#CoolShop | Taos Mountain Outfitters in Taos, New Mexico

We visited Taos Mountain Outfitters to see how its new owners have turned the store around.
Author:
Updated:
Original:
Taos Mountain Outfitters UVP

Taos Mountain Outfitters owner Bill Gaydosh poses with Daisy, who is always willing to engage with customers. // Photo: Kassondra Cloos

When we walked into Taos Mountain Outfitters on a random trip through New Mexico, we immediately noticed two things: First, the shop was bustling. Second, its owner, Bill Gaydosh, was clearly passionate about the products he was selling, and he was quick to explain the stories behind them to customers who seemed curious.

Taos Mountain Outfitters

Taos Mountain Outfitters recently started carrying Mountain Hardwear, as part of its mission to live up to its own name. // Photo: Courtesy

“I like helping people. When people come in and you put them in a jacket or a pack and you’re helping them get outside, it’s just very rewarding. But my wife and I had no previous experience in retail, so it was a whole life change.”

Gaydosh isn’t a retailer by trade. In fact, he used to lead nuclear waste cleanup operations in Richland, Wash. He and his wife thought running a retail shop in a place closer to the mountains would be a fun change of pace, so they started looking for stores on the market. Taos won them over, so they made the trek. Gaydosh has been revamping the store, adding new brands and moving on from those that haven’t sold well. He’s brought in Mountain Hardwear and beefed up his lines of Patagonia and Columbia apparel. Fashion hats, purses, and high heels—a big part of the former store—are out. Getting rid of them has made more room for hiking boots and a display of Sunday Afternoons hats, which are both fashionable and functional. He brought in Kavu, which makes outdoor-inspired bags with style.

Outdoor Apparel News

Taos Mountain Outfitters carries an extensive line of Patagonia apparel. // Photo: Kassondra Cloos

“You can’t just buy the stuff you love. You have to buy the stuff that’s going to appeal to the masses if you want to be in business for any length of time.”

Gaydosh has learned how to sell to his market. Taos has both a vibrant local community, full of outdoorists, and a booming tourist market full of folks coming through town for rafting, hiking, and skiing adventures. There’s one brand of tents he really loves, he said, but his customers weren’t buying them till they hit the sale rack. He figured out that the brand wasn’t well-known in Taos, and customers were looking for something else specifically. So, he made that change.

Taos Mountain Outfitters

Gaydosh's dog, Daisy, is basically a permanent fixture in the shop. She appears in lots of photos on the shop's Facebook page, and she's always excited to greet customers. She even makes her own gear recommendations! // Photo: Courtesy

"We’re not here just to run a store. We want to have a positive effect on the local community."

Under its previous owners, Taos Mountain Outfitters wasn’t a big hit with the locals, Gaydosh says. But that’s changing. He offers a 10 percent discount to Taos residents on regular-priced merchandise, and the shop makes an effort to support local charities whenever possible. Just a few months ago, they raised $5,000 for Taos Search and Rescue through an in-store gear raffle. He’s also aiming to treat his retail employees as well as possible, through a pretty sweet benefits package for employees. For example, employees can get 401k matching up to 5 percent, and competitive wages for retail shops in the area. By doing so, he makes a job at Taos Mountain Outfitters a desirable one. That’s important in a town with a small local community, and therefore a small hiring pool. “I want to attract the right people to work in our store," Gaydosh says. "I want people to understand that we’re as committed to them as they are to us.”

Nominate your favorite #CoolShop for inclusion in this series! Drop us a line at snewsedit@aimmedia.com and tell us what makes you favorite shop truly unique. 

Related

Interior of SlimPickins Outfitters

#CoolShop | SlimPickins Outfitters in Stephenville, Texas

In 2009, Jahmicah Dawes and his college friend embarked on a road trip from their home in Texas to California in a 1986 Datsun truck. His friend's only rule was that they couldn't stay in hotels. Dawes thought he meant they'd be staying at friends' houses—not camping. Sleeping ...read more

Backcountry Experience

#CoolShop | Backcountry Experience in Durango, CO

Ben Rockis is the first person to tell you his investment in Backcountry Experience back in 2003 may not have been completely thought-out. “Being young and dumb, I wanted to own a business so bad that I didn’t really look at the numbers and where the business was health-wise,” ...read more

Next Adventure wins the retailer growth category at Grassroots Connect 2018

#CoolShop | Next Adventure in Portland, OR

Next Adventure was founded in 1997 in Portland, Oregon with two truckloads of used gear in a 1600-square foot storefront on Grand Avenue. Like all the greatest specialty outdoor shops, the business was founded because owners (and life-long besties) Deek Heykamp and Bryan ...read more

Interior of High Country Outfitters

#CoolShop Awards Finalist | High Country Outfitters in Georgia

When a climber, a whitewater paddler, an insurance guy, and a guy with a little bit of money got together in 1975, they started High Country Outfitters along the Chattahoochee River in Atlanta, Georgia. As the only outdoor shop in the area at the time, business boomed and ...read more

Neptune Mountaineering community table

The triumphant return of Neptune Mountaineering

On a Thursday night in Boulder, hundreds of outdoor enthusiasts crowd into crooked rows of metal folding chairs amid shelves of shoes, racks of sleeping bags, and a wall modeled after Eldorado Canyon and the Flatirons. They’ve paid $5 to watch a screening of Dirtbag: The Legend ...read more

tahoemountainsports-polivy-anker-aug-2017

Tahoe Mountain Sports is a #CoolShop

For a lot of Dave Polivy’s friends in outdoor specialty retail, online juggernauts like Amazon are seen as a hulking behemoth steamrolling the industry. Many of his contempoaries are reluctant to go anywhere near the e-commerce giant, let alone do business with them. But Polivy ...read more

Chopwood Mercantile

#CoolShop | Chopwood Mercantile in Crested Butte, CO

Just a few weeks ago, Chopwood Mercantile, a 900-square foot outdoor shop on the main drag of iconic mountain town, Crested Butte, became one of the first certified B-Corp retail storefronts. What does this mean? Well, among other things, it means that Chopwood is a rare breed ...read more

buffalo peak outfitters storefront

#CoolShop | Buffalo Peak Outfitters in Jackson, Mississippi

In 1986, Bob McCain thought Jackson, Mississippi, ought to have its own outdoor equipment shop. His home state might not have massive mountains, but trails, waterways, hill, and views are plentiful. Buffalo Peak Outfitters is now in its 33rd year, as a Grassroots Outdoor Alliance ...read more

The Mountaineer

#CoolShop | The Mountaineer in Keene Valley, New York

When Vinny McClelland was in his mid 20s, he helped his father build a cabin-like shop out of wood from the local tree mill, not knowing that one day he’d be the owner of The Mountaineer. The family-owned retailer is nestled New York’s Keene Valley, an area with a year-round ...read more