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Four Bridges swimming in gear options

Recently opened Four Bridges Outfitters in North Chattanooga offers local outdoor enthusiasts another source for new and used outdoor equipment.

“We’re a small family business that just wants to help people get outside affordably,” said Jennie Bartoletti, who opened the business with her mother Lynn after visiting a similar used gear shop in another town.

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Four Bridges owners Jennie and Lynn Bartoletti, from left, offer new and used outdoor equipment and smaller lines from local or hard-to-find brands at their North Chattanooga store.

“I’m too old to keep painting and needed a change,” said local artist Lynn Bartoletti. “The city needed this, and we’re just filling that niche.”

The majority of the store is filled with used items, including everything from climbing shoes, pants and jackets to kayaks and bicycles.

Those with gear to get rid of have the option to sell by consignment and receive 60 percent of the asking price, or trade it for merchandise.

“I think what people are most excited about is they can turn around and go shopping for ‘free,’” said Jennie Bartoletti of customers who have already been taking advantage of the opportunity to trade old gear for new stuff.

She said items are continuously flowing in and out every day, but what seems to have the quickest turnaround so far are low-priced climbing shoes and basic camping gear such as tents and packs.

New gear carried at the store includes regional lines such as Fits Socks out of Niota, Tenn.; PMI climbing ropes from Noble, Ga.; and Granola backpacks handmade by brothers in Nashville. Local products include 423 Balm by Red Bank resident Cece McDermott, paddles by Mike Rogers of Ooltewah and handsewn hats by Sparkle Plenty out of Highland Park.

“The goal was to support small local companies,” said Lynn Bartoletti.

Four Bridges is also only the place in Chattanooga to find certain smaller product lines, including Oregon bicycle helmet company Nutcase, Trango hardware and Tenaya climbing shoes from Spain, she said.

“We have a broad spectrum, and if we don’t have it, we’ll try to find it for you,” said Jennie Bartoletti.

In addition to selling gear, Four Bridges also serves as a gallery for outdoor themed artwork, such as colorful abstracts from Celeste Ellison and metalwork pieces by Denice Bizot.

Lynn Bartoletti said the plan is to stay in the current North Market Street location as long as possible for its affordability and visibility, as it seems to offer plenty of free advertising.

“My favorite thing to hear is ‘I was just walking by’ or ‘I was just driving by,’” she said.

With the city’s recent approval of developers’ plans to build a Publix grocery store just down the road, the Bartolettis expect the frequency of people passing by to only increase.

In the future, Jennie Bartoletti said they may add more vendors and possibly offer in-store workshops on topics such as backpack fitting.

Four Bridges Outfitters is at 315 N. Market St. and can be reached at 531-0990, or visit www.facebook.com/FourBridgesOutfitters.

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