This story originally ran in the November 2008 issue of Freeskier (V11.3). Words by Matt Harvey.
Photo: Erik Seo
Photo: Erik Seo
FOR MOST PEOPLE who start a business, itâ€™s a dream they carry for years before actually executing it. But for Jared Skidmore, owner of Autumn Garage, it didnâ€™t exactly work that way. â€œWe were just talking one day,â€ he says, referring to his partner in crime, Mike Schneider, owner of Surface skis. â€œUtah and Salt Lake, in particular, really need a jerk-free ski shop. We just kind of thought, after a while, â€˜Well, why donâ€™t we just open our own store?â€™ So we went for a drive, found the spot, and we just went for it.â€
With just about that much planning, the doors opened in October of last year, selling skis and snowboards in the winter and skateboards and streetwear in the summer. Jared explains: â€œWeâ€™re really into taking a bit of risk on some of the brands,â€ which ï¬ts nicely with the risk of opening a shop on a whim. If youâ€™re looking for Salomon, Volkl, etc., youâ€™ll have to look elsewhere. â€œSki-wise we do Surface, Armada, LINE and a little bit from Lib Tech. Weâ€™re trying to stay small, with smaller brands.â€
As an extension of the indie, small-company feel, Autumn Garage runs a monthly program to allow local artists a showcase for their art, lining the walls with the artistsâ€™ work. The store opened with ski photographer and long-time Freeskier contributer Adam Clarkeâ€™s photos on display. â€œWe know that a lot of skiers and snowboarders are also passionate about art and photography so we decided to create a little space for them to show off their work,â€ Jared says. â€œIt kind of helps bring in the atmosphere that weâ€™re more than just a shop; skiing and snowboarding arenâ€™t the only things in our lives.â€
â€œI THINK THAT BY SUPPORTING THESE SMALLER BRANDS WEâ€™RE GOING TO CREATE A FOLLOWING.â€
Though there are other things in his life, running a shop full time is no easy task, especially when youâ€™re the only employee. When asked when we could ï¬nd him in his shop, he said, â€œItâ€™s just me. Iâ€™m here.â€ As for the so-hot- these-days collabo projects, Jared afï¬rmed that his biggest collabos are with Mike Schneider on three-cheese hotdogs from 7/11. Though for next year, Autumn Garage is teaming up with Play, a Japanese outwear company, for something colla- bo-hotness-worthy.
At such an early stage in the game, itâ€™s hard to say whatâ€™s to come for the Little Shop That Could. â€œRight now, weâ€™ve only been open since October, 2007, so weâ€™re really new, but I think itâ€™s going to continue to grow and I think by supporting these smaller brands weâ€™re going to create a following,â€ Jared concludes. â€œPeople are going to know that weâ€™re trying to get the harder-to-ï¬nd items and be different, having things that not everybody has. They can come here and ï¬nd that.â€
AUTUMN GARAGE 2258 E. Fort Union Blvd. #B6 Cottonwood Heights, UT 84121 (801) 733-4305 autumngarage.com