Spokane’s hometown outdoor consignment shop expanded its inventory and rebranded this month.
Northwest Outdoors, which opened in 2017, is now named Rambleraven Gear Trader. The shop also now sells some retail items, including sport and gym climbing gear and general backpacking and camping gear.
“Consignment will always be my bread and butter,” owner and founder Mark Schneider said. “I love that business model. I love the focus it has a really great message as far as reusing. But on top of that, we are going to expand a bit into retail.”
Schneider said he has no plans or desire to go into full retail.
As part of the rename, Schneider also debuted a new website. All inventory – consignment and retail alike – is viewable online at rambleraven.com. The new name doesn’t have any particular meaning, although Schneider does like ravens and he thinks they look good with a backpack on.
The switch to mixed retail and consignment had been in the works for a while, Schneider said. But the February closure of Mountain Gear, Spokane’s longtime outdoor gear store, played a part.
“It definitely motivated me more to make those changes,” he said of Mountain Gear’s closure.
At the same time, Schneider and his staff of four found themselves with some time on their hands as the coronavirus shuttered businesses through Spokane and the nation.
Schneider opened the store on April Fools’ Day in 2017. Prior to that, he’d worked as an engineer in Boise. The consignment store, he said, was prompted by a desire to “turn my passion into a career.”
The store has been a success, with Schneider calling Spokane a “great outdoor market.”
Schneider announced another initiative this month. Consign for a Cause allows people to donate any proceeds from their used gear to seven local nonprofits.
When the gear is sold, 70-80% of the purchase price is donated to the nonprofit, Schneider said. Those nonprofits are Washington Trails Association, Evergreen East Mountain Bike Alliance, Dishman Hills Conservancy, Inland Northwest Land Conservancy, Bower Climbing Coalition, Friends of the Bluffs, Northwest Whitewater Association and Peak 7 Adventures.
Schneider said he knows the coronavirus pandemic has limited many people’s ability to donate. He hopes Consign for a Cause helps fill in that gap.
As for his business, he said the closures have been tough but manageable with some government assistance.
“We will weather the storm,” he said.
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