Outdoor Industry Experience?
johntp last edited by johntp
A lot of us spent some time (or still are) in the Outdoor Industry.
Mine started and ended early. In high school and the first year of college I worked at a place called "Backwoods" in North Dallas. After getting my degree several years later, I went to work in the Wichita, KS store as assistant manager, then wound up managing the Norman, OK store for a year before moving on to mechanical engineering.
This was ca. 1978-1981. It was while in Norman that I hooked up with Duane Raleigh, Doug Robinson and their friends. Mark Herndon (aka Base104) was a really good friend for a few short years. That was when I found out what really good climbers could do.
When I was in Dallas, we had a North Face rep (pre-NF Booming) named Bill. In some ways I wish I would have tagged his coat tail and gotten more involved in the outdoor industry. I'm always a bit envious when the subject of the OR convention comes up.
So, what's your story?
jgill last edited by
The summer of 1958, I think, I drove around Jackson Hole with Chouinard searching trash dumps for old stove piping, etc. that he could use in his shop in California.
FritzRay last edited by FritzRay
My adult working life was in the outdoor industry. With a partner, I bought a small outdoor shop in Moscow Idaho in July 1973 & after 10 mostly fun years & some considerable growth, then considerable reverses, sold it to a different partner in 1983 for the net worth of merchandise & fixtures. The Moscow Store, about 1974. REI it was not.
Happily, he did well, & paid me off over 4 years, which paved the way for my new career as an Outdoor Industry sales rep in the Northern Rockies. I worked for a gaggle of small companies on commission on all the sales into my territory. For 3 years, I lost money, broke even in the 4th & made a good-living for the next 26 years. Unfortunately, I drove 45,000 to 50,000 miles a year during my first 20 years as a traveling salesman, which did not leave me much spare time for recreation. However, I mostly worked for & sold to good people & had quite a bit of fun along the way.
I only wrecked one car during my travels, but walked away from that one. The car was totaled after a frightening front flip, when I was run off a remote snowy Wyoming highway by an oncoming truck. I made some good friends, & only a few life-long enemies, and although companies that I worked for sometimes went out of business, only one fired me. Hell, I even got a retirement party at the 2015 Winter Outdoor Retailer Show from the last large company I represented.
johntp last edited by
That's pretty cool Ray. Seems like you've done okay. Five acres in heaven and all.