Durango Running Company

Durango Running Company owner, Brett Sublett had lots of experience in the outdoor retail and athletic shoe industries but had never owned his own store.

Sublett had managed Your Running Store for four years and then became the footwear buyer at Back Country Experience for three years. He also knew a lot about running and running shoes since he Coached Cross Country at Fort Lewis.

When Sublett decided he wanted his own store, he contacted the SBDC and initially spoke to advisor Joe Keck. Keck asked about his personal experience in the industry, and what his qualifications were to venture out on his own. Sublett explained his prior experience and presented a rough outline of his business plan. Keck made sure all the major points were covered and the two discussed what kind of entity the business would be and how to file with the state. Sublett chose LLC – Limited Liability Company for his new business – Durango Running Company.

He also consulted with an attorney and an accountant and the business was formed.

Advisor Joe Bishop then helped with the hunt for the perfect retail location. “He pointed out the possible pitfalls and red flags and told me what to look for in a location and a lease agreement. One of the most important things Joe taught me was that I didn’t have to just accept what the landlord proposed. I could negotiate.”

Sublett didn’t realize he had leverage and Bishop’s advice gave him the confidence and strength to negotiate a lease that worked for both parties. They reviewed a few leases and looked at a few spaces before deciding on 473 E. College Drive – next to Home Slice Pizza. Sublett confesses to grabbing quite a few quick lunches right next door, as the smell is hard to ignore.

Sublett was very impressed with “the timely manner in which Joe Bishop responded to my questions.” He’d shoot an email out with a question and even if it was Sunday night- Joe Bishop got back to him quickly.

Sublett explains, “Opening a new business can be scary. The accessibility of advisors in this program is outstanding. The process was unintimidating, they were welcoming and it was easy to get an appointment. The expertise of the advisors is invaluable in helping a new business owner navigate all that needs to be done.”

The Earth Girls

By Malia Durbano When Kirsten Gum and Emyrald Sinclair decided to be business partners they both had plenty of experience but still had questions that advisor Tom Holcomb helped them answer. Both women were new to the community and didn’t really know what resources were available or where to start. The partners had to decide what kind of entity they wanted to be. Was it to be a partnership or an LLC? How would they

Read More »
Handcrafted House

Since opening its doors in mid December of 2010, Handcrafted House has seen a great response from the community thus far, says owner Sheryl Lock. Located at 1323 East 2nd Ave., the store offers sustainable finishes and interiors. “We carry all non-toxic finishes and will be expanding into interiors: natural latex beds, rugs, shower curtains, organic bedding,” describes Lock. “We’ll also have more wall stencils and fun things like that; we’ve been adding about a

Read More »
Rocky Mountain Tiny Houses

Greg Parham was looking to purchase property and build a modest size home. A friend happened to email him a link about a tiny home story. Greg had never heard of tiny houses before, but upon reading it he realized, “I can do this. I have the skills to build my own tiny house.” Greg researched the project, learning everything he could on the subject, and realized that creating his own tiny house business was

Read More »
Native Roots Garden Center

By Malia Durbano John Wickman, owner of the independent garden center, Native Roots, has a degree in Horticulture, but not one in Business. That is why he approached Joe Keck of the SW Colorado SBDC for some advice on expanding his business. The Garden Center does Landscape Design and Installation with a large retail section for do-it-yourselfers. They grow all their own trees, shrubs, annuals and perennials through their subsidiary, Pine River Plants. Wickman, “Learned

Read More »
Gleason Bison: Raising Bison

In 2010, Sarah Gleason discovered that she wanted to raise bison. She was living in Durango and working as a marketing assistant for Zuke’s (yes, the dog treat company), and she became interested in agriculture and livestock. “I visited a bunch of bison operations,” she says, “and I was hooked.” Throughout the process, she discovered holistic management, which is a decision-making framework that works in sync with nature to raise animals in a way that

Read More »
Desert Sun Coffee Roasters

In the eight years since Glenn Lathrop started Desert Sun Coffee Roasters, he has reached out for help to Joe Keck and the SW Colorado SBDC numerous times. “I’ve worked with them since the beginning,” he explains. Lathrop, President and owner of Desert Sun, asked Keck to generate lists of potential customers for his coffee. Desert Sun is a wholesale coffee roaster. Lathrop buys imported green coffee beans, then roasts them creating custom blends. They

Read More »