By Malia Durbano
Ryan, Tom and Ellen Beavers are all partners in San Juan Trading Post, a new business that opened in Pagosa Springs in October of 2013.
Parents Tom and Ellen live in Pagosa and develop properties there. Son Ryan was managing a pawn shop in Ohio. When Tom and Ellen looked around, they realized there wasn’t a pawn shop in Pagosa and thought it might be a good place to open one.
Ryan explains how they met with Advisor Rich Lindblad and former Director Joe Keck to “brainstorm and come up with some numbers to figure out if the community was large enough to support a pawn shop.” Rich helped them “think in concrete terms and set projections to meet expenses and know how much working capital they would need to open the business.”
Joe Keck helped them, “Walk through the steps of what it would take to open.” Joe also introduced them to the owner of the largest pawn shop in Cortez who provided lots of practical advice on managing the business as well as contacts to purchase merchandise.
After analyzing the data, the owners and advisors weren’t sure Pagosa had the population to support a pawn shop, but decided that if they incorporated a few businesses under one roof – it would work. A variety of merchandise would ensure a larger customer base.
San Juan Trading Post now has something for everyone. For visitors to the area, they offer souvenirs including turquoise jewelry and Navajo Pottery. For the hunters, they have a wide selection of guns and ammunition and for the bargain hunters; they offer many items that have been pawned.
Ryan shares, “It was great to have Rich and Joe to brainstorm with and to learn from their vast business experience and knowledge of the area. I appreciated their input and encouragement.”