I feel fortunate to be in the position I am right now – super fortunate. I am married to my best friend, live in the climbing capital of the country (my words) and have an insatiable desire to laugh way too often. My daily duties include working with outdoor brands I love, respect and use as well as the independent retailers who are the cornerstones of this economy. I did not start my rep career in the outdoor industry which gives me a unique perspective and seems to be pretty rare in the rep world. Since I started in this industry in 2013, I felt more could be done to empower independent retailers and much more could be done to help shift the demand curves both in store and overall for each brand - an evolution of repping. In 2011, the name of my blog while I traveled the country in a 1993 GMC Safari was On the Road and Off. It is now the name of the business and journey I am living. Feel free to ask me about what it means in person one day, and I will surely give you the long winded story of what it stands for. But for now, it stands for a balance I strive for and seek daily. A balance of work and play, of conventional and creative, of new and old, of short and long term goals.
The outdoors have long been my lifeline. It started with BMX bikes in the backyard and wanting to stay out for as long as my mother would let me. Throw in some fuel from camping trips with my dad and I’d say I almost prefer sleeping in a tent to any luxury hotel. I caught the climbing bug around 2007 and being a lifestyle sport it definitely changed mine. After spending a Fall in the Red River Gorge and an extended trip out West, I made the move from Alabama to Chattanooga. With a city that’s growing, a house that’s a short bike ride from downtown, and ease of access to the outdoors it would be hard to call any other place home. I’ve worked for several Specialty shops including bike shops and outdoor retailers, the last one being a long stint with Rock Creek Outfitters. To say I’m excited about joining on with TJ in this endeavor would be an understatement.
What started out as a job for a year between college and grad school has somehow become my career. For as long as I can remember, I've always been obsessed, fascinated and inspired by the outside world. It is my soul home. It's also the place where I've learned my core life lessons, built my most valuable relationships and ultimately grown the most as a human being. My gap year working at (what has grown to be) the iconic High Country Outfitters in Atlanta, GA put me on the path to becoming a climber which has irrevocably changed and shaped my life. Four years after becoming a climber I moved to Boulder, CO - one of the quintessential "Mecca's" of the climbing world. There, I was gifted with opportunities to travel, climb and experience the wide range of a life outside in ways that I would have never believed I could achieve. Incredibly heady stuff for a kid who grew up in suburban Atlanta! Life changes, as it always does and I wound up coming back to the east a few years ago. I've spent many years in my career working on the retail side of the industry in just about every role. In transitioning to the vendor side of the business I feel I've been able to bring my retail experience forward to truly be able to understand the challenges, frustrations and needs of the outdoor specialty retailer. I strongly feel that in this age of internet that being able to leverage connection and engagement is the key to making brick and mortar remain not just relevant but be a driving force for our communities. I've been a part of many different teams in my journey and with the oRo team I feel like I've found my truest family and I am just so excited to take our next steps
I’ve been a lover of the outdoors since my summer camp days as a kid. After working odd jobs in Ohio, I took off and spent three months touring the western US, hitting 16 National Parks, living out of my Subaru, and hiking as much as possible. I wound up moving to Asheville, NC to spend more time outdoors and explore a new region. There I spent the summer working for Teva where I got to combine my loves of style and the outdoors, while promoting a fun and ethical company. I’m excited to be joining the ORO team where I get to work with small businesses, meet great people, and promote brands I love. While I’m new to the outdoor industry, I definitely think I’ve landed on the right path and I can’t wait to keep learning the ropes.
So...what the hell is ORO? Well, we’ve grown to four individuals working together to represent five brands, covering a broad region in the Southeastern US. A good percentage of our business comes from the outdoor sector, but we also work with family shoe stores, resorts, surf shops, marinas, climbing gyms, lifestyle boutiques, and more. We assist with product assortment, in-store marketing, inventory management, employee education, and events. In that sense, we cover all the conventional aspects of sales, but that’s not all we do at ORO.
We’re also working to provide marketing content specific to the Southeast, while showing off the products we believe in. We’re a group of outdoor enthusiasts, photographers, and creative people who naturally like to capture our own trips, experiences, and surroundings. Combined with our “sales” side, we want to offer up some of that content that shows off our region, our friends, and our experiences using the brands we represent. Essentially: content by us, for you.
We’re all part of this industry and are able to be outdoor enthusiasts because of the brands we love and the stores that carry them. Independent retail is far from dead. We hate to read about the decline of small business, because that’s what built this country and what will continue to sustain it. We want to work together, as reps, stores, brands, and consumers to not only keep it alive, but help it to thrive. There is still nothing like the experience of going into your local shop, chatting with a knowledgeable staff member, and trusting that you’re getting properly outfitted for your next big adventure. No amount of skimming gearhead blogs, reading reviews, and online research comes close
We’re still reps -- if we tell you we’ll do something, we’ll do it. If you call or email us, we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. We’ll merchandise in-store, keep employees educated on our products, and keep you in the loop on product availability, trends, etc. However, we’re working hard on implementing our creative side. Our social media isn’t just content ripped off of brand pages -- it’s created by us or our friends. We like to talk about the people, places, or things that inspire us while pairing them with the brands we rep. We’re not revolutionizing the industry, just putting two and two together -- adding that personal touch that helps tell a story and create a bond between brands, products, stores, and consumers.
Follow along. We’re always growing and changing and are excited about the years to come.
TN, NC, SC
TN, NC, SC, GA, AL, FL, KY, WV, VA, MS, LA
TN, NC, SC, GA, AL, FL, MS, KY, VA, WV
TN, NC, SC, GA, AL, FL, MS, LA, AR, KY, VA, WV
TN, NC, SC, GA, AL, FL, MS, KY, VA, WV