A few years ago I got this wild, crazy idea.
To buy a ski shop.
It wasn’t just any ski shop. To me, the shop, which had been in business almost as long as I’d been alive was a diamond in the rough. A gem of a place that I could grow to become my own.
I joke that Basecamp is my midlife crisis.
It was a shop that needed some TLC, a breath of fresh air and some sprucing up.
Behind the sales counter before the shop was Basecamp.
It took me a long time to find the courage to sign the purchase agreement and get to work.
I needed to figure out what I wanted the store to become, even before it had a name.
Creating our logo and brand identity around my kitchen table.
It started with long hours cleaning out decades worth of old merchandise, old fixtures, old furnishings, and relics.
This was what the bathroom looked like the day I bought the shop.
Then I moved onto hiring staff and deciding how I was going to lead a team.
Having never worked a day of retail in my life learning the logistics of buying, selling and keeping my shelves stocked with merchandise was the biggest challenge I faced during my first year in business.
Buying merchandise for the first time with a tired preschooler asleep on my lap.
I tackled the marketing with no money left in the budget. Honestly, I still don’t have any money for marketing.
Shooting a promo video before I owned the store.
And then I just started working my butt off to try to make a go of it.
Sometimes it was hard juggling all that “Mom” stuff and work. It still is.
The days became long and the nights became longer as I stayed up all night trying to figure out how to make the money work. My husband and my kids showed so much patience through this whole process.
So many late nights with very patient children
I learned that running a retail store and stressing out about how I’m going to pay the rent and my rad staff is no joke.
But you see, there’s this little plan that I have. To make my store more than just a store but a community, a place where people gather for outdoor adventures.
Whiteboard plans that sat on my kitchen counter throughout the buying process.
I think I can do it.
Because all of these people believe in me even when I don’t believe in myself.
Lately, I’ve been getting a ton of questions about what it’s like to be a woman in the outdoor industry, what it’s like to own an outdoor retail store, what it’s like to risk it all on a lofty goal, what it’s like to go up against the REI’s and Sierra Trading Posts of the world.
My kids call Basecamp their second home. I’m okay with that now.
So, I’ve decided to get back to my roots. Back to my blogging roots and open the doors of Basecamp to you, in hopes that you might shop local and support your local gear shop and learn more about this wild ride called owning a legit Mom and Pop gear shop.
A rare moment to enjoy some spring skiing.
Stay tuned for frequent posts all about what gear I think you should be using and why, what brands I support because they support the planet and the little shops like mine, and the latest and greatest in gear technology.
I hope you’ll enjoy behind the scenes at Basecamp with me where I hope to post an update every week live from Basecamp and if you’re ever in Laramie, Wyoming you’ll wander down to 222 S. 2nd Street to say “hello.”
Thanks for reading friends.