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Contemplations with Chris: Small Business Saturday

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Greetings TREW Crew,
Support small businesses this Saturday. If you're lucky, you live in a city with a thriving small business community. This weekend, the retail sector of those small businesses will be putting out their sidewalk signs, calling out to their customer lists, and hoping for the biggest weekend of sales of the whole year. And I hope you show up. Small businesses are special. 

We are one of those small businesses too, putting our digital selves out there and having our biggest sale of the year right now. And we appreciate your support. 

I was reflecting this week, on what makes our small business special. Having a small, nimble team does give us some advantages over the big whales. I was reflecting on these “superpowers” when I was doing a recap with our team here, and I thought I’d share some of my favorites…   

SPEED. We can make our wildest ideas come to life, fast. Graham, our Marketing Director, was brainstorming new ways to share our new PRIMO colors with the world. Instead of showing up on our customer's Instagram feed or inbox, he wanted to show up somewhere unexpected but also familiar to our customers…the conditions livestream at Mt Hood Ski Bowl. In less than 30 days we hustled a National Forest permit, collaborated with Ski Bowl’s marketing department and our friends at ski patrol, and gathered a group of friends to climb up to Ski Bowl’s upper lift in October. Then we had a launch party and fashion show under the livestream; it was unlike any that we’ve done before…The PRIMO SHOW

COMMUNITY. When small companies have big ideas, they mobilize the community to make it happen. Our TREW to You film contest, as you’ve heard from me in the past, is my favorite marketing project that we’ve ever had. It is truly a contest for the community. We created the incentives, the platform, and the inspiration for these different creative individuals, but the stories are their own. Furthermore, we brought the film tour to their home turfs, and, with our small team, we put together a 10-stop film tour that screened the film at everywhere from Anchorage, Alaska, to Lake Placid, NY, to every evo location. It wouldn’t have been possible without the enthusiasm, support, and passion of every single team that contributed a film and rallied their community for a screening. 

RESOURCEFULLNESS. When you have less resources at your disposal, you need to get creative. This breeds innovation and more sustainable creation. The Afterlife is our hub for resourceful creation. One person on our team, Jess, manages the entire Afterlife Program. In 2023 alone, she has brought 131 garments back from the dead and found them new homes, and collaborated with several independent makers to reimagine damaged TREW garments as new products (which sell out within 48hrs). The Afterlife Creations are amongst the most sought-after products that we’ve ever made, and they are made entirely from scraps.

TRANSPARENCY. How many people have received an email from myself or Katherine, our Director of Operations? Haha, trick question, all of you. I don’t know how many thousands of customers Katherine has emailed directly, not just in her Operations updates to our email list, but to individual customers to solicit feedback and to check-in. Katherine’s incredibly personal and transparent breed of managing our customer touchpoints has made our products better and resulted in a bigger and more engaged community of our customers (if you haven’t taken a look at all of the benefits in our Alpine Club…now would be a good time).   

Small businesses are built differently. Are they better than big businesses? No, not always. But we’re having a pretty good damn time and we are grateful for every minute of it. 

Shop our sale, with up to 25% off this year's gear. 

Stay TREW,


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