When Jesse Santaularia, owner of Motherlode, moved to Park City in 2011 the thought of owning a screen-printing studio and t-shirt shop never crossed his mind.
After completing law school and practicing in New York City for a few years, he became frustrated at the lack of decently paying positions during the recession and decided to take a break, a ski break. Jesse packed up and moved to Summit County, Colorado for a year, and while working at Copper Mountain he received ski privileges at Park City Mountain. After a trip or two to Park City he realized what Park City had to offer and decided to move one state over to continue following his passions of skiing and golfing.
For several years, Jesse worked seasonal jobs and skied as much as possible, which included traveling and exploring nearby mountain towns. He quickly realized, much like Park City, many of the souvenir shops that lined each ski destination’s respective Main Street felt similar and didn’t represent the style and quality he knew his generation was looking for. He did what any young entrepreneur would do. He created what he felt was missing.
In the spring of 2015, Jesse purchased screen-printing equipment and began teaching himself the ins and outs of the apparel industry. What he lacked in experience he had in passion and drive, and Motherlode Park City began to take shape. The first summer was spent building the business, creating an audience, and working the local market scene. Later that fall Jesse and partner Alex signed a lease on their current location at 710 Main Street and opened the doors in February of 2016.
Today Motherlode’s business is made of about 50% retail and 50% wholesale to local businesses, and while Jesse’s ski time is more limited than he’d like, he’s able to spend his days building a business and offering Park City residents and visitors something that was missing.
Motherlode provides the opportunity to purchase Park City branded apparel and custom-made products that represent a vintage, nostalgic look and feel. Additionally, the shop provides pre-made designs and invites the customer to select a design to combine with the tee shirt of their liking.
Motherlode designs come from inspiration found following industry leading graphic, street, and fine art artists on Instagram. Motherlode employee Parker (@nationalparker) also brings his perspective as the shop’s in-house designer and illustrator. Designs tend to draw from inspirational sources while staying true to Jesse’s days influenced by Brooklyn’s street / vintage style.
While it is much more work than play these days, Jesse finds time to enjoy the Park City lifestyle and looks forward to shoulder seasons when things quiet down a little, and he’s able to find more time to play. He also enjoys the anticipation of the transitioning season and the excitement in the air.
Jesse’s top picks of Historic Park City businesses are both Prime Steakhouse and Butcher’s for steak and wine. You can find him at Butcher’s weekly and at Prime on special occasions. He’s been getting his haircut by Billy the Barber since before Billy’s Barbershop was a thing and loves the offerings at Prospect as well. Finally, you can’t go wrong with a sandwich from the Main Street Deli for breakfast or lunch.
Motherlode is located on Lower Main Street in the Summit Watch Plaza at 710 Main Street. The shop is open from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Tuesday – Sunday with varying hours available on Monday. Online at motherlodepc.com or @motherlodepc.