Tapping into the outdoor lifestyle that accompany mountains, trails and comparatively-mild weather, Colorado GearLab celebrates its one-year anniversary this month.
The shop, in Woodland Park’s downtown corridor, opened in February last year just time to be part of the city’s annual “Moose is Loose” campaign, when business owners offer deals, coupons and goodies.
For GearLab owners Lynn and George Jones, the timing was, while not ideal, a reason to get going and show off their commercial mettle. “When we opened Feb. 10, we had barely enough inventory but we opened!” Lynn said. “And people showed up, and it was awesome.”
The Joneses have a two-pronged approach to stocking the store — a split between retail and consignment. With more than 170 people consigning with them, the shop is a two-way resource for outdoor gear.
In the past year, encouraged by the enthusiastic response during the Moose is Loose campaign, the Joneses expanded the inventory while maintaining a commitment to state manufacturers.
“We specialize in offering products from Colorado companies such as Coloradical and Yo Colorado,” Lynn said. “We have Point 6 merino wool socks from Steamboat Springs, Rocky Mountain Sunscreen from Arvada, belts crafted of climbing webbing by Bison Designs and water bottles and wine glasses by Ecovessel.”
A range of customers pushes the GearLab crew to combine technology with good old-fashioned footwork. “We get a lot of tourists all year around; they’re walking around and see us, they Google us,” Lynn said.
Some shoppers make emergency stops — customers passing through on the way west. “They’ve forgotten gloves, a jacket, or they need a base layer; we get visitors all the time, which is awesome,” she said. “We try very hard to pay attention to what people need here.”
With their attentive ear and a variety of inventory, the Joneses have created a buzz around town. “Our focus has been on the local side, which has created that vibe,” George said. “So when a visitor comes through and a local tells them about the store, they catch that vibe.”
Along with establishing a buzz on social media, Colorado GearLab sponsors local athletes, among them Nicole Evans, who ran the Pikes Peak Ascent as well as the 10-mile Garden of the Gods race. “We logo’ed her up,” Lynn said, referring to running gear and attire with the Colorado GearLab logo.
In the spring, the business is partnering with the YMCA to host rock-climbing clinics at Camp Shady Brook. “Our goal is to partner with organizations and get people outside,” she said. “We have the most beautiful place, with so many options.”
GearLab will celebrate its first anniversary during the Moose is Loose campaign, Feb. 8 through 10. “Because we have a lot to celebrate,” Lynn said.