Whoa! What is happening in Fort Garland, Colorado? Long standing antique owner Sarah Vanderlaan is retired and the new owners have opened up Tumbleweeds Gift Gallery featuring southwestern gifts and home décor. You can’t miss the beautiful bronze elk inviting you to stop in and browse for unique gifts including rugs, hats, pottery, candles, mesquite lamps and homemade soaps, just to mention a few of their better selling items.
Scott and Jennifer Abbes, originally from Tennessee, have been travelling to the Southwestern states for the past 12 years as tourists. They finally decided to move to Colorado, buying Sarah’s house while still running their on-line business. Scott sells air filtration products under his other business, Clean Air Solutions LLC. Crispin and Iona Free from San Luis are their store managers.
Scott and Jennifer have felt welcomed into this community and see the huge potential as the first town travelers come to when entering the San Luis Valley on Highway 160 from the East. Scott has ideas for selling to hikers, tourists and locals. He is offering a “Sand Dunes” or “Hikers” survival kit, complete with mosquito repellant and sunscreen. Jennifer mentioned that early shoppers have purchased their jewelry, blankets and wall art, commenting that the quality is like Taos or Santa Fe but the prices are much better.
The Abbes have decorated their home with items such as mesquite lamps and southwestern rugs. When they looked around, they realized that other stores in the area were not selling these unique home décor items and decided to take a chance that others would like access to these as well.
Scott built the shelves and they re-did their cement floor with an acid wash. The place has so much charm inside and out, not to mention coffee and homemade cinnamon rolls, brownies and cookies, that it is a must stop on your next visit to Fort Garland. The store is open Monday through Saturday, 9-6 and on Sundays, 1-6. They are members of the local business association and contacted the SLV Small Business Development Center. To contact Scott or Jennifer, call 719-376-4149.