition to Bighorn Design Studio’s other locations.

Treide says that for the time being the Casper operation will stay in 1890’s current location at the restored Skelly service station building on West Yellowstone, but by spring of next year they expect to be in a larger location to meet demand.

Treide says the historic building on Ash Street sold last year by the City of Casper is still in consideration, but exact terms for build-out costs and square footage are still under negotiation. “It’s our first choice,” said Treide.

Treide says Casper’s experienced workforce is one of the biggest assets in his expansion here. The company employs 50 people in its Sheridan, Cody and Powell locations, and expects to eventually employ 20 to 30 more people here, said Treide.

“I think it’s a huge deal for us,” he said.

The historic Skelly filling and service station on West Yellowstone has been home to 1890 Inc. since 2016. (Dan Cepeda, Oil City)