The consignment store just off Colorado Highway 3 has a vintage western style that’s hard to put your finger on
Going junkin’ has always been a way of life for Lindsay Dalton, founder of NoMAD, a “funky little consignment shop on Highway 3.” Saving was once how she and her mother survived, but as she got older she began to consider it a sport. Now it’s a full time business.
As the only child of a single mother, Dalton and his mother relied on garage sales and thrift stores for the necessities. Growing up, it was less about the fundamentals and more about the thrill, she said. The thrill of the hunt.
“You get a thrill from finding something unusual, something at a good price,” she said. “Something unique. Something you might have had as a child that reminds you of some sort of memory.
People live in a “stuff society” these days, she says. Goods and services are at your fingertips from a keyboard with online orders and home deliveries. For Dalton, it’s important to take inventory of one’s possessions and consider that things that aren’t used by one may still be valuable to another.
That’s what Nomadic is for. The consignment and thrift store isn’t Dalton’s first venture, but it’s his most ambitious to date. She got her start with a mobile store that she operated from an Airstream trailer, a 1979 Safari Land Yacht, in Winterpark, Grand County.
When Dalton and her husband moved to Durango in 2020, she took a teaching job at Escalante Middle School because she had been doing it for 16 years and considered teaching a passion. But she had another passion that she wondered if she could make a full-time career out of.
She had her eyes glued to the building at 919 Colorado Highway 3 in Durango. It was a great place to open a thrift store because of all the built-in nooks and crannies to place items in such a way that coming across one was a discovery, she said. In June 2021, she learned that it was opening for rent.
Dalton opened NoMAD just under a year ago on September 1.
When curious customers enter NoMAD’s thrift store and consignment shop, they’re likely to be greeted by the tunes of Tom Waits, JJ Cale, Fleetwood Mac or Dire Straits and a plethora of rustic clothing, trinkets, art , trinkets and trinkets.
She said the soothing and welcoming atmosphere she created in NoMAD is what helps her stand out from other thrift stores in Durango.
Dalton said she wasn’t quite sure how to describe the vibe she curated. It’s not just vintage and it’s not just western, but it definitely has a vintage western feel to it. Her daughter said the store’s aesthetic was that of a “mountain gypsy”.
There are rustic items such as belts and belt buckles, prints of Lil’ Bud Designs by Durango artist Matt Clark, dresses that fit the “mountain gypsy” look, and a collection of books of various genres. .
Support local artists
When Dalton was still working out exactly what her thrift store would look like, she had several visions to pursue. One of them was an artists’ collective or workshop, she says.
She considered opening a studio, but the building she bought was not the best option for it. Still, she didn’t want to completely abandon her vision of supporting artists, so she hosts locally created artworks and a handful of artists who run mini-galleries from time to time.
“Most of it (art) is recycled in some way or repurposed in a thoughtful, mindful way,” she said. “We have a few different digital artists who will take original advertisements and things from the 1950s and then put their own spin on it. So it might not be made of something recycled, but the idea has now been recycled, which I think is really cool.
NoMAD hosts print art, jewelry, macrame and found objects.
“People really appreciate the funky nature that our local artists bring to the store,” she said.
Dalton also experimented with pop-up galleries or art spaces for artists. She said she was open to trying more pop-ups, but with the lack of foot traffic, the performers’ time might be better spent another way.
Succeed in Durango
The typical NoMAD customer is a young woman in her twenties, Dalton said. But she tries to have sizes and styles of clothing for everyone, regardless of age or height.
“Some of them are harder to find than others,” she said. “But I’ll figure it out myself and I know exactly what I’m looking for because that’s what’s hard to find here. So I try to keep this collection a little more.
Dalton said she had visitors every day who had passed her store for months and finally decided to stop by. Colorado Highway 3 isn’t exactly the best place to attract foot traffic, so getting the NoMAD name out there is still a work in progress.
The second most common thing Dalton hears from customers is that they heard about his consignment store through word of mouth.
Dalton said Durango had a healthy thrift store scene and shopped at other thrift stores.
“The demand for bargains is quite high here where the turnover of these stores is quite good,” she said. “So you don’t walk into the Methodist thrift store and see the same things you saw there last time.”
Dalton said his relationship with other thrift store owners has been pretty good, especially with ReLove Consign & Design. Sometimes she has clients referred to her by ReLove; other times, she refers clients to them. She also referred people to Rose Duds and Second Time Around on Main Avenue.
“It’s a very friendly and helpful relationship that we all have among ourselves,” she said.
Dalton is proud to have developed her plan for NoMAD as part of a school project she designed for her students while teaching in Grand County. She gave her students an assignment where they had to choose a person, product, business or idea in Grand County and create a marketing campaign around it.
Leading by example, Dalton designed a thrift store so students would have a frame of reference for their own projects.
“Students in our community were able to come and see this very thing that they heard me talk about, saw me build alongside them,” she said. “And some of them kept doing things that they put together too.”
NoMAD was featured as one of the nominees for the Business Improvement District’s Best prices 2022 in the Antiques category. Dalton said she thinks NoMAD would be a better fit for the Consignment Shop category, but she’ll take what she can get.