091: Kenny Ballard

April 05, 2018

Show Notes

First Exposure to the Outdoors

I grew up in a small town in Connecticut and we had huge fields and the Connecticut River was in the backyard there were trees we, had a huge side yard and backyard so we used to camp out in the summertime and we go down to the fields and ride dirt bikes and bmx bikes, back then they were called BMX before they were called mtn bikes, and go carp fishing and it was kind of the Tom Sawyer lifestyle. I was always outside,  I was never indoors my mom was always “get outside, go have fun!” you know it's one of those classic tonso of kids in the neighborhood so we built tree forts and raise hell and have a great time outdoors.

That was really about it. So growing up I had two older brothers one is 11 years older, he was was the hippie of the family and one who was eight years older and we have fond memories of when I was a little baby and we'd go on family camping trips. So we go get army surplus Boy Scout wax canvas tents go out to the Cape or down in the North Carolina shore from Connecticut. So it was an interesting experience, the first first Glamping experience for the Ballards was on a crappy old cot that busted and a wax canvas tent getting bit by mosquitoes on the Cape.

Things we talked about

His first outdoor job in a small sailboat sport shop that I started with three friends

Repping with Wendall Tremblay and Harold Mullins at Atlantic Associates

Eagle Creek



Mad River Canoe




The Mountain

Operation Hat Trick

Cooper's Crossroad

Advice, tips

First and foremost you have to follow your passion. The great thing about the outdoor space, as corporate and commercial and you know, big boy or big girl league it is and although it's become a big business. It's still made up of a group of really passionate individuals. So follow your passion to figure out what you're really good at, what you are great at and go for it. And I think you've got to be curious. You have to be persistent. Think outside the box. Networking always helps you know. And indeed that's a great thing about this industry is there still are folks out there that are humans, that have a connection like you and me over decades of time and places and spaces and jobs. So networking is really really key. And to do that go to the shows. Walk around the show. I mean it's really a magical space. And as much as you know outdoor retailer can be a sometimes trade shows can be a grind it really is the place to just go to see what's going on.

Other Outdoor Activities

Fat Biking, Road Biking, Mountain Biking

Fly Fishing

Hiking, Backpacking


Favorite Books

Neal Stephenson

Malcom Gladwell

Best Gear Purchase under $100

Jetboil Java kit

Connect with Kenny



This episode is Sponsored by: https://www.kabbage.com/outdoorbiz



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