Roots Grow Deep and Strong: Missing LifeStyles

Belle Fourche News

“After 32 years of business, we are sad to announce that LifeStyles is permanently closed.”

The announcement appeared in my email a couple of weeks ago. The news was not surprising on the heels of founder Lori Foos’ passing. I did not know Lori well, but I liked her. I liked shopping at LifeStyles. I liked hanging out at LifeStyles, even when I was not running away from a Superbowl party. For LifeStyles regular customers, the experience of grief is two tiered. We are grieving the gift of Lori, and grieving the gift of her legacy, LifeStyles, the store where everybody knew your name.

There is no question that both Lori and LifeStyles will be deeply missed. 

A visit to LifeStyles wasn’t always a shopping trip, although walking out of the store empty handed was unlikely. The variety of styles, colors, sizes, brands, and accessories offered fashionable options for any occasion. A visit to LifeStyles meant time to try on something new, or experiment with something outside of your comfort zone. And there was always something that caught your eye that was cuter than anything you’ve ever seen anywhere. 

Clothes are important, but people are more important. Lori and her staff were consummate fashion consultants always available to help. There was never pressure to buy.  

The store was welcoming, and it was a kind of unofficial gathering place. Shoppers in LifeStyles always seemed to know each another and enjoyed catching up on gossip while searching the racks. A visit to LifeStyles offered a chance to get away from the ranch for a few hours to see what was new or who was out and about downtown. For others, a visit to LifeStyles was a planned stop when home for the holidays. Gift certificates drew men into the store from time to time. They too were welcomed. 

I liked passing the shop to check out the colorful window dressings. I liked stopping in to say hello to Lori or whoever was working and to pick up another Life is Good ™  T-shirt for my collection. I always seemed to meet someone I hadn’t seen for a while. LifeStyles was indeed a memorable part of our lifestyle in Belle Fourche for 32 years and will be missed.