Where did you get the idea to start your business?
After visiting a friend in Carbondale who owned a similar business in that area, we felt inspired; this was a business Durango needed! We all love getting outside and having great gear makes it more enjoyable. But, the investment to try a new outdoor activity can often be overwhelming. We loved the idea of giving gear a second life while providing access to adventure.
What makes your business unique?
Rather than purchasing gear outright on the spot, we work off a consignment model in which the shop and the consignor each take a percentage of the sale price after the gear is purchased. We feel that consignment keeps the arrangement transparent and fair and is a win-win for consignors and customers alike.
How do you support your community?
For several years, we held "Give Back Days" on the first Sunday of every month in which 10% of profits were given to that month’s benefiting non profit. Since then, we’ve established a program in which we form connections with local non profits to directly give “expired” used gear to them and benefit their served population in a very real sense. Additionally, each year we host the Gear Drive for San Juan Mountains Association in which 100% of sales of donated used gear goes directly to that organization. We enjoy giving to fundraisers and sponsoring events that share our guiding values of community, adventure and environment.
Tell us a little history about your business and how it evolved over time?
We opened Durango Outdoor Exchange in 2014 with just a few backpacks and a couple camp pads (mostly gear from our garage!). Immediately, we felt the gap we were filling as used gear was piling in the door and customers were excited for the deals. Overtime we have incorporated new gear as well, focusing on products that customers are continually asking for and wanting at a reasonable price. We like to focus on offering local, Colorado-based and values driven brands whenever possible.
What is some of the history behind your location?
Our first location was on College Drive, in a building with a rich history itself. We quickly outgrew that space and in 2019 purchased and remodeled the Pizza Hut building we operate out of today. Although much has changed about the inside and especially the front asphalt area of the property, the iconic "hut" style roof remains. We are excited to have been a part of revitalizing the North Main District of Durango!
Why are small businesses so important?
The small businesses in our community give Durango it’s character. They provide a sense of place and an environment where people can connect. We take great joy in referring customers to locally owned, community focused businesses rather than online or big box options.
©2020 Durango Business Improvement District (BID)