Small businesses across the country have faced a roller coaster of challenges in the past two years, but on the cusp of 2022, TreadZ is going strong, said co-owner Erin Zalinski.
Zalinski’s recipe for success?
Ingenuity and commitment to the community.
“We’ve been able to share what we have with others,” she said, explaining that the retail space is often used for product launches, fundraisers and other community events. “Supply chains have been a problem, but I’ve been resourceful, introducing other brands and finding new product lines to fill the gaps created by these supply bottlenecks.”
As the Omicron variant speeds through the country, a new wave of uncertainty is sweeping across economies near and far, increasing consumer demand.
“We have had several customers ordering items that they would not normally buy for months,” said Zalinski. “Many are buying in advance at the moment.”
As a specialist in outdoor footwear, TreadZ, 812 Grand Ave., also offers its customers a variety of clothing and accessory options, including warm winter clothing to ward off the freezing temperatures that have come with the copious snowfall over the past few weeks.
“Business is going well,” said Zalinski. “We have a long history of strong local support and I think we owe that to our persistence over the years.”
Founded in 2007, TreadZ was a chance for Zalinski and her husband Jon to break away from the 9-5, take what they’d learned from years of working in outdoor retail, and make something their own.
“We started out as a shoe store,” recalls Zalinski. “Jon wanted his own business and we saw an opportunity in the market after Dragon’s Boot and Shoe closed.”
About five years ago, the couple took their entrepreneurial ambitions one step further and opened Toad & Co. at 816 Grand Ave. next to TreadZ.
“We really needed the space next door for the logistics and had already done good business with Toad & Co.”, explains Zalinski.
The couple partnered with the Telluride-based apparel company and opened their Glenwood Springs location in 2017.
“It is very important to us to offer a high level of customer service and to provide the community with quality products,” said Zalinski.
Despite the success of the deals, the entrepreneur is a niche career, Zalinski said she didn’t expect it. After discovering Glenwood Springs while on 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 who was drawn to the area’s idyllic landscapes and outdoor recreation opportunities.
But when it came to work, Zalinski said she experienced turmoil before opening TreadZ.
“I’m more of a job person than a career person,” she said. “I never really liked the idea of getting used to something. I’ve been doing this now, TreadZ, longer than anything else. “
In the face of a pandemic, forest fires, rockfalls, and whatever comes next, Zalinski’s passion for her business stays strong.
“I don’t see TreadZ going away anytime soon,” she said.
At the turn of the year, the Zalinskis and their employees keep an eye on the weather on the horizon and hope for calm and calmer sailing.
“At the moment we have only reacted to one crisis after the other for the past two years,” said Zalinski. “We look forward to the potential for stabilization in 2022.”
Reporter Ike Fredregill can be reached at 970-384-9154 or by email at [email protected]