Growing up, I was the only child of a single mom. Thrifting wasn’t exactly a hobby, but a necessity. If we needed something, we had to find it at a garage sale or go without.
As I got older, though, hunting for deals became a sport, and when my own children needed something, finding at the thrift store for cheap became a point of pride.
Over the years, I developed a collection of my favorite consignment shops, thrift stores, and flea markets. When my teaching career brought me to a remote community in the mountains of Northern Colorado, I was dismayed to discover it was a day trip to the closest consignment shop.
What’s a girl to do?
At that time I was teaching high school English and strongly believed in creating lessons that were relevant in the real world. I happened across a few articles about Fast Fashion and immediately knew my students would be interested to know where their clothes are made, and, more importantly, who is making them. We held a Socratic Seminar to read tons of articles, watch documentaries, and discuss the issue. Their insight and thoughtfulness amazed me. Many of them hadn’t really thought about where their clothes came from any further than the stores they shop.
That spring I set about planning a mobile resale shop in our community. What better way to blend these passions and make a little money on the side?
I found my Airstream on Marketplace just 15 minutes after it was posted. It had been gutted by a young family who had hopes of restoring it into a camper again, but life had gotten busy, and they were ready to see it go.
I was thrilled. It was exactly what I needed.
With the help of my husband and good ol’ Uncle Elroy, I built it out into my little mobile store and set up shop in The Lot at Uptripping & Framewerx in Winter Park, Colorado.
For the next three summers I had the pleasure of being surrounded by the best tribe of misfits, makers, and creatives. It was the perfect environment for me to learn my trade.
When the pandemic hit, I was fortunate to be able to keep my shop open under the big, blue Colorado sky. Knowing that many cities had chosen not to host any markets that summer, I started looking for an outdoor space where a few other artists and I could spread out and pop up throughout the summer for our own little makers’ market.
A friend of ours had a beautiful barn he’d built with his own hands just up the road from us in a secluded little holler of our neighborhood. It was an enchanted space and large enough for our little tribe of vendors to spread out and open up.
Our Summer Barn Sales were a hit. We all enjoyed the chance to collaborate, sit outside and share our talents with the community.
More and more I was realizing THIS is my passion.
That fall my husband and I were called to Durango, and when a storefront opened up, NöMAD was born.
I wanted to create the place I’d always been looking for: a destination for wanderers, gypsies, and restless souls. NöMAD is the place where I find fabulous second hand clothes, a studio where I paint upcycled furniture and home decor, and a venue to meet up with other artists, collectors, and makers to learn from each other and make an impact in our hometown.
I hope you find what you’ve always been searching for at NöMAD, too.