Elana Lombard and Christopher Pieper, the owners of Mudd N Flood Mountain Shop, discovered Taos twenty-three years ago and fell in love. Soon after they quit their jobs as high school science teachers and made the move. In 2001 they bought Mudd N Flood Mountain Shop. “We lived in a teepee with our baby and toddler, built our straw bale house, and started a little organic farm. Phew! That was a big year! Now we enjoy being both student and teacher: learning and keeping abreast of the latest developments in gear, clothing, and restorative agriculture, and sharing this knowledge with our community. We are passionate about the outdoors and restoring the earth, and all the wonderful ways to explore it, through hiking, backpacking, gardening, skiing, river trips, rock climbing, snowshoeing, and much more. We are excited to share this love of the outdoors and help you to be better prepared and more comfortable on your next adventure.”
The impetus for get into the business was Elana’s mother. She was a serious mountaineer, She started taking Elana on backpacking and backcountry ski trips when she was 6 years old.
Both Chris and Elana have been passionate about the outdoors all their lives and enjoy sharing this knowledge with customers. “We love having the shop. It has enabled us to get to know our community and support its nonprofit organizations.”
Lombard said they are “dedicated to old fashioned customer service. We special order items we don’t carry. We make a point of getting to know our customers and attempt to greet them by name.” They inherited the name of the shop from the previous owner. “Tony was a musician and guitar builder. One day he had the inspiration that Mudd N Flood Review would be a cool name for a band. The band didn’t materialize, but they started building backpacks and thought, let’s use the name for our pack and outdoor shop business! I think it fits. It’s quirky, like Taos. And in the spring we have a mud season and some creeks flooding.”
Their clothing and equipment line emphasize socially and environmentally ethical business practice. “We are proud to carry Kuhl, Aventura, Sherpa Adventure Gear, and Toad and Company clothing. These companies make stylish and durable clothing that they stand behind. Darn Tough makes socks in Vermont and they warranty their awesome socks for a lifetime! For gear, we really respect Outdoor Research and Osprey who build packs and outdoor equipment with an unlimited lifetime warranty. When you buy from companies like these, you are supporting the planet, your pocketbook, and people working in decent factory conditions.”
Lombard said for over two decades, “we have weathered difficult economic times, while other outdoor shops have changed hands. During this time we have gotten to know Taos and what Taosenos and visitors need and want for the outdoors. Excellent customer service is our priority. We are friendly, knowledgeable, and offer a great selection of gear and clothing at reasonable prices for both technical users and the Taos lifestyle.”
Lombard said the best part of the business is the staff who are regarded as family.“They are all super friendly, knowledgeable, and loyal. Tamara, who is a full-time nurse, has worked with us for 8 years and does an amazing job making the shop look great. Michelle grew up in Taos and joined our crew 2 years ago. Besides providing excellent customer service, she helps me with all things technological, and shoppers love her wonderful dog Luna. Liz, our newest employee, is a mountain bike racer and yoga instructor par excellence, and takes care of my book keeping on the side. We are very fortunate to have such an awesome staff.”
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