Moose Mountain Trading Co. sets new course
STEAMBOAT SPRINGS — The Moose Mountain Trading Co. has been around since 1994, but more than a year ago, owner Chris Dillenbeck decided to set a new course for his downtown Steamboat Springs business aimed at bringing new life into the store.
“The store has been doing women’s high-end, quality clothing for a long time,” Dillenbeck said. “Basically, we were starting to see that market slow down, and my lease was coming up on this building.”
Faced with renewing his lease or closing the doors to the store, Dillenbeck decided in May 2019 to begin changing things up a bit. He started phasing out women’s clothing and adding home items and gifts.
“Last summer is when we started selling off the women’s clothing and started bringing in gifts,” Dillenbeck said. “It was well underway when COVID hit. We had completed a decent amount of transition, things were looking good and then we got shut down.”
When the doors reopened this summer, the inventory transition was complete. Today, customers will find unique gifts ranging from wind spinners from Thailand, driftwood and rock-hanging art from the Java Islands in Indonesia and antique saws crafted with a laser cutter. There also are skeletonized Aspen leaves in three dimensional shadow boxes, creative western candles from Wyoming and a selection of coffee table books. The store also offers a section filled with unique baby and pet gifts.
“People cringe when they hear ‘gifts’ because they are thinking it’s touristy stuff with Steamboat written all over it. That is definitely not the goal of this,” Dillenbeck said. “I wanted to find gifts that are unique and fun for everyone. Gifts that locals would like as well as the tourists.”
Filling the shelves and racks at Moose Mountain with unique gifts has become a passion for Dillenbeck. He said he is constantly searching for new items to carry when he travels and keeps his eyes open for items that he thinks will capture the attention of his customers.
“You can always find something in here that someone would enjoy, and it’s really about just having fun,” Dillenbeck said. “The greatest thing for me is when I’m standing in here, and I hear a customer come in, and they just keep saying, ‘Wow’ over and over again. Even if you don’t buy anything, at least you’re having fun seeing it.”
The store, located at 824 Lincoln Ave., is open from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday to Saturday and from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.
To reach John F. Russell, call 970-871-4209, email jrussell@SteamboatPilot.com or follow him on Twitter @Framp1966.
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