durango colorado

Business Spotlight

Animas Trading Company

742 Main Avenue
Owner: Cathy Wakeman
Established in 1990
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How did you wind up in Durango?

I met my husband in the mid-80's while I was living in Southern California, he lived in Denver area. For our first date he flew me to Denver and he wanted to take me to a "cute little town" that he worked in sometimes, that being Durango. I moved to Denver and we got married and would come to Durango to camp, bike ride and explore the area. We finally moved to Durango 1990.

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What is unique about your store?

I travel to Southeast Asia to buy a majority of our products. I hand pick items that you can't get from other wholesalers so I have a good variety of apparel and gifts that you don't see at other stores in town. I have worked with some of the same people in Thailand for 15 years and feel good that I know where my items come from and consider these people my friends. We try and offer a fun shopping experience for all ages by having good music playing and fun things to make you laugh out loud.

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Tell us a little history about your business? How it evolved over time?

Animas Trading Co was started in 1990, I started working as the manager in 1993 and purchased the business in 2007. We are celebrating 30 years this year! ATC's first location was a small shop above Lady Falconburghs and then it moved to the space that is now Studio &. We started as the Grateful Dead hippie store, the Grateful Dead touring schedule was always posted and you could bring in blank tapes and we would share Dead shows. Over the years we have tried to keep that vibe while offering updated styles that work for all ages that you can wear to work, school, out on the town or a music festival. I think this sets us apart from other stores.

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What is the secret to being a successful business in a small town?

Offering unique items that you don't see everywhere else. I think being involved in the community is really important in a small town. I believe in helping bring community together, we do that by hosting live music in the store for special events or hosting a women's marketplace to give women a place to sell their products. Supporting the community of very important to me.

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What inspires you? What is your favorite quote?

I am inspired by travel and music, it lights up my soul. My favorite quote is from Jeremiah St. Ours, who started Sequel outdoor clothing in the basement of the building we are now in. Jeremiah was traveling in Peru and asked if his motorcycle would be safe and a guy answered him with a take-it-or-leave-it grin and replied in Spanish, "Reg-you-lar". Jeremiah says: Nothing is certain. We can allow this to paralyze us with fear, or embrace it as a key ingredient in our own serendipity. I have saved this for years and carry it with me as a reminder when I travel.

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How do you give back to our community?

I volunteer with different non-profits like the Durango Bluegrass Meltdown and Local First. Hosting events in the store like the Wine Experience and Women's Marketplace.

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