Chase Anderson on Utah State’s Outdoor Product Design Program & the Outdoor Recreation Archive [EP 258]

Chase is helping future outdoor leaders navigate their paths into outdoor careers and building a comprehensive collection of catalogs and other documents from the early days of the outdoor industry and more.

Show Notes

Intro to the Outdoors

I'm from Utah, born and raised. It's hard to not get into this industry. I have parents who took us out. Camping is what we did. I have a mom who was perfectly fine with taking us out of school to go skiing. And that family time and the outdoors is always the most important thing. So when you have parents like that, who are willing to get you out of school to go play that's a good thing.

Utah State University Outdoor Product Design and Development

Utah State University started this Outdoor Product Design and Development program in 2015. And a year after it had started, they advertised a role for someone to do industry outreach for the program. And I thought, okay, I could work for one brand or I could go work for a program where I get the chance to talk to brands across the industry.

So that seemed like the dream and to be able to go back to my Alma Mater and work with students and be a part of that, and being a part of the campus atmosphere was really interesting. So I made that jump. And that's what I do full-time is our industry outreach and marketing for the program.

Outdoor Archives

The archives grew out of that program.  The program has a history of gear class and the faculty member that runs that, and our special collections team are at the university and do all the archival work.

We got together and just thought, wouldn't it be cool if we had primary documents and print materials that the students could actually study instead of just talking about the outdoor, the history of the industry.  Actually, see it and study it in the archive. And so we started reaching out to some of the industry contacts that we had built and just started asking if they had old stuff that they wanted to be preserved.

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Snippets

01:51 – 02:15 Intro to Outdoors
35:00 – 36:00 Favorite Gear

Transcript

Hey, chase. Welcome to the show. Hey, thanks for having me. Yeah. Good to catch up with the good to have ya. We've been chatting offline and emails and texts and whatnot had led a little bit, but all this cool stuff you're going on. I follow you guys on Facebook. Excited to talk about it. Yeah, happy to share.

[00:00:17] And I always appreciate the work that you do. Just listening to your podcasts we've found a few people that we've gotten in touch with and gotten involved in the program that way. And so it's definitely in my rotation of podcasts. Thank you. Thank you. And if you want to, if I can help you reach out to anybody or anything, don't hesitate to ask because I will.

[00:00:38] For sure. Love to help you guys. All I can, you guys are, what you're doing is really important for the industry and the business. And it's fun stuff to, to, look through and read about it's Oh yeah, I remember when that happened or, oh, that was before my time. Yeah, pretty cool. So what triggered your love for the outdoors and adventure?

[00:00:55]I'm from Utah, born and raised. It's not hard. It's hard to not get into this industry. I feel like when you are, looking at the Wasatch mountains every day, go to school. And I just, I've parents who took us out. Camping is what we did. I had a, I have a mom who,  would was perfectly fine with taking us out of school to go skiing.

[00:01:16]And that family time and the outdoors is always the most important thing. So when you got parents like that, who are willing to get you out of school to go play, that's a great, that's a good thing. Yeah. Was skiing the big thing or did you do a bunch of camping and. Grew up skiing.

[00:01:30]A lot of, a lot of camping, hiking, did all of a sudden Utah during the Utah you got to spend your spring break or fall break down there as kid. And then we had a cabin up in the kind of Oakley camis area up past park city. Ever since I can remember it started off being a trailer and then, ended up having a cabin up there too.

[00:01:49]Ever since I was a little kid it's, that's, that was vacation, staying in the state and going in and playing outdoors. Between skiing, hiking, and camping and then later in life got more into cycling.  That's what I do now during the warm months.

[00:02:02]But now it's ski season just that's been instilled in me for a long time. What was your first outdoor related job? Did you have an outdoor related job or retail or anything? Yeah. So for me I had always seen the outdoor retailer show in salt Lake while it was here.

[00:02:18] And that was a big influence on me. I thought, wow, this, like people work in that industry. That's really cool to play. How do I do that? Paid to play? And I, I don't know if I ever thought, Oh, I'm going to end up working in that industry. I, I.  Company called Cotopaxi started back in salt Lake.

[00:02:35] It was the first couple of years, and I was going to school at the time, actually here at Utah state where I work currently. And I was just passionate about the company, interested in what they were doing, their do good give back model loving the products that they're making too. And I just reached out to him and asked him if I could help and volunteer and be their field marketer up in The Logan area where I was based and going to school and figured if I'm on campus, maybe I can spread the word.

[00:03:01] Sure. And so it was kinda more of a volunteer opportunity. He got paid in product, which is out, seems how things start sometimes. And that was really, my introduction was just figuring out how to, Communicate the brand, get the brand out there more and more as the early days.

[00:03:15] And, I had a lot of opportunity to just get in and learn a lot and get that first exposure of the brand. Too. They were, yeah, it was the first couple of years. So they were looking to, yeah, they were looking to get in on college campuses and get in that way. And, I had a lot of opportunity to just.

[00:03:32]Explore and for example, we their mascot is a Lama and I had a lot of autonomy. I just said, Hey, there's a lot of llama farmers up here in the cache Valley. I'm gonna, I'm gonna see if I can wrangle one of them and let the farmer, the owner. Let us bring it up onto campus one day.

[00:03:49] And we did that. I found someone who let me borrow their trailer and we went to the Lama, brought it up on campus, walked it around and use that to Gemma drum up interest in the brand. So it was a good opportunity to just get my feet wet and learn a lot about. Oh about the business. That's pretty creative too.

[00:04:05] The llama spit on anybody, they're spit a lot. No, no spit. It was a pretty tame. One. Farley was a good Lama. Good. That's cool. So how did your immediate career get started? We'll get into your podcast in a little later, but you seem like a media guy how'd that come about? Yeah. I think the Cotopaxi start was big for me.

[00:04:22]And that helped me get experience in the industry. And a good experience in marketing space a little bit. I learned how to put together events and  promote a brand that way. And then that led me to. A job at a large fitness company. So maybe not traditional outdoor, but icon health and fitness that owns Nordic track and proform and three motion.

[00:04:44] And then at the time owned ultra footwear. So I ended up getting a role there. Kind of working across departments on the marketing side of things. So both digital retail events. So we worked the big trade shows while we still had trade shows, orchestrated plant those and planned our presence there.

[00:05:03] So it just got my feet wet and had the opportunity to explore a lot of different things while I was there for a couple of years. So that's a good experience. Yeah. Yeah. What inspired you to launch the outdoor archive collection? That's pretty cool. Yeah, that, so I made another transition after being in the fitness space for a little while.

[00:05:21]I, university of Utah state university it started this outdoor product design and development program in 2015, And a year after it had started, they advertised a role for someone to do industry outreach for the program. And I thought, okay, I could work for one brand or I could go work for a program where I get the chance to talk to brands across the industry.

[00:05:44] So that seemed like the dream and to be able to go back to my Alma mater and work with students and be a part of that, be a part of the campus atmosphere was really interesting. So I made that jump. And that's what I do full-time is do our industry outreach and marketing for the program.

[00:05:59]And I've been able to hone those, some of those media skills that you touched on, watching a podcast and handling our social media and marketing and those efforts. But the archives grew out of.  The program has a history of gear class and w  the faculty member that runs that, and our special collections team that is at the university that does all the archival work.

[00:06:23]We got together and just thought, wouldn't it be cool if we had primary documents and print materials that the students could actually study instead of just talk about the outdoor, the history of the industry, when I go and. See it and study it in the archive. And so we started reaching out to some of our industry contacts that we had built And just started asking if they had old stuff that they wanted preserved.

[00:06:46] So we ended up finding one individual Gordon wing through a friend Al Tabor one of the mountain hardware founders.  He ended up coming across about 1200 catalogs from this individual Gordon wing. Gordon gave Al the catalog said and said, my kids, aren't going to want these.

[00:07:04] I don't know what to do with them. And Al took them  and he thought of us later on, thinking, Oh, they should be in a museum. They should be appreciated. I can't hold on to these. Yeah. We got in touch and he sent those to us and that's really how the outdoor recreation archives really got kick-started was with this donation of about 1200.

[00:07:20] Yeah. That's amazing. And so since then you've got all kinds of stuff, right? I've seen some, you put some of your posts, it's amazing where you yeah. Yeah. And for those who want to follow along on, on Instagram, we started a dedicated Instagram account and on Facebook as well, outdoor recreation archive.

[00:07:36] And I posted a scan a day of catalogs and other materials that come into the collection. Yeah. I, I was thinking about that when the collection just kept growing we have about 3000 catalogs from 400 different brands and I thought, okay, I could post every day for a few years and post a couple times a day.

[00:07:57] Yeah. So we had endless content. And so I thought, people really appreciate the beauty of the catalogs hunch. I was talking with somebody else on the show a few episodes ago about some of those catalogs were really. Fantastic back in the day, they were just works of art. Beautiful.

[00:08:14] Yeah, there's one that I just shared. Just recently that it's a Patagonia catalog from 1991  not their oldest, but it is beautiful. It's an image. It's a painting of of L-CAP. And it's a painting by a painter Hiroshi Yoshida yeah, he's incredible.

[00:08:33] We'll work. And that's been an interesting thing for me to see as the evolution of these catalogs, the common thread is always beautiful images of the outdoors but to see some of these that were hand painted at one time, and it was just the level of artwork, craftsmanship, love, and care that went into creating.

[00:08:49] W what some people might consider junk mail is really interesting but yeah, back in the day it was probably, Oh, here's of the catalog, but even then, those of us that appreciated that artwork and stuff, it was awesome. And now it's even more important and more, important that you collect it and save it because it is truly art work.

[00:09:04]Yeah. Yeah. We'll link to that, those things in the show notes. So you guys could go find that. Yeah. And you guys also have a still have the rec program. Talk a little bit about that. The degree program. Sorry. Yeah. Yeah. So it's outdoor product design and development. It's yeah it's focused on Product creation.

[00:09:20] So there's a few different pathways. If a student wants to go product design, product development or product management, there's a pathway for them. And we also encourage students to come in, who are interested in technical apparel, design, soft goods, design, hard, hard product. We've got some different opportunities for them.

[00:09:37] It's almost a choose your own adventure in some ways where, if you have an interest in a certain category or certain type of products, we've got the courses and a path for. Yeah, it's it's, we'd like to say it's the first of its kind in, in North America. I think there were, there was one program that was maybe ahead of us.

[00:09:55]But it's a one-year technical apparel program in Vancouver, but for a four year undergraduate degree, we were pretty early on. Yeah. And it's interesting now how some of these, I got my degree, my master's degree from BYU, their outdoor rec program, which they don't offer anymore. And I was looking at the undergrad collection of, where to go get degrees and those are all have faded away too.

[00:10:15] I got an undergrad in a Cal poly Pomona, and that's gone. So there's, it's interesting how as the industry grows and gets stronger and more important economic engine, the degree programs, aren't keeping pace at least yet. I think that'll pick up, but and that was a motivation for us is we had conversations with the industry and we just recognized the need.

[00:10:39] And I think that's a a really strong point of the program is that we're super tied with industry. That's always been the goal of listening to what the industry needs are and then responding and trying to build a program that is actually what students need to be successful in industry.

[00:10:53] And to your point there's. Then a lot of outdoor rec programs, but there hasn't been a clear path for people who want to get into product in the outdoor industry. And so that was the solution. It's a hybrid of an industrial design program and, an apparel design program.

[00:11:07] Yeah, it was more outdoor guiding and those kinds of programs, what I took a master program management rec management. Exactly. Yeah. You had to force the outdoor component of it almost. I remember at BYU, a buddy and I were both in the outdoor side of it. There's only two of us on the outdoor side of it.

[00:11:23] And we were really, fighting tooth and nail with some of the faculties wait a minute, wait, let's do this. Let's do that. And they were responsive, but yeah, it's a little different animal. And if you want to do product, you could go to a BYU and do industrial design at that time.

[00:11:36] And even today, It's a lot of car design or consumer electronics or appliances or, yeah. So that's where we're trying to be a little different. No, that's great. Yeah. That's cool. So back to your archives or anything missing at the, or do you have an item at the top of your get list at the moment? What's a, there's a lot of things.

[00:11:55] There's a lot of things, but is there one, one thing you just said, I want to get that before the end of the year before. There's a couple that I have pending that I don't know if I can share, but I think just for confidentiality there until the deal is finalized, I don't want to, but I think for us I told you a little bit off-air, but.

[00:12:13] We love the catalog component and we want to be able to have complete runs of catalogs because that's a time capsule for not only our students, but researchers, brands who don't have their complete collections. We want this to be a backup hard drive for the industry to be able to come and study their history.

[00:12:31] This is accessible for everyone. So we love the catalog component. We want to really flush that out, but I've been really interested in some of the other materials that, that. Talk about the minutia of what it was like to be in an outdoor brand in the early days. My dream is to find early product sketches from early designers or patents or other corporate documents, or, journals correspondence between early employees.

[00:12:58] That kind of stuff is what I'm really excited about. Cause that helps. Paint even more detailed picture of what what the early days of the company were like. And I know that the materials are out there, so that's why it's a hard question. I feel like there's not one specific thing, but I have in my mind,  these materials that we want to bring together, and I know that they're out there because I've got a couple that I think are going to be coming down the pipe in 2021, 2021.

[00:13:22] So I think going to be a big year for us when it comes to expanding the collection, Yeah, I'm sure all that stuff is, initial outdoor retailer, booth contracts. All that kind of stuff would be interesting. Yeah. And that's the challenge, I think. The risk is that a lot of people just don't recognize the significance of those documents.

[00:13:40]It's kinda the same with catalogs and in other industries you think, Oh, that's just junk mail. But that's what archives are for we're interested in preserving the minutia cause there's just so much there's  and some of these letters back and forth between early employees could just be seen as well.

[00:13:55] That was just day to day, and and a lot of the early employees and a lot of the founders in particular it seems like they were doing what they were doing and they didn't think that it was significant. They were just, making equipment so they could go climb or they could go play.

[00:14:08]They weren't kicking, I'm changing the world. And now looking back it's, Yeah. In a lot of cases, these founders did so well back then, who knew it was going to be as big as it is today, yeah, totally. No one could have predicted it. Yeah. And it's fun to geek out on that stuff.

[00:14:20] I remember when I was at Dana design and they had moved everything Nope. To K2 the offices there on bash on, and we were poking through some old wilderness experience. We were geeking out on patterns and all this stuff. That's the more normal person would go, what, who cares about that?

[00:14:34] But it was just. Fascinating to look at and some of the product samples and stuff. So that's really fun stuff. Yeah.  And the other point that I wanted to get across as the industry  is really big and has a really deep history it's been around for longer than I think a lot of people recognize and there's so many brands that have been a part of it.

[00:14:52] I think it's easy to remember the big ones that have, that are still here today. But unfortunately in some cases, history is written by the winners. And some of the small brands get lost to history. Unless there's efforts like this to, to preserve that history.  Th this one might be fun for your listeners.

[00:15:09]I was flipping through summit magazine. We've got a complete run of summit. As I was scanning each of the covers of summit, I would flip through the back and look at the ads from, 55, 55 to 65. And then in those early days,  ads from. Pull your bar from Jerry, some of the key outdoor brands.

[00:15:27]Right next to them, there's ads for a company called bud Davis packs, Seattle. And I have talked to so many people and can find, I can't find any information about that company. Oh, wow.  There's no record of it online. When I do a quick Google search people who are pretty tied in with the industry and who were around at that time and even people who were in the Seattle region.

[00:15:49] Yeah. Don't even know what that brand was. And the point being that if those materials aren't preserved or put online in a format where they can be found, a lot of that can just be lost forever. So that's what motivates me is if we don't preserve some of this history, this might get lost.

[00:16:06] And then we don't get a complete picture of the history and evolution of the industry. Yeah. And back then, and at those times there were a lot of folks like that who were doing, garage projects, if you will. That's how most of these brands started, but there were a lot of them, it was smaller time.

[00:16:20] And, you could see so few packs in your garage and put an ad in the paper or magazine and sell a few, it was, I guess it was worth the internet today. You put up a website and sell some stuff, but right. I guess if any of you guys are out there listening and you have some stuff, reach out to chase and yeah.

[00:16:34] Be careful what you wish for chase though. You might get flooded, but I think that's what we want last week we have done and we'll take it for sure. If people want to see, I can send you the the website and you can actually see. Check before anything is sent to us, we have a full list.

[00:16:49] Cool. And the collection, there's a whole index that you look at and see what we're missing. So I can send that over to you. We'll link to that as soon as two. That'd be great. Yeah. The, I thought I'd mentioned a couple of the new collections that we brought together that give maybe listeners a better idea of some of the other things that we're trying to build.

[00:17:04] We're, within the larger outdoor recreation archive, we're trying to build out sub collections for individuals.  So they have their own space. But we, so the early days of the oval intention from the North face in 1975, there were a lot of people who were involved in that process.

[00:17:22] And I've talked to a few of them, but I came across one individual who Bob Gillis, who was a contributor. He wasn't necessarily an employee at the time, but rolled up in a van one day. He was just fascinated with geodesics and he came by with a bunch of little models and said, we, we should make one of these.

[00:17:41]And they came together and  with some of the North face employees and ended up designing the oval intention 10th, we ended up working with his wife.  Bob is not really in good health right now.  His wife ended up sending us all of his patents not the oval intention, but for other tent designs, other geodesics that he was working on.

[00:18:03] And we'll be receiving some of his old sketchbooks as well. And so now on the website, we, and we are considering links to this as well. We have a collection, the Bob galas collection. So within that, there's a description of him, his life, his contributions to the industry, and then an index of.

[00:18:19] Okay. The patents, the number of the patent, the description of the patent. And so that, and it's on a research based website. So if there's any researchers out there who are studying this history or writing a thesis about this industry, those materials become searchable so that people can come, in person at some point.

[00:18:37] And. And actually see the items in the collection and person. So that's the vision is building out individual collections for specific people and brands in the industry. Okay. Makes sense. Cause there's so were so many of them, you're like you say, some people weren't necessarily working for the brands, but they were involved with ideas and design and.

[00:18:57] So forth. Yeah. Very cool. That's awesome. We'll link to that in the show notes too. Sounds like fun stuff to pour through. Let's shift gears a little bit. What was the, your podcast or what was the inspiration behind your Highlander podcast? Yeah. So that was a, an, I actually give some background on the Highlander name Utah state.

[00:19:17]I believe it was in the sixties or seventies when our mascot is we're the Aggies, the agriculturalists we're in, we're an ag school. At some point the university got this idea to change the name of the mascot to the Highlanders. And it did not stick if people were pretty frustrated with the name change.

[00:19:34] And so it was short-lived. But  thought, Oh, it'd be fun too. We have. Individuals from the outdoor industry who are coming at the time coming to campus and speaking to our students, people from major brands and sharing really valuable insights with our students. And I thought it's, it's really great.

[00:19:51] But at the same time, it's a shame that these lessons that this one group of students is hearing they're the only ones that are going to breed and be able to appreciate it. And it'd be nice if that group could be able to reflect back on it or refer back. And it would be great if the rest of the program and others in the industry could hear these great stories that are coming out of the program.

[00:20:10] So it, it really started With that in mind, we have great guests who are coming to campus. Why not just after their presentation have them jumped into a studio and we'll just do a quick interview. Have no real experience. And so I worked with the student media team on campus that runs the rate, the campus radio, and they got me up to speed and taught me how to record and edit and cool and do all of that.

[00:20:32] And And we just started from there. Whenever we'd have a guest speaker on campus, I'd pull them into a studio afterwards and we'd do a quick interview about how they got into the industry. A little similar to what you do. And then, from there it started to grow and we'd just record the presentations that, that some of the get these guests were giving in class.

[00:20:52] And then when the pandemic hit in March, especially, that's when I realized, okay, everything's shifting, we can't do in person guests anymore. And I just thought, why are we limiting ourselves to Speaking with only those who are speaking to a class. And so I've just started reaching out to people that I know.

[00:21:09] Excellent.  And having conversations and rather than, keeping it to a class schedule it's well, let's just release every week, I'm having enough conversations. We could do that. And from there this history project really started to grow as well. And so we started a history of gear series as a part of the larger podcast.

[00:21:24] So I have some similar to you have some conversations with some of the outdoor pioneers in the industry. And that started with talking with Bruce Johnson. And if you're not, if your listeners don't know Bruce Johnson he's been running a website called the history of gear. Since the nineties.

[00:21:42] Yeah he's been documenting the history of the outdoor industry I'll, on his own for a long time. And his website is a wealth of knowledge. And so he, and I would just get together weekly. And we'd just talk about one company that he wrote about on his website a week, just to help digital, almost turn his website and an audio form.

[00:22:00]So that's where the history project Really really started to grow and develop. And we have since had, great guest speakers like hap Klopp and Mark Erickson, Jan Fletcher of the North face, Dana Gleason was on telling the boy Al Tabor. We've had a good number of guests that your listeners are probably all too familiar with.

[00:22:17] Yeah. I think a lot of folks have done both. I've listened to a few. There've been on both Jim Thompson and Greg were out there, I think. Yeah. Yep. Yeah. And that worked. We're trying to find some of those who haven't been talked to before as well.  Think the, one of the family members of let's see gene Crenshaw, we started summit magazine.

[00:22:36] We talked to one of their relatives about the history of the magazine and growing up. You know that, this individual helped print some of the magazines. So we're trying to find some, not only the big outdoor pioneers, but some of those who haven't had the opportunity to share their story as well.

[00:22:51] So that's been a fun, fun project. Yeah. That was a long answer. That was a long answer about the podcast. Yeah. As well as I do w once you get into the podcast world, and now there's a couple of ways you can go, you can talk about the activity of podcasting, which there's a lot of things that we can talk about there.

[00:23:06] Or you can talk about your topic, which there's also a lot of things there. And I think the beauty of what you and I are doing in the outdoor business, there's so many great people to talk to that it's just endless, People have heard my story. I just started, I wanted to share the stories that got told in the aisles of the trade show.

[00:23:24]So many times you'd be, outside of a booth sharing a beer and the story would just impromptu you come out of somebody's mouth and it would likely, never be told again. And so this was the idea to catch some of that stuff, but yeah, there's just so much content that we can talk about and people that talk too.

[00:23:41] It's super fun. I'm glad we're doing this is. You mentioned there's so many people to talk to. I'm looking at my queue of contacts. I need to add it. And it is growing way too long. It's not enough weeks in the year to, to post all of this good content and good conversations that are out there.

[00:23:58] So yeah. And part of that is self-inflicted because we've experimented with some other formats as well. I thought out there, there isn't a good, weekly Roundup of what's happening in the outdoor industry. There's a lot of that on the newsletter side on the website, but I thought maybe I can just do a, every Thursday talk about what, some of the things that happened in the previous week and you know what I think that means.

[00:24:21] So we started doing some of that as well. So it's. It's always evolving, it's always changing. And at first it was just talking to people in the outdoor industry. Then it turned in, we added the history component and then I added a current events. He stood as well. So it, it's constantly evolving as yeah. Yeah. And I've broadened out. I do a little more than just the traditional outdoor. I do adventure travel and, I dropped an episode with Bob Carlson, from Arbor collective and the access sports skate surf thing. Yeah, it's when you go that route too, it just expands it and it's just, I have a lot of fun doing it.

[00:24:53] What are a couple of things you enjoy most about podcasting?  Think it's sometimes I I thought about my job in the industry and some of the things that I feel like I'm good at, I feel like I'm a good connector. I feel like I'm someone who can recognize a need and think, Oh, I know someone who would be a great fit for that.

[00:25:12] And sometimes it's hard to quantify. That impact or what that, that skill is. And I feel like podcasting has helped solidify that for me. So if anyone was ever to ask what do you do for your job instead of saying, Oh, I connect people. And it's this ambiguous thing.

[00:25:27] It's easier to refer back and say, Oh here's a hundred episodes of conversations that we had with people in the outdoor industry. Yeah. So I liked that aspect of it. It helps ground what I feel like some of the things that I'm good at I'm just a curious person too. So it's nice to be able to make this part of my.

[00:25:45] Day-to-day job where I can just have conversations with people. So that's fun for me to take something that I just liked to do anyways. I,  I'm like you, I just like having conversations or. And to be able to make this part of my day to day  is a dream. Yeah. Yeah. I just love sharing all the stories.

[00:26:00] Cause there's so many great ones, so I don't want to be the only guy that heard them, or me in that small group. It's so fun. Yeah. And people have great histories and great, interesting ideas, how they got into the industry and it's a super fun. Yeah. And for a while, for me, I was  sat on the outside looking in and I'm a big podcast listener.

[00:26:17]I've loved listening to podcasts and just find a lot of value out of it. And at one point I just thought, that's something I want to do. And so to finally jump into it, And be a part of it rather than be, someone looking from the outside in yeah. That itch I wanted to scrap. So that's been a fun thing to be able to do.

[00:26:36] Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Glad we're doing it. Talk a little bit about the outdoor or sorry, the Utah outdoor association. What does that group do? I'm involved on one of their committees. I'm on the education committee where state but they are. A trade association for Utah.

[00:26:54] So it's companies coming together to support and grow the outdoor industry in Utah. So Oya, but on a state and state level. The state has a great office of outdoor recreation that, that does great things and it's tied to the state. But from my understanding and we could get you connected with the executive director of that group too, to tell his part of the story I have him on to you.

[00:27:14] I've talked to some of the other, I talked to Louis Benita's when he was at Colorado. And we're still putting one together here in California, but I've talked to a couple of them. Yeah. So this is a separate group from the office of outdoor recreation at the state level. I know some of the brands wanted to come together to have a company led trade group that could work in concert with this, the state office.

[00:27:36]So I think they have similar goals in that way. It's all about supporting the community, supporting outdoor companies and there's a product focus to it. So helping the outdoor product companies in the state continue to grow and develop and hopefully attract more outdoor companies to the state or hope, entrepreneurs who are looking to break in and build the next great outdoor company in retail as well.

[00:27:58]So it's a group that's working in concert. But with our great state office about . Yeah. Cool. We'll link to them in the show notes. Yeah. So do you have a favorite outdoor activity? You'd love to participate in on a regular basis. So many things. No, they're in Utah. Yeah. During the good weather, I'd love to bike on a regular basis and I'm a roadie.

[00:28:18] So I like hitting the farm roads in cache Valley. We're pretty quiet. And for me, cycling has always been one of those things that I've just had. I love the freedom that comes with there's something about this. Cranking on your bike. And you just cut for so much ground. Do you get to see so many beautiful things on a bike?

[00:28:36] I've tried to get into running and kudos to anyone who can run. But I always just find myself hurting more than enjoying myself, but I can go on a bike and feel exhausted, but also just feel. So good at the same time and cover a lot of ground and see a lot of the beauty of cache Valley willing to, and so I always really loved cycling for those reasons.

[00:28:54] Yeah. You got a lot of great roads to ride out there that's for sure. Yeah. Yep. Do you have any suggestions or advice for folks wanting to get into the outdoor biz or grow their career? If they're already in the business? Yeah, this is advice that I give to our students all the time. I've been doing a lot of career counseling in some ways with some of our students, and I create some strategic plans with each of them and help them figure out yeah.

[00:29:16] Navigate how to break in. So I love talking about this, but cool. For me, I just feel like LinkedIn is one of the most under appreciated tools out there. Especially now when you can't go to trade shows and things, In my role, I've reached out to people on LinkedIn that I never thought would get back to me.

[00:29:36]C-level people at major outdoor companies and I've had people respond to me and be really kind and, while they don't necessarily have the time to answer my questions, they'll introduce me to someone at the company and help get me connected. And so I just think there's so much opportunity to get to know other people have those conversations and.

[00:29:54] And I, it's all on how you do it.  Have to remind our students, don't just send messages to people asking if you can get an internship, that's a big turnoff. And these people are busy, but if you can go in and, ask any questions and be curious and it's all in your approach, but I've found a lot of success doing that that way.

[00:30:11] But I think the other piece is build something, get into the outdoor industry by creating something of your own. That doesn't mean, starting a company but everyone can, start a podcast or write some content or, post, pictures or, create a product.

[00:30:25]There's a lot of things that you can do to, rather than sit on the sidelines, jump in and start, contributing So you can get into the outdoor business just by contributing something, right? Yeah. No one has to give you permission.  That's good advice too, because you want to lead with value, right?

[00:30:40]Some of the other guys I follow outside the outdoor industry, that's one of the things that they talk about all the time is we all get inundated with asks, right? Can you help me this? Can you look at this? And I think if you start there. You just, it's going to set you back a bit, but if you lead with value and something that you've created or something that you can offer, then you're going to, they're more likely, everybody's more likely to reach out and help.

[00:31:01] They're all helpful anyway, but start value. I think I'm glad you mentioned that you put that in a really good way. I, you distill down my thoughts in the, something that made a lot of sense, but I've noticed that from the program perspective, I think sometimes they can, from a university perspective, it can be perceived as.

[00:31:20]Oh, this university is reaching out because they're looking for a new endowment or there, where they're looking for a big donation or scholarships, or they're looking to ask something from me. And that's where I really liked the approach that we've taken with. No, let's connect you with students for internships.

[00:31:36] Jobs lets you know, Hey, we've got this archive that we're building and he didn't want to give you access to it. That's, it's like you said, it's  give rather than take. Exactly. And as soon as you give and add value, like things come back and certainly, anyone listening,  we would love endowments.

[00:31:51] We would love scholarships. We'd love all of those things but we've got to be able to place students in great jobs that add value to companies before. Those things come back and before companies recognize, Oh, this is, this program is a value to the industry. We need to reinvest in it. So it's the same of individuals, right?

[00:32:07] It's I think if you can find ways to give good things will come back. Yep. Said I totally agree. Yep. As we wrap up here, do you have any favorite books or books you give as gifts? He must give books to students or recommend I'm sure. Oh man. I've got your book over here. Great. I've.

[00:32:25] Yeah, I don't have any that I have given out recently. Let's see. I actually just read, I'm looking at my books down here next to me. I've got a whole pile of books to read more of them the same way I just can't get to all of them. It's like podcasts. There's so many things there. There's so much content, but there's one, it's not necessarily outdoor, but.

[00:32:47] I, to better understand what our students are going through from a design perspective, I've been reading the design of everyday things, but yeah. Cool. And it's a fantastic book. Super approachable, really talks about the design process, the design of the world around us. It really hits on this idea that everything around us is designed, whether it's intentional or not.

[00:33:07]And it's a super approachable book. So if you're not as a designer, that's okay. Th you could get through this book pretty quickly and learn some really interesting things, whether you're in design or management or, whatever, I've really enjoyed that one. And then I'm, I, I'm interested in diving into I got this recommendation from Jocelyn rice, who is a designer at Columbia sportswear.

[00:33:30]And she was speaking to one of our classes and she recommended this book, but I'm really interested in getting into, but it's called hunting and fishing in the new South black labor and white leisure after the civil war. So I hadn't heard about that one, but it was really interesting to get and get into that one as well.

[00:33:46] So I haven't read it yet, but yeah. Yeah. We'll link to both of those in the show notes. They'll send, it's not the pick both of those up. It sounds like they're right up my alley. How about a favorite outdoor gear purchase under a hundred dollars? Oh my gosh. You know where we've been inside so much more, I've been loving the TBA moccasins.

[00:34:06] Oh, I didn't know about those. Just, yeah those are great. They're just, they're comfy. I'm indoors more than ever. As much as I'd like to get outdoors, which we can, there's lots of safe ways to doing that, but I find myself working from my basement doing, at the university. Working from home and so you've just got to have some comfy outdoor products.

[00:34:25] I've really enjoyed those as well. We'll link to those in the show notes too. That sounds pretty neat. As we wrap up. Is there anything else you'd like to say or ask of our listeners? No just happy to be a part of this industry. I anyone who's again, looking from the outside in I was doing the same thing only a few years ago.

[00:34:42]And I attribute a lot of what I'm doing now, too. Offering to help Cotopaxi and get in on a volunteer basis. I wasn't being paid to, to help them do things, but I was interested in the industry and I'd never could have predicted that, that would have given me some of the experience that I think helped lend some credibility when I was applying for this position.

[00:35:03] And I can lean back on it and say, I have worked in the outdoor industry. I understand the business, to a degree. And so I say, just jump in any way you can. Yep. Yep. And it all starts with leading with value. You provided value to Cotopaxi and liquid happened, turned out good for you.

[00:35:19] And if people want to find out or follow up with you, where's the best way, you can message me on all of the outdoor product design development Program social media accounts. We use Instagram a time USU outdoor product. But you can find us on Facebook and LinkedIn and but my email as well as just chase CHSC dot Anderson and B E R S O n@usu.edu.

[00:35:43] Excellent. Cool. We'll put all that in the show notes. It's been great catching up. I look to look forward to seeing you in person. Again, one of these days it'll happen soon. Not maybe not a trade show, but you'll find yourself in Bishop or I'll find myself back in salt Lake. Yeah, no, that'd be great.

[00:35:56] Yeah. Great to see you. Cool. Thanks Jace. Yeah, thank you. That was great.

 

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