We (Berle Van Zandt and Donna Rand) opened Off the Beaten Pathl in November of 1996. We moved to Cloudcroft in 1988 from Austin, TX, and worked at various jobs in and out of the village prior to setting up our own shop. We truly love Cloudcroft and constantly are awestruck by the beauty that greets us each day.
Our primary goal at Off the Beaten Pathl is to offer new, unusual and unique original artwork and gifts to patrons visiting our shop. We don’t want you to see stuff (a favorite word of ours) here that you’ve seen elsewhere. We also try to feature local and area artists as much as possible. In fact, we (particularly Berle) make much of what you see in the shop. You could say recycling is a passion of ours. We don't like to throw ANYTHING away. We believe art made from new is creation and art made from old is SALVATION. You'll see that much of the art we make and carry in the shop is created with discarded scraps and other found items.
We have attempted to set the mood of Off the Beaten Pathl in this way as well — cool and unusual. The shop sits in an old Cloudcroft home, probably built in the late 1920s or early 1930s (depending upon the old-timer you ask). This isn’t our home, although we spend much more time here than at our residence east of town. We utilize as much of the home as we can, even featuring yard art, wind chimes and other whimsical outdoor decor in our backyard.
Donna was raised in neighboring El Paso, TX, and Berle grew up in the Fort Worth-Dallas area. We both attended Texas Tech University in Lubbock, TX — Berle earning a bachelor’s in entomology and Donna a bachelor’s in print journalism. Yeah, yeah, yeah… it may not appear that we’re utilizing those hard-earned degrees but we really are… it just doesn’t show on the surface.
At least one of us is at Off the Beaten Pathl just about every day, with the exception of Thanksgiving and Christmas. Please stop in and see us on your next visit to Cloudcroft.
IF YOU'VE SEEN SOMETHING IN OUR SHOP OR ON OUR WEB SITE YOU WOULD LIKE, DON'T HESITATE TO ASK US ABOUT THE ITEM'S AVAILABILITY.
Donna & Berle, Proprietors
Mashaka (our cool shop kitty, magically appearing in October 2001)
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Off the Beaten Pathl