Main Street in Breckenridge home to new store, Outsider
October 1, 2016
On Friday afternoon, Todd Wroblewski stood quietly behind the cash register of Outsider. Three weeks ago the shop made its debut on Main Street in Breckenridge, a goal Wroblewski and his wife, Ciara de los Reyes, have been working toward since they moved to the town four years ago.
"We've been looking for a space, and this came up, and that's something I've wanted to do on my own: make money for myself instead of for someone else," Wroblewski said.
The couple first acquired the location in March and kept it open as a souvenir shop until June. After that, they closed and began remodeling. Wroblewski said he did the entire remodel, with some help from de los Reyes. He even went so far as to learn how to dry wall via YouTube videos.
De los Reyes, who works in marketing, said that while they're starting small now, the pair plans to begin expanding their online presence through social media and using email to reach out to customers.
The grand opening of Outsider happened on Oct. 1. De los Reyes spent the day putting together small snacks, as they invited the people of Breckenridge with open arms. Wroblewski said that they hope to use the space for similar events in the future.
Building the dream
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A grid of vintage cameras decorates the wall behind the cash register, and more can be found scattered across the store. The cameras are from Wroblewski's own collection, which he started as a teenager. Many of his passions can be found not only in the store itself, but it its business model, too.
Outsider is an outdoor lifestyle clothing and accessories shop, and both de los Reyes and Wroblewski worked hard to make sure every brand they partnered with has some sort of sustainable factor. One brand they partner with, 10 Trees, does just what the name might suggest and plants 10 trees for every purchase made from the company. Other brands in the store make their clothing out of recycled water bottle plastics.
Evidence of reused materials can be found in the construction of the store, as well. The carpet was purchased from a company in Denver that recycles office carpet, and much of the furniture was made by Wroblewski out of materials already in the shop.
"We've got to take care of the world we're living in," he said. "You gotta respect back to what you've been given. So we try to live our life that way and with what we're doing as a store."
Wroblewski, who went to art school before going into retail, has several pieces on the walls of the store. Once piece in particular reflects the eco-mindedness that went into building the store. The piece features a skeletal arm reaching out of dark blue waters and an angry orange sky as the background. Wroblewski said it was a "statement on toxic waters."
While the shop sells outdoor clothes and will begin carrying camping gear in the next few weeks, Wroblewski was adamant that they are not a ski shop. The couple picked clothes that could be worn both inside and out. They also picked styles that were not only durable, but outside of today's trends so that customers could use the clothes season after season.
Environmentally conscious living is an important part of the couple's lifestyle. For de los Reyes, the store is also a reflection of themselves. This was something that went into the store's logo, which the couple designed together. She said the couple wanted to avoid being flashy, and wanted to avoid some of the strereotypes found in other mountain brands. All this, while staying true to an outdoor lifestyle.
"We wanted to keep it simple and clean," she said. "We're not Northface, we're not Patagonia, and those are really great brands, they're just not us."
One thing the pair made sure of when putting their store together was that they would be running the store. The previous owner operated out of Boulder, which sometimes caused problems in the business. De los Reyes said that this was something they wanted to avoid, making sure customer service was a priority.
Despite a soft opening, Wroblewski said that they have already had steady business. Some of this was due to the brands Outsider has partnered with. Lems is a Boulder-based shoe company, but does not have its own brick and mortar location. Wroblewski said their store is the first in Colorado to have the brand. Many of the 11 brands that Outsider works with are exclusive to the store, with the exception of Stance.
"We don't want to grow. We want to stay this size," he said.
The decision to stay small was made with the customer in mind. Wroblewski said that none of the items that are currently in the store are over $160, although they will soon carry a tent for $275. He added that affordability was the key.
"We're trying to keep our stuff affordable for locals and visitors," he said.
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