MountainStyle Living

Laura Montecot-Fruth came to the U.S. from Peru in 1986 to learn English. She started her studies at Hunter College in New York and then moved to New York City for work.

“A friend of mine offered me a job at a restaurant in the Condé Nast Building [now named 4 Times Square] where Vogue, Condé Nast and Vanity Fair magazines had their headquarters.” Then, she worked at a French boutique in the city. “They taught me everything I know about luxury design and branding, buying high-quality clothes and running a shop.”

When Laura and her former husband were offered a job in California, they had to drive through the Wasatch Mountains to get there. “When we passed through, we thought, ‘This place is insanely beautiful. We want to live here!’” Before they knew it, they had lined up jobs at Sundance Resort and moved to Park City. It was 1995. At the time, their kids were 2 years old and 4 months old — now they are 30 and 28, and Laura has spent most of her life in Park City.

“We are blessed to be here. It’s so beautiful and the people are kind. There is some sort of simplicity to the town and way of life. I take my dog walking every morning and whenever I see people, they smile and wave hello and sometimes even stop to talk. It’s growing, but we still have those small-town moments.”

Laura grew up in Arequipa, Peru, a city that is vastly different than New York City or Park City. She went to a French school that required her to speak both French and Spanish, her native tongue. Her father owned a sock factory, and it was there that Laura learned to discern material quality and nuanced colors.

After managing the Foundry Grill at Sundance Resort, she co-owned a Main Street restaurant, worked as a buyer for a big boutique and helped manage several designer shops. Eventually, she opened Grace Clothiers, a boutique clothing shop on Main Street.

The store is the culmination of years of networking and fashion industry experience. She can source unique pieces of clothing, handmade jewelry and artisan home goods for her loyal Park City clientele. Every September, Laura travels to Europe to acquire clothes for the coming spring. To ensure that the clothes at her shop are always cutting edge, she buys and plans out everything six months in advance.

“What keeps me going is when I can help someone find that perfect item. You can see the joy on their face as they say, ‘Wow, I really love this!’” Laura says.

In addition to helping shoppers find that “wow” item, people often stop by Grace Clothiers just to say hi. Laura has built a dynamic network of friendships, and thanks to the many languages she speaks, it’s not uncommon for someone to come by to see a smiling face and have a conversation in their native tongue.

Many have found a friend in Laura.