After supplying Laramigos with locally made adventure wear and accessories for 16 years, Atmosphere Mountainworks owner Scott Ebinger said he is ready to relinquish his eclectic shop to a younger generation.
“I turned 60 in August,” Ebinger said. “After 37 years in the retail industry, I’m burned out.”
But instead of closing the doors, he said 105 Degrees West owners Jeff Hubell and Lindsay Olson are assuming ownership of Atmosphere Mountainworks, 210 S. Second St., in January.
“These guys are highly qualified to take over,” Ebinger said. “The store will be in good hands.”
Founded in 2001, Atmosphere Mountainworks defies category. While the primary product is outdoor clothing and bags handmade on site, the store’s walls are lined with bike accessories, cat scarfs, golf discs and seemingly endless oddities.
Standing at a clothing rack, Ebinger ran a fleece windbreaker sleeve through his fingers to illustrate the diversity of the fabric.
At his feet, a cardboard box was filled with toilet paper rolls sporting images of President Donald Trump on each piece. Above his head, a book rack contained various volumes detailing Wyoming’s wildlife, art and outdoor opportunities.
“I just got stuff I liked and was interested in,” Ebinger said. “I kept it small and learned what my customers would buy. People just love all the crazy stuff.”
Before switching owners, he said the store’s entire inventory would need to be liquidated. To do so, Ebinger plans to implement a ladder discount system starting in November, with discounts increasing every couple of weeks until the week between Christmas and New Years Day, when he said he plans to make all the remaining items 75 percent off.
“(The new owners) will keep the same suppliers, but they will inevitably have their own tastes,” Ebinger said.
Hubell and Olson are no strangers to Atmosphere Mountainworks. The duo has operated their screen printing business from the store’s garage for about seven years, Hubell said.
“Working with (Ebinger) for the last seven years, we’ve watched the products grow,” Olson said. “It’s a good business.”
Not only are they familiar with Ebinger’s business model, but Hubell and Olson are tied into the community as well. Both have worked on several of the murals downtown and while Hubell is the assistant manager at Big Hollow Food Co-op, Olson manages the Laramie Farmer’s Market.
Neither said they were interested in changing much at the store. Other than moving out the old merchandise before they assume ownership, Ebinger said Hubell and Olson intended to keep up the status quo, including maintaining the same staff.
“I think the biggest challenge of taking over is living up to the brand (Ebinger) has built,” Hubell said.
Olson said they might experiment with an internet presence for Atmosphere Mountainworks, but only to promote the brand.
“A lot of the products are unique, and that’s pretty hard to translate to online sales,” she said. “Right now, our focus is maintaining the Atmosphere line.”
After spending years molding his product line to his customer base, Ebinger said it was ready for the next innovator. While he said he plans to dabble in a few hobbies with his newly available spare time, Ebinger plans to return in fall 2018 to work a few months as an independent contractor for Hubell and Olson.
“You work hard, you play hard — it pays off,” he said. “Laramie is an inexpensive and easy place to start a business. You’ve got a fresh supply of people coming in all the time. These guys are going to do great.”
Atmosphere Mountainworks is open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Mondays-Saturdays and 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Sundays. Contact Ebinger at 742-1191 for more information.