Small businesses across the country have faced a roller coaster of challenges over the past two years, but heading into 2022, TreadZ is doing well, co-owner Erin Zalinski said.
Zalinski’s recipe for success?
Resourcefulness and commitment to the community.
“We were able to use what we have to share with others,” she said, explaining that the store space is often used for product launches, fundraisers and other community events. “Supply chains have been a problem, but I have been resourceful, bringing in other brands and finding new product lines to fill in the gaps caused by these supply shortages. “
As the omicron variant crosses the country, a new wave of uncertainty hangs over economies near and far, increasing consumer demand.
“We had several customers who came in for items that they might not buy for months,” Zalinski said. “A lot of people are buying in advance right now.”
While specializing in outdoor footwear, TreadZ, 812 Grand Ave., also offers customers a variety of clothing and accessory options, including warm winter clothing to avoid the freezing temperatures that accompany heavy snowfall in recent weeks.
“Business has been good,” Zalinski said. “We have a long tradition of strong local support, and I think we owe it to our consistency over the years. “
Founded in 2007, TreadZ was a chance for Zalinski and her husband, Jon, to break away from the 9-5, to build on what they learned from their years of working in outdoor retail and s ‘appropriate something.
“We started out as a shoe store,” Zalinski recalls. “Jon wanted his own business and we saw an opportunity in the market after the Dragon’s Boot and Shoe store closed.”
About five years ago, the couple took their entrepreneurial ambitions a step further by opening Toad & Co. at 816 Grand Ave., next to TreadZ.
“We really needed the space next door for logistics, and we had done a good business with Toad & Co. before that,” Zalinski explained.
The couple partnered with the clothing company, which has roots in Telluride, opening its Glenwood Springs site in 2017.
“We really care about having high level customer service and providing the community with quality products,” Zalinski said.
Despite the success of the stores, the entrepreneur has a niche career. Zalinski said she hadn’t planned. After discovering Glenwood Springs during the college break, she fell in love with the Roaring Fork Valley and decided to stay.
A few years later, Zalinski met her husband, another transplant attracted by the region’s idyllic landscapes and the opportunities for outdoor recreation.
But when it comes to work, Zalinski said she had felt some restlessness before opening TreadZ.
“I’m more of a jobs person than a career person,” she says. “Before, I never really liked the idea of settling into something. I’ve been doing this now, TreadZ, longer than I’ve done anything else.
In the face of a pandemic, forest fires, landslides and everything to come, Zalinski’s passion for his business remains strong.
“I don’t see TreadZ going away anytime soon,” she said.
As the New Year’s ball falls, the Zalinskis and their staff keep a weather eye on the horizon, hoping for calm winds and smoother sailing.
“Right now, we’ve just reacted to one crisis after another over the past two years,” Zalinski said. “We look forward to the potential for some stabilization in 2022.”
Journalist Ike Fredregill can be reached at 970-384-9154 or by email at email@example.com.