One of the most charming features of Feral Mountain Co. was its location in a small bungalow in a northern Denver, Colorado, neighborhood. It had a sweet front porch. The hardwood floors creaked. Each room had its own theme, such as the map room and pack room.
But earlier this year, Owner Jimmy Funkhouser found out that he'd lose the building to a development project. It forced him to search for a new home and lucky for him, he found one only a few blocks down the same street. The news came at the same time he was building his second location in Idaho Springs, about 30 miles west of Denver.
While the move will be bittersweet, it presents Feral with the opportunity to grow. And Funkhouser has invited the community to be part of that growth.
"We built the space ourselves, and will always take a homegrown approach to everything we do," Funkhouser said in an emailed announcement. "Our shop is oozing with memories of movie nights, porch beer, and [me] accidentally setting off bear spray in the store. Alas, the little outdoor gear store that launched a thousand and one adventures is now on the move itself."
The new site in the Flesher-Hinton building is five times larger and is the Denver neighborhood's "crown jewel," according to Funkhouser. One thing to know about Funkhouser is that he has an affinity for old, eye-catching touches. Just ask him about the stories behind his register counters. He's stoked about the building's brick walls, vintage finishes, and a large neon sign that will flash and let everyone know where. Plus, he promises to incorporate recognizable pieces from the first store.
Take a virtual tour of Feral's new space
Through an Indiegogo crowdfunding campaign with a flexible goal of $95,000, Funkhouser is offering a number of unique rewards to contributors: ability to adopt a shelf or the neon sign or the original door, become a founder, and host an event at Feral.
"We want to build this shop in collaboration with the people that have supported us since day one, and feel that crowdfunding is the most honest and transparent way to honor that relationship," Funkhouser said in his announcement.
He continued, "We want to show that locally-grown independent businesses can prosper in Denver. We want to show that we can push back against the corporatization of retail. We want to show that as the buildings on our street get taller, the little guy is still the bedrock of what makes Tennyson St. great.
The new blueprint includes a dedicated rental gear counter and a Cottage Industry Lab, a space dedicated to highlighting the industry's up-and-coming brands and giving customers the opportunity to touch and feel the products.
The estimated opening date is sometime this December. Stay tuned.