The Pagosa Springs-based e-commerce company is set to open its first store next week
PJ’s Fine Bamboo Rods will open its first physical store in Pagosa Springs on October 8.
The custom fly rod maker has been serving southwest Colorado with its e-commerce business since 2019, and the owners are finally realizing their dream of opening a store.
Through the Southwest Colorado Entrepreneur Accelerator Program, the company was able to receive the resources it needed to make the transition.
SCAPE executive director Elizabeth Marsh said the organization selected pajamas for the 2022 cohort because bamboo stalks were a phenomenal product.
“If you’ve seen their product, they’re the most gorgeous fly rods and fishing nets,” she said. “He was such a great asset to the community.”
Owners PJ and Rosanna Dufour started the business after selling their restaurant Rosie’s Pizzeria in Pagosa Springs.
Marsh was impressed with the couple’s understanding of their market and consumer.
The owners applied for the SCAPE cohort because they wanted to grow the business in a strategic and financially smart way. This was important for owners, who understand that they are selling in a niche market.
“Since fly fishing is one aspect of fishing, and bamboo fly fishing is an even smaller aspect of it, we knew we had a very targeted and limited audience we were directing this business towards. “, said Rosanna.
PJ has been an avid fly fisherman for most of his life with a background in the arts and has worked as an entrepreneur for over 30 years. He started building bamboo fly rods as a hobby when he was diagnosed with melanoma in 2015 and was receiving treatment.
“From there, we started selling them to our friends and family,” Rosanna said.
Previously, the couple wanted to open their own store, but when the COVID-19 pandemic hit, they felt it made more sense to start their business in e-commerce. Rosanna compares bamboo fly rods to a luxury car.
She said people tend to like bamboo stalks because of tradition and nostalgia.
“Bamboo is the oldest fly fishing material, and then most of our customers come in and have great sentimental value to bamboo fly rods by learning to fish with their grandparents,” he said. she stated.
The store will not only retail products, but will also offer fly fishing lessons and a six-day bamboo rod-making course from 2023. This is part of the couple’s commitment to develop a store with experience-based economy.
Rosanna said that their intention was always for the shop to be multi-faceted and that adding this element enhanced their brand awareness in the fly fishing industry.
She says each rod takes between 40 and 80 hours to make. One element that differentiates their rods is the grip. It calls for the functional art of the grip because each handle is designed for both aesthetics and grip. Due to PJ’s artistic experience, each handle has a different design on the handle.
“One of the biggest things we hear is, ‘These rods are too pretty to fish,’ but they actually fish beautifully,” she said.
Although the store has not yet been fully opened, the owners have allowed customers to come in and check out fly rod projects. Rosanna said it worked well to entice people to sign up for the various courses offered by the store.
PJ’s Fine Bamboo Rods will hold a grand opening event at 4:30 p.m. on October 8th. It will feature live music by Bob Hemenger.