Eileen Maddox, owner of Del Sol, a clothing shop at 858 Main Ave., plans to close the store at the end of January, but she will remain in Durango and plans to spend more time with her grandchildren.
The shop features clothing and other products that change colors in the sun, and a related line of clothing – including sheets and towels – made of bamboo.
“This was a retirement project,” she said. “I always wanted to do a small, little store. It was great for my brain. I learned a lot of skills from doing this, and I met a lot of great people.”
A sale is underway, and Maddox said by the end of January, she would like to have her stock of clothes sold off. She even plans to sell the fixtures to any shop owner or budding shop owner.
Maddox worked as an occupational therapist with Mercy Home Health when she initially moved to Durango from Longmont in 2010.
The biggest problem at her current location, Maddox said, was that it was too big for her retail endeavor, but she said downtown remains well-trafficked, and its combination of niche shops in a historic setting popular with tourists makes it attractive for ma-and-pa operations.
Jack Llewellyn, executive director of the Durango Chamber of Commerce, said he has seen several commercial metamorphoses on Main Avenue.
“Everything is cyclical. I can remember in the late ’90s when there were a lot of outlet shops on Main, from Bugle Boy to the Polo store.”
Current challenges for downtown shop owners, Llewellyn said, include the nationwide challenge of small shop owners in combating loss of sales to online gargantuan Amazon and high costs of rents.
Maddox plans to remain in Durango
“Both our kids went to Fort Lewis College, our daughter played soccer, and they never left,” she said.
Maddox’s son, Paul Maddox, and her daughter, Ginny Hofferber, both have made Durango their home since attending Fort Lewis College, and Maddox says her intent now is to enjoy her retirement and spend more time with her three grandchildren.
“How lucky, of all things, to have both our kids wind up in the same town. And Durango is a nice place to be.
“I’m going to play tennis, hike and ski if we ever get any snow,” Maddox said.
“I always wanted to run a little shop, and now I can check that off my bucket list.”