Old Goats, New Designs
by Danielle Vigueria
When Ethan Petro and his wife, Joni, bought Old Goats Hard Goods in 2018, they wanted to expand on the 20 years of successful business and bring something new to the hardware scene in the Flathead Valley. In addition to exceptional cabinet and door hardware, they began supplying top-of-the-line cabinetry to their clients. Today, the business offers a wide variety of custom-made options for every room of the home, and the team at Old Goats is also an integral part of the design process.
“We definitely thought there was an opportunity to impact the Valley by offering greater access to cabinetry that designers, architects, and homeowners may be able to get in other locations,” says Ethan. “We didn’t want to be just a resource for ordering and installing. The products we provide don’t come from a catalog in three sizes and two finishes. We work with our clients to design and draw to their needs and then we work with cabinet builders and craftsmen to build exactly to those specifications.”
Having a background in corporate sales and marketing, Ethan brings a fresh perspective to his business that he describes as “relationship-driven rather than product-driven.” With this approach, Ethan and his team invest a lot of time upfront in the process to develop trust and truly understand the functional needs of their clients.
“It’s pretty easy to just physically fit a bunch of cabinetry into a space and say we are done. But I believe we need to understand how the client is going to live in the home. Everyone is different, and every kitchen is different,” he continues. “We want to capture the flow—thinking about things like, ‘How often do you shop for groceries? Where do you want your silverware?’ And I challenge people not to simply default to the way they are used to doing things; good design may open up many new, more efficient possibilities.”
Ethan takes his thoughtful planning a step further with something he calls “drawer sizzle.” It’s the term he uses to describe the organizational elements inside the cabinetry. How will the drawers be laid out? How many shelves should go in that cabinet? At what height? There are just as many considerations for the interior of the cabinetry as for the exterior, and the Old Goats team ensures that those opportunities to maximize functionality aren’t wasted.
“We want to capture the flow—thinking about things like, ‘How often do you shop for groceries? Where do you want your silverware?’ And I challenge people not to simply default to the way they are used to doing things; good design may open up many new, more efficient possibilities.”
–Ethan Petro, Owner, Old Goats Hard Goods
Old Goats works with builders, developers, and designers to flawlessly integrate cabinetry into a home. Rather than feeling like an afterthought, every detail—the materials, finishes, hardware—is carefully selected and included in the design specs.
And with a new wave of homeowners coming to the Flathead Valley from many metropolitan areas, Old Goats is well-positioned to meet the changing tastes and needs of the community. By using a selection of vendors from across the country, they are proud to be able to present options that might not otherwise be available in Montana.
“Working with some of the best cabinetmakers in the country, we’ve been able to source products that can satisfy any style.”
–Ethan Petro, Owner, Old Goats Hard Goods
“Working with some of the best cabinetmakers in the country, we’ve been able to source products that can satisfy any style,” says Ethan. “Lately, demand is turning to more sophisticated, modern design elements as well as unconventional finishes like leather and various laminates. We are able to widen the view for our clients and make almost anything in cabinetry possible, which is not always the case in a smaller market like ours.”
In addition to offering access to a more diverse group of products, partnering with these companies has allowed Ethan and his team to better manage their supply chain and shorten lead times—two central pieces of their fine-tuned process. At Old Goats, finding the best way to manage projects and applying some lessons learned from their time in corporate America sets them apart. They are happy to challenge old industry habits and find ways to improve the overall experience for their clients. For every job, they strive to combine creative design with high-quality process.
“I love the fact that every project is different,” says Ethan. “I enjoy helping create beautiful and functional spaces for the people we work with, and I value the relationships we build throughout those collaborations. We partner with incredible designers, architects, and builders and it really has been a fun adventure. I look forward to continuing to bring new design ideas and products to the Flathead Valley.”
Old Goats Hard Goods serves the Flathead, Mission, and Bitterroot Valleys and has a second location in Sun Valley, Idaho.