In the town where I grew up, there exists a small gear shop. It’s packed to the brim with lovingly used skis and bikes and backpacks and activewear in need of a new home. Since my mom moved closer to downtown, the shop is a three-block walk from her front door. I visit every chance I get.
Walking in its front doors transports me back to a time where life was simple and so was gear. This was the shop where we bought my first ski setup when we moved to town, and it’s the shop where, years later, I picked out my very first pair of skis on my own. I think my entire winter wardrobe cycled through these doors from the ages of 4-14. It still smells like I’m nine years old in there.
The most recent trip through these doors proved bountiful. I picked up a fuschia, wrap-around down skirt, another one (bright orange!) that you zip into, and an flirty summer dress perfect for one of the three weddings on the docket this summer.
My friend Jordan, who for three winters has managed to resist the urge to join #TeamSkittle, scored orange insulated ski pants, blue touring ski pants, and a different, yet complementary-colored, blue shell jacket – all for half of the price a single one of those items would cost new.
Even my mother, who – no exaggeration – took seven years to buy a couch, walked in, found a pair of purple ski pants she liked, tried ’em on, and BOUGHT them. The used gear shop is a modern day miracle.
Every small town deserves a shop like this. A community gathering place packed full of new and old, where people of all ages can gather to talk about their newest exploits or reminisce on the accomplishments of yesterday.
I’m happy to know that my baby niece, who is 7-months old, will probably get her first ski setup here. There’s a chance, albeit very small, that she could end up buying something I once owned. She’ll wear it ironically like we do with gear from years’ past.
We need more shops like this in Seattle – a place where you can bring in a 6-pack and get a bunch of high-fives. Where you can stop in once a week or once a year and you’ll be greeted with the same level of stoke every time.
If you are one of the lucky few with a shop like this in your town, make a special trip there this week. You don’t have to buy anything, but you never know what might be hiding deep in the racks, waiting to be discovered.
Top photo: Jason Rogers