Colby Marple of Spinlister: “Bring Your Store To Your Customers”

Bring Your Store To Your Customers: The inherent convenience of e-commerce has changed customer expectations for service fulfillment. Specifically, they want to complete an order and have it arrive without leaving home. While this may seem like it’s only in the domain of e-commerce giants, independent retailers can provide the same services with minimal investment. […]

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Bring Your Store To Your Customers: The inherent convenience of e-commerce has changed customer expectations for service fulfillment. Specifically, they want to complete an order and have it arrive without leaving home. While this may seem like it’s only in the domain of e-commerce giants, independent retailers can provide the same services with minimal investment. For example, customers can “virtually walk the floor” by scheduling a Zoom appointment with a sales person — or book home delivery for their order using a calendar tool. Ultimately, people are less inclined to leave home for anything that they can “add to cart.” However, brick and mortar retailers can deliver the same convenience to their customers — while still providing a personalized level of attention and unique experiences that can only come from a local business.

As part of my series about the “How To Create A Fantastic Retail Experience That Keeps Bringing Customers Back For More”, I had the pleasure of interviewing Colby Marple, Director of Retail Solutions at Spinlister, a ROKiT Made company. Before joining Spinlister, Colby worked for 15+ years in the bike industry — beginning at Sid’s Bikes NYC prior to joining Cycling Sports Group (CSG). During his time at CSG — Colby relaunched Schwinn’s premium product line, introduced the world’s first computer-controlled bike fit system & developed the company’s first retail training & education program. Following six years at CSG, Colby joined The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS). He worked for Team In Training — the world’s most extensive endurance sports fundraising program to support cancer research, driving 2.5 million dollars+ in new annual revenue through adventure trips to Mount Kilimanjaro & Mount Everest Base Camp. Originally from Brooklyn, Colby now lives in Norwalk, CT with Roubaix (his French Bulldog).

Thank you so much for joining us in this interview series! Before we dive in, our readers would love to “get to know you” a bit better. Can you tell us a bit about your ‘backstory’ and how you got started?

My Brooklyn roots set the stage for my eventual journey into the bike industry. At age 16, I started working at my local bike shop (Sid’s Bikes NYC). While I learned plenty about the business of bikes, I learned way more about people. From dealing with tough negotiations on kids bike to satisfying the expensive appetites of Wall Street executives — I learned how to build connections with a wide range of characters.

Fortunately, one of my customers happened to mention that Schwinn was looking for a junior marketing person — and several months later, I had secured my first “real job.” Even to this day, I’m still never too far away from retail — as I’ll go back to Sid’s Bikes NYC and work the floor every so often to make sure I still have it. Most importantly, it’s way more fun to be on your feet working that it is to be stuck at a desk — and it also helps in keeping my communication skills sharp.

Can you share a story about the funniest mistake you made when you were first starting? Can you tell us what lessons or ‘takeaways’ you learned from that?

Starting out at Cycling Sports Group as a 23-year-old shop kid, I could talk about bikes with anyone — but that didn’t mean that I knew how to properly engage with corporate executives. More specifically, I didn’t know that contradicting an executive wasn’t a smart move — especially when you’re just a coordinator. During a brand review meeting, the CMO objected to our team using lifestyle photography of beach cruisers and urban bikes with riders not wearing helmets. However, we had decided to do this specifically because it “wouldn’t have looked right” if the riders had been wearing helmets. I know this sounds questionable — but if you’re “in the industry,” you would know it was the right thing to do.

That said, the CMO refused to understand our rationale — and eventually I got fed up and declared “this is BS.” Being a Brooklyn kid, this didn’t exactly come out quietly. As you might expect, I was immediately put in place by the CMO and figuratively sat in the corner for the rest of the meeting. Realizing that I needed to own up to my mistake, I visited the CMO in their office right after the meeting and humbly apologized as best I could. Surprisingly, the CMO was receptive to the passion I had showed in the meeting and thanked me for owning up to that mistake. From that moment on, we actually became very close.

Years later, the same CMO recruited me to join them at The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) — which was a massive leap forward in my career. Long story short, you have to keep your cool even when you’re fighting for what you know is right. Most importantly, showing true humility and owning up to your mistakes can endear you to people who may ultimately become your biggest ally — even if it all starts with an argument.

None of us are able to achieve success without some help along the way. Is there a particular person who you are grateful towards who helped get you to where you are? Can you share a story?

Throughout my career, I’ve been fortunate to receive invaluable guidance from an eclectic council of advisors. It’s impossible to choose one specific mentor — but I would say that the cast of characters from Sid’s Bikes NYC are most responsible for my success. Coming in as a 16-year-old plebe, I was the youngest employee by nearly 10 years — and like any new kid on the job, I was put through the wringer. From scrubbing toilets to going on donut runs for management, no hustle was beneath my limited role as the resident “shop rat.” While I thought this would go on all summer, the managers recognized my hustle and started to put me in positions to step up — namely as a go-to sales person for high-performance road bikes. While I wasn’t polished or necessarily qualified, they gave me plenty of support that summer and continued to mentor me for the next 7 years.

Beyond lessons learned about customer service or how to not “get too nerdy” when talking about bikes — everyone at the bike shop imparted countless life lessons and perspective that would never appear in a textbook. From the unwritten ways of the street to savant-level breakdowns of music I’d never heard — no topic was off limits and my teenaged brain was filled with after-school wisdom that couldn’t be matched. None of this would have happened if I hadn’t proven myself by doing the work that no one ever wants to do. For young people just getting started, it may seem like you’re just doing dirty work without any merit at the end. However, proving yourself as a hustler can open up doors that fast-track your career and ultimately enhance your worldview by gaining the knowledge (and trust) of those who know best.

Is there a particular book, podcast, or film that made a significant impact on you? Can you share a story or explain why it resonated with you so much?

“Road to Valor: A True Story of World War II Italy, the Nazis, and the Cyclist Who Inspired a Nation” is a profile in courage that will resonate with anyone. The book tells the story of Gino Bartali — one of the greatest cyclists of all time who won the 1938 Tour de France at the age of 24. Following the outbreak of World War II the following year, all professional races were cancelled and Bartali was forced to put his career on hold. However, he was secretly recruited by the Catholic church to help them provide critical support to persecuted Jewish citizens across Italy. While he appeared to be “out on training rides” every time he rode past Mussolini’s soldiers, Bartali was actually transporting fake papers (stored inside his bike frame) to provide Catholic identities for those facing persecution.

Bartali’s courageous efforts throughout the war saved thousands of lives — and in true form to his selflessness, Bartali refused to talk about it when he retired (which is why this story remained largely untold until now). Once racing resumed, everyone thought Bartali was washed up when he lined up at the 1948 Tour de France — 10 years after his first win. Remarkably, Bartali defied the odds and won the race ahead of the era’s best young riders. While the nostalgia for sporting heroism may not resonate with everyone, Bartali’s conviction to do what was right in the face of unspeakable evil is one of the most inspiring displays of sacrifice and heroism that I’ve ever found.

What do you think makes your company stand out? Can you share a story?

From day one, Spinlister was developed to be an online rental solution for bikes — starting as a peer-to-peer platform and expanding into retail as a rental business solution. Through the years, people who love the outdoors have approached us about ways we can enhance our platform to support more than bikes. While it would be easy to “just stick with what we know” — we quickly realized that our core platform could be easily updated to create rental opportunities for all kinds of outdoor equipment.

This past summer, we were uploading a retailer’s bike rental fleet and they casually asked — “can we rent paddleboards?” At the time, we didn’t have paddleboards listed as a rentable product. Even before we made any coding changes, we figured out how to make it happen that day. Within a matter of weeks, they had booked 20,000 dollars+ in online paddleboard rentals — which until that point had been booked “the old fashioned way” with pen and paper.

I know that it’s cliché for any business to claim that they “listen to customers” — even if they just say that to look good on paper. Simply put, we genuinely value customer feedback. Instead of just taking notes, we implement constant updates that are inspired directly by our users. True partnerships drive successful and sustainable business — which is exactly why Spinlister has continued to evolve and improve through the years.

Which tips would you recommend to your colleagues in your industry to help them to thrive and not “burn out”?

You would think that the motivation to get and ride would be an obvious job perk when working in the bike industry. However, I’ve experienced what happens when your daily grind becomes so overwhelming that the thought of doing anything “but the job” starts to dominate how you approach the workday. Through the years, I’ve learned that there is always room to get out for a bike ride — even if you start the day thinking that all you’re going to have time for is “that one big project.”

Regardless of when you choose to get outside, I’ve learned that staying committed to your personal well-being pays off in more ways than one. Apart from the obvious benefits of staying active and being outdoors, I work more efficiently and coherently if I’ve been able to break away (even if it’s just for 30 minutes). Most importantly, this commitment to bettering oneself during the workday is not limited to riding bikes — the same is also true for those who want to get out for a walk around the neighborhood. Ultimately, being committed to your personal health (both mental and physical) ensures that you’re happier throughout the day — while enhancing your productivity in the process.

Ok super. Now let’s jump to the main questions of our interview. The so-called “Retail Apocalypse” has been going on for about a decade. The Pandemic only made things much worse for retailers in general. While many retailers are struggling, some retailers, like Lululemon, Kroger, and Costco are quite profitable. Can you share a few lessons that other retailers can learn from the success of profitable retailers?

The key to surviving (and ultimately thriving) in these challenging times is to find new ways of bringing your retail experience to customers. Most importantly, the solutions for driving these new forms of customer engagement do not require retailers to “do it all on their own.” For example, many large-scale retailers partnered with Instacart to fulfill online orders and contactless home delivery for their customers. While this service had been around for several years prior to the pandemic, our new reality represented an opportunity for more people to experience the benefits of contactless delivery than ever before.

Even on a smaller scale, independent retailers have created their own contactless delivery options for goods and services — essentially turning their storefront into a fulfillment center for remote transactions handled via email/phone/etc. In addition, many retailers have modified their entire daily schedule to be appointment-only — which ensured that capacity limits were maintained and that customer demand for goods/services could be appropriately managed throughout normal business hours. In addition, many retailers are offering virtual store visits via Zoom to allow customers to “walk the floor” without leaving home. Pre-bookings for retail appointments were already becoming the new “step one” for many retail experiences (Apple Genius Bar, yoga classes, etc.) — but the pandemic illustrated how a modification out of necessity for current conditions can also serve as a new model for long-term retail enhancement.

In short, people like to feel special — and by offering concierge service for customers, you’re able to meet their expectations for one-to-one service before they even arrive. The solutions that successful retailers implemented to overcome the pandemic’s challenges will continue to redefine how customers view retail experiences. These changes may have been driven out of pure necessity to survive, but in the long-term they have actually set up retailers to be more nimble and agile in continuing to bring their store experience to customers in new ways.

Amazon is going to exert pressure on all of retail for the foreseeable future. New Direct-To-Consumer companies based in China are emerging that offer prices that are much cheaper than US and European brands. What would you advise retail companies and eCommerce companies, for them to be successful in the face of such strong competition?

It’s safe to say that innovation makes our daily lives easier to manage — and ultimately, more convenient. While this may sound great on paper, the influx of tech-driven convenience has been challenging for retailers. Simply put, it’s a lot easier to click “add to cart” than it is to push an actual shopping cart. Plus, anyone can find the best deal by Googling it. Even for established e-commerce powerhouses, it can be tough to stand out from the price-gouging onslaught of new online businesses.

This may sound crazy — but the two sides of retail (brick and mortar, e-commerce) could actually learn something from the other in finding new ways to stand out from the crowd. In both cases, the key is to elevate customer expectations for service. Starting with brick and mortar, the old days of waiting for every customer to just walk in are over. However, this doesn’t mean they don’t want to pay for your goods or services — it just means that certain conditions need to be met before they do. From offering appointment bookings (both in-store and virtually via Zoom) to contactless home delivery for orders, successful brick and mortar retailers are incorporating e-commerce convenience into their daily operations. Most importantly, they are not abandoning the personalized and immediate one-to-one service that traditional retailers have always provided. Instead, they are creating new ways of fulfilling their services via new channels that align with customers’ expectations.

Along these lines, e-commerce businesses have to realize that chat bots are not the ultimate solution for personalized online experiences. I’m sure that you’ve had your fair share of poor chat bot conversations — and in the end, you would have preferred to “just talk to a human.” As a result, many e-commerce platforms are offering one-to-one video consultations with dedicated online-only representatives. In addition to providing a human touch to an otherwise contactless experience, these services also represent new revenue streams — as businesses like TurboTax will offer live video chat with tax consultants in exchange for a premium fee. While no business is entirely immune from rampant discounting offered by nondescript online brands, people will always see the value in businesses that are elevating the purchase experience via quality service. Anyone can sell anything one time — but service-first businesses (in-person or online) can retain customers for life by delivering outstanding service with a premium customer experience.

What are the most common mistakes you have seen CEOs & founders make when they start a retail business? What can be done to avoid those errors?

Without hesitation, the worst class that I had to take in college was Accounting 101. No disrespect to the accountants out there — but how do you find joy in payables and receivables? Kidding aside, if you’re in that line of work — we need you badly in the retail world. Particularly in the outdoor channel, many retailers do not make it because they can’t stay on top of their books. If you’re starting a retail business and barely passed accounting like me, then I would strongly recommend finding someone who knows how to maintain a balance sheet. Getting a handle on your expenses relative to your incoming revenue is the best way to keep the lights on.

Along these lines, make sure that your business expenses are paying you back in the form of points. On a personal level, is there anything worse than missing out on triple points when you forget to use the right credit card? This common mistake affects retailers all the time — as they miss out on easy opportunities to turn their investments into free money. For example, I’ve worked with retailers who paid for store renovations exclusively using credit card points earned over a period of time. Easy money is hard to come by for any retailer — and choosing the right credit card is the best way to earn while you’re spending.

Finally, it’s tempting to discount your products and services right away — but do not give in to the pressure and instead hold firm on the value of your business. If you have a product or service and your customers are delighted with your approach, they will have zero hesitation to pay for it. Too often, retailers assume that customers will simply walk out if they “don’t get a deal” — but if you don’t give them a reason to ask for a discount, then it won’t come up. The margin game is never on the side of retailers — and jumping head-first into discounts from day one will put your business at risk.

This might be intuitive, but I think it’s helpful to specifically articulate it. In your words, can you share a few reasons why great customer service and a great customer experience is essential for success in business in general and for retail in particular?

To be blunt — service and experience are the only differentiators that retailers have left. The rise of mobile e-commerce and reduced fulfillment time has significantly impacted the motivation to go shopping outside. When I started working at retail in the early 2000s, e-commerce convenience was not readily accessible for every transaction. Most importantly, mobile transactions were not a viable option until smartphones and mobile-first platforms became ubiquitous. As a result, it was still easier to visit a store for most transactions. Now, you can buy anything on your phone — including daily essentials that you’d normally go outside to buy, but can now be delivered to your home in a few hours by Amazon Prime or Instacart.

Even convenience stores aren’t as convenient as clicking “add to cart” on your couch. However, people still enjoy feeling good about connecting with others — especially in their local neighborhood and even more so during times when one-to-one contact is very limited. While confidently choosing your travel-sized shampoo may not require expert perspective or better ambiance, there are numerous product categories that are complemented by an outstanding retail experience. For instance, people will pay a premium for the immersive and personalized touch that can only be fulfilled through a proper retail experience. From pre-booking an appointment with just the right person to simply saying “hello” when you walk in, retailers still have the advantage in providing its customers with something memorable (rather than just clicking through a checkout flow).

Furthermore, we’ve all experienced technology fatigue this year. From Zoom overload to reaching the fringes of Netflix searching for a new show, the importance of human interaction has been elevated to new levels of importance. As we continue to navigate through these crazy times, we’re all yearning for the simple things — like being able to get outside and simply enjoy one another’s company. As long as you’re in the business of selling experience and service, your product of choice won’t be sitting on the shelves for too long.

We have all had times either in a store, or online, when we’ve had a very poor experience as a customer or user. If the importance of a good customer experience is so intuitive, and apparent, where is the disconnect? How is it that so many companies do not make this a priority?

Ready for a huge understatement? Working at retail is not easy! From demanding customers to keeping your inventory up-to-date, there are rarely opportunities to pause and make sure that your most important commodity (customer experience) is perfectly set up. Most independent retailers are owned and operated by people who have a genuine passion for their product or service. As a result, it’s safe to assume that any customer who’s being helped by an owner will likely have an amazing experience. However, we all have bad days — and unfortunately, bad days at retail can go sideways in a hurry.

Retail burnout is real — and every business leader needs the ability to delegate the daily grind to a trusted general manager. While businesses need to reach a certain level of success before delegation is a reality, it’s a vital step in allowing owners to “stay off the floor” and enabling other qualified people to represent their brand. That said, delegating to new hires can lead to the dilution of your customer experience if your general manager isn’t fully immersed in not only why you’re in business — but how it’s done correctly.

Early in my career, I experienced the difference between a general manager who was doing things their way — compared to another general manager who was invested in bringing the owner’s expectations to life. Simply put, my first general manager dictated — and the other general manager made me feel like I was part of running the show. As a result, our bike shop became synonymous with outstanding customer experience — which was recognized daily by customers who would routinely thank us for “making things so easy.” Ultimately, you need to have every employee (from seasonal hires to leadership) completely in tune with the company’s mission by making them feel like they’re truly a part of it. This will curtail the effects of retail burnout — and keep the bad review trolls away from your Yelp page.

Can you share with us a story from your experience about a customer who was “Wowed” by the experience you provided?

The best part about working in the bike industry is that you’re in the business of selling fun. From a retail perspective, the ability to sell fun with cool products and an exciting lifestyle is something that resonates quickly with customers. Even with all of these built-in advantages, you still need to focus on what customers actually need — rather than what you personally want to sell. Along these lines, I was very fortunate to be coached extensively during my early retail days about how to actively listen to customers.

You have to make the process about them, not about you.

I used to struggle with the urge to oversell, but one particular customer showed me the benefits of how much it means to simply give them what they want. Prior to visiting our bike shop, they had tried to buy an entry-level bike from three other stores — and they left each store without buying a bike because each store had tried to upsell them every time. Upon learning this, I went into full question-asking mode about what they were looking for — and within 15 minutes, we’d found a perfect 500 dollars bike for them with 200 dollars in accessories. As we wrapped up — the customer said, “that was so easy compared to every other place I’ve been, thank you for listening to me.” It sounds so simple, but it’s amazing how much it means for customers to feel like they’re being heard — because as this customer freely admitted, most retailers go into “full pitch mode.” Ultimately, the ability to “wow” customers comes down to your ears — not your voice.

Did that Wow! experience have any long term ripple effects? Can you share the story?

In any business environment, the best upsell scenario is when the customer does the work for you. That’s exactly what happened with the previously-mentioned customer who had first bought a 500 dollars bike. Several months later, they returned and told me that they were ready to “step up” to a road bike for longer rides. Specifically, they had seen friends on high-end carbon road bikes talking about the benefits of having one. Most importantly, their friends had openly talked about price (which we know is the toughest point to cover in the sales process) — and had essentially pre-sold the bike before coming back in to look at something new.

In the end, the customer came back to the shop and bought a well-equipped 2000 dollars carbon road bike — giving them exactly what they needed to keep up with their friends on longer rides. The lesson here is to look at the lifetime value of customer relationships — rather than focusing solely on one-time transactions and trying to get as much out of them as you can. As the customer had shared, three other stores had a shot at winning their business — and each store failed because all they wanted to do was “close a big deal.” Conversely, I focused on finding what they truly needed in the moment and delivered an outstanding experience. Simply put, this is how you build trust with customers and keep them coming back for more.

While the first transaction may have been small, it was the catalyst for putting the customer on a bike and getting them into the sport. If you give customers exactly what they want, you will put them on a path to discover more as they put their first purchase to good use. Ultimately, your focus should always be on closing new business — no matter if it’s a couple of bucks or several thousand dollars. Every customer has the potential to be more than a one-time transaction if you play it right.

A fantastic retail experience isn’t just one specific thing. It can be a composite of many different subtle elements fused together. Can you help us break down and identify the different ingredients that come together to create a “fantastic retail experience”?

It all starts with saying hello — with a smile, of course! You’d be surprised how many times you walk into a store and no one on the floor will acknowledge that you’re there. It’s the easiest way to let customers know that you’re happy to see them — and even if it takes a while to start talking about what you have on the floor, it’s the mandatory step one that every retailer needs to take. Along these lines, it’s important to consistently invest in training your team. From basic sales skills to reinforcing your value proposition, your employees are an extension of your brand. With this, it’s critical to take time in developing their capabilities — and making them feel connected to the business in more ways than just getting paid on Fridays.

This may seem obvious for a brick and mortar location — but you have to keep it clean! My bike shop career started as a janitor — and even when I became a senior sales associate, I still had to scrub the toilet. The fastest way to turn off a customer is a dingy in-store experience — but if it’s fresh and clean, they’ll want to stay a while and buy something. Furthermore, playing the right music goes a long way in making sure that customers spend more time at your store. Reggae and Motown always worked for us at the bike shop — but it’s important to make sure the right Spotify playlist is streaming in your store to avoid any unexpected Lil Pump drops. Plus, make sure that your store is set at a season-appropriate temperature. There’s nothing better than getting a cool AC blast from visiting a store during the summer. On the other hand, there’s nothing worse than watching customers immediately turn around at the door when the AC is out in the summer (this happened a few times during my bike shop days…).

Ok super. Here is the main question of our interview. Based on your experience and success, what are the five most important things one should know in order to create a fantastic retail experience that keeps bringing customers back for more? Please share a story or an example for each.

  1. Online Tech Enhances Brick & Mortar: If you own a traditional store, there’s a tendency to think that anything online is the enemy. In reality, online solutions enable customers to connect with brick and mortar locations more easily. From investing in paid search campaigns to optimizing your business website for SEO, every retailer can benefit from putting their business in front of where people are looking. Simply put, your online experience is the new step one for every retail interaction. People will see your home page before they see your storefront — but that doesn’t mean they won’t be motivated to walk in a few minutes later (especially if they can book an appointment on your website).
  2. Bring Your Store To Your Customers: The inherent convenience of e-commerce has changed customer expectations for service fulfillment. Specifically, they want to complete an order and have it arrive without leaving home. While this may seem like it’s only in the domain of e-commerce giants, independent retailers can provide the same services with minimal investment. For example, customers can “virtually walk the floor” by scheduling a Zoom appointment with a sales person — or book home delivery for their order using a calendar tool. Ultimately, people are less inclined to leave home for anything that they can “add to cart.” However, brick and mortar retailers can deliver the same convenience to their customers — while still providing a personalized level of attention and unique experiences that can only come from a local business.
  3. It’s Not About You, It’s About Them: No one likes to be sold to — even when you’re confident about what you want to purchase. It’s easy to fall into the trap of overselling or trying to close fast, especially when you’re just getting started and want to get some wins on the board. The key to building up your business is to be grounded in building trust with your customers. Before you dive into making recommendations, strike up a conversation and build rapport with anyone who walks in the door. Along the way, make sure you’re asking questions more often than making statements — which will ensure that your customers are talking more than you do. Even if the conversation leads to a small purchase, it’s important to focus on what a customer wants rather than what you think they can afford. In the end, quality retailers thrive when they have lifelong customers — not when they keep churning through one-time buyers.
  4. Place of Experience, Not Point of Sale: Back in the day, retailers wanted to get customers in and out of the store as quickly as possible. Currently, foot traffic at retail is continuing to drop — particularly because we can just stay at home to shop for almost anything. As a result, retailers must focus on making their stores “hangout friendly.” In other words, people want to experience more about visiting a particular retailer than finding what they want and proceeding to checkout. For example, apparel companies like Rapha present their stores as “clubhouses” — with cafés near the front door and minimal product on the floor. Plus, these clubhouses are offered as local pickup locations for e-commerce orders. In the end, customers still appreciate the value of an in-person shopping experience — but now more than ever, it’s the experience that leads to a purchase, rather than simply having product on the floor.
  5. Follow-Up (With More Than A Newsletter): Just like saying “hello” when they walk in, staying connected with customers via post-sale service enables retailers to continuously build more value. However, most retailers will just settle with adding customers to their newsletter — rather than building post-sale service into their value proposition. For example, I recently bought a car and the sales person said they would call me in one week to see if I had questions about operating it. Plus, we pre-scheduled my first maintenance appointment three months in advance. This proactive approach sets you up for long-term success — giving your customers peace of mind about what’s coming up next and positioning your business as a valuable resource. Clearly, there is value in automating parts of the customer journey (newsletters are helpful!) — but coordinating follow-up at the end of every transaction is the best way to create long-term relationships with your customers.

Thank you for all of that. We are nearly done. Here is our final ‘meaty’ question. You are a person of great influence. If you could start a movement that would bring the most amount of good to the most amount of people, what would that be? You never know what your idea can trigger. 🙂

While living through the pandemic has severely limited our range of activities, it has reinvigorated our desire to get outside. I’m very fortunate to have grown up with parents who made sure I explored the outdoors from an early age — and now more than ever, being outside is the ultimate sanctuary to break free from lockdown. While I know we’re all looking forward to getting back indoors without restriction (live shows, restaurants, museums) — I hope that we can all maintain a renewed commitment to spending more time outside. Throughout history, we’ve adapted long-term lifestyle changes that were inspired by short-term necessities. Even as we rely on technology more than ever to orchestrate our day, there is plenty to be said for literally unplugging and getting away for a while. We’ve all felt the fatigue of too many Zoom calls and being stuck inside — and being part of a movement that made more of us connected to the outdoors would be pretty special.

How can our readers further follow your work?

You can learn more about Spinlister’s retail products — and you can find me on LinkedIn.

This was very inspiring. Thank you so much for the time you spent with this!

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