How’s Biz: The Richmond family looks to provide affordable, quality apparel to new home through Way Out West Trading Company
When Roger and Kellie Richmond came to Craig in 2014, it wasn’t with a goal to start a clothing store.
When Roger’s employment ended — the energy company that sent him from Arkansas to northwest Colorado to manage an expansion to the western states before corporate changed its long-term structure — the plan wasn’t then to open a clothing store, either.
In fact, when the Richmonds purchased the longtime thrift store at 1695 W. Victory Way in Craig, even then, the plan still wasn’t yet to open a clothing store.
But, if you ask the Richmonds, it seems someone had other plans.
Way Out West Trading Company opened about four months ago, the Richmond family’s effort to bring quality, affordable, western-style apparel to their adopted home. The family-run business — Roger and Kellie work alongside Tucker and another son, while the couple’s three older daughters are starting families — has invested, they say, as much as $2 million into the venture.
“We bought the property over a year ago,” Roger said. “It was a junk store — thrift store — for about 30 years. We ended up closing it, but we’d bought this thinking it’d be our office for our storage business. Then we get into remodeling and refurbishing the building and we decided the community doesn’t need another thrift shop. It needs an affordable place for families to get apparel.”
The intention, the Richmonds say, is to provide the kind of clothes they tried to dress their children in while raising them, at prices they wish they could have found in those days.
“We’ve got five children, and we come from the South where we try to take pride in our appearance,” Kellie said. “Raising children was very expensive, and we wanted our kids to be dressed a certain way, so we were always looking for good deals to be able to afford to dress the children so they could fit in and have clothes people had — but without breaking our pocketbook.”
That was always challenging, but when they could do it, it meant the world to the family.
“We didn’t have a ton as a kid, but I never knew it — I thought we lived like kings,” Tucker said. “That’s the thing, though, a lot of folks around here don’t have the opportunity to buy something nice for their kids. With this store — it’s God’s will if it works out. If it’s not His will, maybe we don’t want it to work out necessarily, but hopefully we can help people through here.”
Business over the last four months has been good enough, Roger said, though there’s plenty of room to grow.
“This new venture, it’s a calculated — hopefully calculated — investment,” Roger said. “We’ve put this together with our life savings. We put our money where our mouth is.”
Kellie said the most important thing is the customers.
“We’re in the people business, not the retail business,” she said. “If they come and buy something or not, we’re just trying to be the light of the world to them any way we can.”
Tucker said it’s part of the business plan not to make the most they possibly can off their sales.
“It’s not the easiest thing to look at our prices and say, ‘We could probably make more,’” he said. “But it’s better. Better for everybody around us.”
That defines the store’s ethos, the Richmonds said.
“Our biggest niche that we have at the moment is our pricing,” Tucker said. “Everything in the store beats Amazon — some brands keystone, which means it has to be a certain price in the store, to hold branding level — but our whole goal is fair and honest pricing.”
Roger piped back in.
“Affordable pricing,” the patriarch said. “The relationship we have with our suppliers, they say, ‘Set your own prices,’ and then we can get our margins going where we need them to be to make it a good investment and we go with that.”
Both father and son — both the very picture of southern gentlemen, from dress to drawl — add that the personal touch is another important aspect to the business model.
“It’s great knowing our community, and when you give it that personal touch, you’ll learn if people are hurting, if they need to talk, if they need help,” Roger said. “That’s what we want to bring as much as anything.”
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around Craig and Moffat County make the Craig Press’ work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Each donation will be used exclusively for the development and creation of increased news coverage.
Nathan Grivy hadn’t run for years.