All in the Family

08 Apr 2019

Fay Continues Homeware Legacy

Winter 2018/2019

Written By: Michelle DeLong | Images: Madison Webb

As she brews coffee and lovingly chases her kids and dogs around the bright interior of her Victor, Idaho, home, Jackson native Jennifer Fay says, “I really miss getting to work in the shop with my mom.”

Since having children of her own, Fay and her mom, Diana Gross, sometimes feel like ships passing in the night at Linen Alley, the Scott Lane shop they’ve co-owned since 2004. These days, they switch off working the floor and caring for Fay’s three children: Claire, Taylor, and Madeline. “We have different taste and ideas, but it works,” Fay explains. “We are two sides of the same coin.”

When Fay was a child, her parents ran a furniture store in the very same building where Linen Alley now resides.

“My parents brought me to work from the first moment,” Fay says. “I grew up there like my kids have grown up in Linen Alley. I was in every commercial and store advertisement for them, and always at the store in a little romper room. It’s in my blood.”

Fay’s parents eventually got out of the retail business and began renting the space instead. Fay moved to attend college with her future husband and years later, when they moved back to the valley, she found herself contemplating returning to her retail roots.

She wasn’t inspired by her position at the time, so when the space became available, her mom suggested they open a store together. A year later,
Linen Alley opened its doors, filling a niche by selling bed, bath, and kitchen supplies all in one shop.

The store thrived until the economy tanked in 2008, and Fay and her mom did what any savvy business owners would do: they adapted. To generate
extra income, they put a wall down the center of the building and rented out the other side. Then they cut out kitchen supplies to focus on the better-selling bed and bath items and started carrying beds. “That was my dad’s idea,” Fay explains. “We are continuing a legacy, in a way. Beds have been sold in this building for 40 years.”

Fay and her husband, who have lived in Victor for the past 14 years, recently designed a new home together with plenty of room for their children and dogs to roam. It is currently under construction, and they’re planning on moving in this summer. “We love living over here,” Fay says. “This side reminds me of the Jackson I grew up in, with that small-town feel.” Despite a long commute to work, Fay is content with keeping her business in its current location for now.

“As much as I would love having a store in Victor and not having to drive Teton Pass every day, I still like having a tie to Jackson because it was a place I loved growing up in,” she says.

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