Steamboat Springs Matt Taff and Bryan Ayer will celebrate the first anniversary of their business, Matt and Bryan's Outdoor Shop, later this fall. They've emerged from their first 12 months running a small retail store on Lincoln Avenue with buoyant spirits.
Ayer, who grew up in Steamboat and has worked in ski shops, says he never really cared for working for other people. The shop focuses on outdoor adventure sports, camping and fishing.
Ayer said being in business for himself has been a constant learning process. He looks forward to the arrival of new products for his shelves with great anticipation.
"It's like Christmas every day, with UPS bringing us boxes," Ayer said. He also enjoyed the four buying shows he and his partner attended this year.
Taff said that even though there are well-established outdoor shops in Steamboat, he said he felt there was room for another to succeed because the outdoor industry is producing so many strong product lines these days.
"There are a tremendous number of products, and the outdoor industry is relatively friendly," Taff said.
Ayer attended a course on starting a business at Colorado Mountain College, and the two men wrote a detailed business plan for their store. They received financial backing from family members and formed their business as a limited liability company. Their salaries are paid as a loan from the company.