Renaissance Man of the West
A Q&A with Jeremiah Young of Kibler & Kirch
Photos by Audrey Hall
When Jeremiah Young first walked into Kibler & Kirch—an interior design firm and showroom in Red Lodge, Montana—in 1993, he felt an instant connection. “I was 17 at the time, and I remember going in there and it just spoke to my soul,” he recalls. “I somehow understood it on a different level—what they were trying to do, the kind of quality and sensibility that it had.” Seventeen years later, after acquiring a degree in English literature, opening a denim-driven clothing store and working at an engineering firm, Young heard that Kibler & Kirch was closing. Distraught, he took it as a sign of fate and decided to turn his lifelong love for design into his next business venture. “The owners said, ‘If you know someone who wants to buy it, come talk to us,’” he says. “So I did.”
"We believe in a gracious and inspiring office environment,” Young says of a workspace in the Billings studio. “It’s all about perfectly scaled furniture, art and gorgeous rugs.”
At the helm of Kibler & Kirch, Young has focused on growing the business—he recently opened a second design studio in Billings—while maintaining the 25-year-old company’s timeless style. We caught up with the entrepreneur, who says he’s “39 going on 139,” to talk about his latest business endeavor, why he’ll never leave
Montana, and his favorite caffeinated vice.
MOUNTAIN LIVING: You moved to Montana from Tennessee at 17 years old. What has kept you there?
JEREMIAH YOUNG: Initially, it was for a fresh start. I could go to a big city somewhere and work in design and get a lot more recognition or notoriety, but Montana is the place for me. You can have more of an impact in a smaller community.
Kibler & Kirch keeps an impressive stock of fabrics and finishes.
Tell us about Stapleton Gallery, your new art gallery located in the same space as Kibler & Kirch in Billings.
My approach to design is very eclectic, and in many ways, art-centric. I love to use people’s art, be inspired by their art, and help them find the right piece of art
for their homes. So it’s a natural extension to have a gallery, where we represent a great, eclectic selection of artists like Kevin Red Star
and Ben Pease.
Young chats with members of his design team.
How do you juggle being a dad to two young daughters and a thriving businessman?
Mountain Dew. No, sometimes I don’t juggle things all that well. I work a great amount, but the key is that I’m so passionate about what I do that it doesn’t feel like work. Very rarely do I feel like I need to recharge my batteries because what I do
is electrifying to me.
What’s something you always carry with you?
Black felt-tip pens. My sport coats are filled with them. When I’m with a client, I’m able to communicate an idea very quickly by sketching it out.
Piles of design and photography books occupy the studio’s great room.
How would you describe your personal style?
I wear the same thing every day: a white non-iron shirt, dark jeans and a sport coat. I learned that trick from [Kibler & Kirch co-founder] Rosina Kastelitz; she would wear black every day. If we’re looking at fabrics or paint colors with a client, I don’t want my clothes to tint the colors we’re working with.