It has been a long time since I've written a business/lifestyle blog post. It has been a long few months. My manfriend broke both his wrists while downhill mountain biking, so that has been quite the challenge, and business has been more difficult than usual. After the wrists were mostly healed and the man could put a shirt on by himself, I decided to go on a bit of an entrepreneurial soul-searching, dirtbag journey.
You see, I have a belief that any type of marketing that feels like a sales pitch is gross. Ew.
So every now and then, I need to go make sure that at Wheelie what we say, do, and (most importantly) what we stand for align. That we are still relevant, or better yet, progressive, and that we are still "in touch" with the industry.
The thing is, if you're going to be in touch with the outdoor industry, you have to go touch it.
Does that sound weird?
I'm okay with that.
So I rolled up my sleeves, packed a suitcase, and loaded the truck because I had a lot of metaphorical touching to do. I also believe that as an agency owner, curiosity is my best friend, and this is a big world with a lot to explore.
First, I went to the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with my manfriend and Eddy the dog. The UP of Michigan is a hidden gem. My manfriend is from there, which explains his Canadian-sounding accent and all those t-shirts that have "Yooper" printed on them in large, proud letters. It turns out, the pride is real, and the UP is gorgeous. We rode side-by-sides, stuck GoPro's in waterfalls, and went to a wedding next to a lake that looks like an ocean.
The outdoor industry is different here. It's everywhere, but it doesn't hit hard with massive, dramatic peaks. It's more wooded, humid, and humble. It's green and blue.
Next, I went to Colorado, my homeland.
I love Colorado.
I love how happy it is.
I love how engaged it is.
I love how something happens to me when I ride my bike through aspen groves. It's like my heart literally expands with joy, and I can feel it beating in my chest as I go faster and faster and faster, almost feral. I love it.
My big brother got married in Breckenridge, so I got to spend time with him and his new wife. We rode bikes, ate good food, and went on a long hike to a fishing spot tucked way high in the mountains.
I went to a few meetings with clients we want to work with. They were welcoming, funny, and honest, and we'd be lucky to help them build their creative presence in the industry.
The outdoor industry is mainstream in Colorado, and I love it. People care about where their products come from. They care about who sells them. They care about the performance of their gear and what color combos it comes in. They just plain care. This is the side of the industry I know best, and I feel comfortable in this environment.
I went to Cheyenne Frontier Days with my twin sister and her manfriend. I'm not big into the country music culture, and I felt like an outsider among some of the toughest, strongest looking people I've ever seen. My tiny twin fits right in, though, and she had lots of friends in the crowd who shared inside jokes and high fives with her.
Then I went to Jackson Hole for my best friend's bachelor party. I'm his best "man" if you will, and we threw him a mountain biking bachelor party. We rode our bikes really really hard each day and finished the evening off by sitting in a river, cooling down and drinking mystery slushies. At night, we sat around a campfire and laughed and told stories about our times in Crested Butte when we were in our early 20's and were basically optimistic idiots going as big as we could at our sports and at life. This was one of the best trips of my life, and I think everyone else would say the same, too. I needed this time with these humans.
THEN I went to Salt Lake City for Outdoor Retailer. I stayed with a very good friend, someone who was my very first friend in Crested Butte so many years ago. Outdoor Retailer is so important to the outdoor industry. It's where buyers book a ton of orders and people flock to check out what is new and awesome in the industry. I have a love/hate relationship with this trade show. I love the energy and the excitement and the progression, but man is it chaos. It's fast. It's busy. It's kind of insane. Luckily, I got to go mountain biking in the evenings with my friend and just be myself. (Not a business-owning version of myself, but just me with my bike and some jokes.)
Outdoor Retailer went well, and I opened up lots of opportunities as well as made a bunch of product videos for Teton Gravity Research. The outdoor industry is progressive in Utah, and it means business. This is where a lot of companies go to get to the next level, and this mecca exists for a reason. You can have a desk job and ski some of the best snow on earth before/during/after work.
I made it home on a Friday evening, exhausted, sweaty, and sunburnt, and so ready to sleep in my own bed. Nothing makes you appreciate home like being away from it, and this was no exception. I spent the weekend with my manfriend and Eddy the dog. We rode bikes, did some family yoga, and unpacked my horrific-smelling truck until all the dirty clothes and gear were washed and where they needed to be.
I'm ready to hit business hard, reinvigorated and extra stoked on what I am building.
You see, while I'm not super vocal about it, there is a method to the madness, and it's working.
And I will always love sleeping in my truck.
105 Wisconsin Ave.
Whitefish, Montana 59937
copyright 2017 Wheelie Creative Design, LLC.
621 Kalamath Street, Suite 180
Denver, CO 80204
I can't recommend Wheelie enough. Our website launch was almost too successful, and we could barely keep up with the amount of orders we received as soon as we announced the rebrand. They are ah.MAZING!"