Clothing company finds its niche in Colfax

Rainier Trading Company offers PNW inspired apparel, prioritizes sustainability

Dylan+Nails+founded+Rainier+Trading+Co.+in+2020+at+the+age+of+20.+The+business+will+have+a+grand+opening+for+its+new+location+tomorrow.

COURTESY OF DYLAN NAILS

Dylan Nails founded Rainier Trading Co. in 2020 at the age of 20. The business will have a grand opening for its new location tomorrow.

ALEXANDRIA OSBORNE, Life editor

Since 2020, Rainier Trading Co. in Colfax has offered the local community products that are stylish and good for the environment without breaking the bank. 

Dylan Nails, Rainier Trading Co. owner, said the business mainly focuses on selling Pacific Northwest apparel and gifts. The items sold at the store are sustainable and eco-friendly, and the company uses organic cotton as well. 

Before starting the company, Nails said he liked to mess around with graphic designs and would make logos. When he was playing around with designs one day, he made a logo he liked and came up with the idea to start a business with it. 

He started the business in November 2020 when he was 20 years old, despite never taking a business course. This was a hard time to start a business, and he had a lot of hoops to jump through. However, he said going through the challenges of starting a business in the middle of a pandemic helped him realize what he wanted to do with his new endeavor. 

“I was pretty unaware of how things worked,” he said. “What I learned was sometimes you just have to go for it. Life’s not always going to just line things out for you and make them exactly how they should be, so sometimes you just have to take that risk and get out of your comfort zone.”

As a new business owner, Nails said he often felt unorganized and unprepared at the beginning. He is grateful for the multiple people from other small businesses in Colfax have supported him and shown him the ropes, which helped him get on his feet. 

“There’s so many resources in Colfax that have really helped me,” Nails said. “I wouldn’t be able to do it on my own. So, a lot of helping hands, which has been so great.”

The business was initially located at the Colfax Mercantile with 15 other vendors and is now located on Main Street with three other vendors, he said. The new location will have their grand opening tomorrow.

While he enjoys being alongside other vendors, Nails said that in the future, he hopes to move the business into a place where it can take off by itself.

“It would be so awesome to be in our own space and maybe do a coffee [shop],” he said. “That might be in the plans for the future, but I feel like the sky’s the limit to this whole business.”

Nails said he had planned to move Rainier Trading Co. to Pullman with Sugar Babe Bakery, another Colfax small business that recently relocated. The plan was to share a space, but because of scheduling issues, Rainier Trading Co. is staying in Colfax. 

He wanted to move to Pullman because that is where a big part of the customer base comes from, but he said he has also seen a good turnout at the location in Colfax.

“Colfax is definitely on an upward trend with small businesses, and it’s just an awesome place to be,” Nails said.

Because of the customer interaction he has had in Colfax, Nails decided to stay in town instead of finding a place in Pullman, he said. 

Whitney Bond, Colfax Downtown Association executive director, said Rainier Trading Co. is a great addition to Colfax and is unique in the sense that nobody carries the products Nails has. Bond owns Truly You Clothing & More, which shares a location with Rainier Trading Co.

The Rainier Trading Co. sells men’s and co-ed clothes, which is something that has never been offered before in their storefront, Bond said. 

“Having that addition inside the shop is going to be a good thing,” she said. 

Nails said he loves to interact with customers who come through because he loves the community and the beauty of the region.

“I love the Pacific Northwest. I love the outdoors,” he said. “Our customers put us in a position that we can give back to the environment. We can give back to the place we love.”

He said he works with his employees and spends hours developing products, making sure they will appeal to the customer. 

There is a checklist of qualities for each product made for the business. When they are being made, Nails said he makes sure they are handmade, local and eco-friendly. 

“We just love our customers, and we’re trying to do the best for them,” he said. 

Nails said Rainier Trading Co. has planted over 2,000 trees to-date and donated to non-profit organizations such as Spokane River Foundation and Northwest Conservatory.

The business has a Facebook and an Instagram, and Nails said being active on social media has helped his business grow.

“We usually get a pretty good turnout for that, so that’s a really cool avenue we get to use,” he said.