Tiger Tracker: Kristie Hoffman
summit daily news
Current career: owner of Breckenridge Bead Gallery
Year graduated: 1985
Kristie Hoffman, (formerly Nicholls), graduated from Summit High School in 1985. She went on to Fort Lewis College in Durango, where she earned a degree in humanities.
Before college, she worked as a SharpShooter photographer. After school, she worked a few more retail, but creative-based jobs: at a quilt shop in Durango and then at Shirt Off My Back, when they still printed shirts right in front of the customer.
Hoffman opened the Breckenridge Bead Gallery on South Main Street in 1996. Her parents owned the building where the store now resides, and at the time, there just happened to be a vacant space available. Walking by with her mother one day, her mother mentioned they needed to fill the location.
“I said, ‘that’s a perfect place for a bead store.’ She looked me straight in the eye and said ‘well, go for it.'”
Hoffman had always loved a certain bead store in Durango, but had never really thought about owning her own before that moment.
“Fifteen years later, I’m still selling beads,” she said. “(My mother) put the idea in my head and I went with it.”
Both of Hoffman’s parents, along with her sister, own their own businesses. So for her, it was “kind of a natural thing.” And, her boss at the quilt shop had been a great mentor in the business dealings of a retail store.
Hoffman married her husband, Gregg, in 2004. They live in Park County with two dogs and two cats. When she gets time away from the gallery, Hoffman enjoys skiing and hiking with her dogs.
Of her time at Summit High, Hoffman remembers parties with friends, homecoming bonfires and “the silly contests” – like the air band contests or dress-up days.
“The days where it wasn’t so serious and you got to have more fun,” she said.
Hoffman was also active in the theater department, where she designed sets and costumes.
There were only 48 students in Hoffman’s graduating class. The fact that she still works in Summit, along with many of her classmates, says a lot to Hoffman about the area.
“There’s a lot of really good friendships that are still intact to this day,” she said.
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