Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 30

IDEAS
THOUGHT LEADERS

Family Traditions
Shira and Dan Epstein took over a family
business and have held on to its spirit while
growing into some of the most innovative
retailers in the industry.
Name: Shira Epstein
Shop: Champaign Outdoors, RuggedOutdoors.com
Opened: 1947
Title: Co-owner
Location: Champaign, Illinois
Downlow: Not long after World War II, Shira Epstein's grandparents

I grew up going to the Boundary Waters and Quetico every year.
There is nothing quite like the beauty and quiet of those lakes when
you're deep into the parks, and the beautiful, echoing call of the
loons at dusk or before a storm.
We had a lot of the necessary skills from our previous careers,
but truly understanding the many nuanced aspects of running a
successful retail operation took a while. We had to try new things,
and learn from our mistakes and successes.
I was very close with my grandmother, the matriarch of the business. She was brilliant. She was stubborn as nails. She only told it to you
straight. When Dan and I decided to move down and buy the business,
she was already in her early 90s and her health was failing a bit. But she
sat us both down, totally lucid, and said, "You're leaving your great careers in Chicago to do retail? What the hell are you thinking?" Then she
just shook her head and chuckled. We still laugh about it.
Our big moving liquidation sale last February was emotional. We'd

30 OUTDOOR RETAILER

/ Summer 2018

been in that location since I was 10 years old. I had so many memories
and life-cycle events tied to every corner of that place. I used to crawl
underneath my grandfather's desk after school and draw for hours; my
brother and I would play hide-and-go-seek in the warehouse. We called
it our "End of an Era" sale, and it was. Now that old era is coming out of its
cocoon-and seeing the metamorphosis has been truly gratifying.
It's nice to see more and more women in ownership and leadership
roles in the outdoor industry, and the women-centric initiatives coming from brands and stores alike. But there's still a lot of work to be done
to make the outdoor industry more holistically diverse.
I had the privilege of climbing Kilimanjaro as part of a Mayo Clinic
study on heart/lung health, altitude, and acclimatization. There
were so many amazing physicians, scientists, health-tech businesspeople, and participants from around the world. Conrad Anker was one
of our guides, along with a truly amazing group of the best mountain
guides in Tanzania. We had perfect weather the whole climb, and pretty
much everyone summited. It was a transformative experience.
I think there is a lot of fear in this industry where change is concerned. In my opinion, it never hurts all that much to try something.
Throw it against the wall-albeit well thought out beforehand-but try
things nonetheless. You never know what will resonate. O.R.

Courtesy Shira Epstein

started Champaign Surplus as a small appliance and surplus shop.
By the 1970s, her parents ran the business and transformed it into
an outdoor specialty store. In 2010 she and her husband, Dan, made
the decision to leave 15-year-long professional careers in Chicago
and take over the family business. And they have succeeded. The
Epsteins won Grassroots Outdoor Alliance's Most Innovative
Retailer award in 2017 and they have grown RuggedOutdoors.
com, an e-commerce business along the way. Some things do
change, however: This spring they changed the name of the shop to
Champaign Outdoors and moved from the place where it had been
located for the past 35 years. But the future is bright. The business is
in the process of moving into a new corporate headquarters and internet warehouse and opening two new side-by-side retail stores.


http://www.RuggedOutdoors.com

Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018

OUTDOOR RETAILER - SUMMER 2018
CONTENTS
THE PULSE
HEADLINES
MERCHANDISING
MARKETING
BIG PICTURE
CASE STUDY
IDEAS
CHRISTIAN DE LA IGLESIA
SHIRA EPSTEIN
EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH
RESEARCH
SAWYER LAND + SEA
DISASTER STRIKES
BE THE BRAND
BREAD+BUTTER
PADDLING HARDGOODS
THE RENEWAL WORKSHOP
BROWN GIRLS CLIMB
COUNTER CULTURE
THE VIEW
HOW I GOT HERE
FROM THE ROAD
#REPLIFE
BACKSTORY
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - OUTDOOR RETAILER - SUMMER 2018
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - Cover2
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 1
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - CONTENTS
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 3
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 4
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 5
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 6
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 7
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 8
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - THE PULSE
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - HEADLINES
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 11
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - MERCHANDISING
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 13
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - MARKETING
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 15
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - BIG PICTURE
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 17
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 18
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 19
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - CASE STUDY
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 21
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 22
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 23
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 24
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 25
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - IDEAS
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 27
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - CHRISTIAN DE LA IGLESIA
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 29
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - SHIRA EPSTEIN
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 31
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - EMPLOYEE OF THE MONTH
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 33
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - RESEARCH
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 35
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - SAWYER LAND + SEA
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 37
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 38
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 39
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 40
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 41
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - DISASTER STRIKES
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 43
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 44
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 45
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - BE THE BRAND
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 47
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 48
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 49
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 50
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - BREAD+BUTTER
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - PADDLING HARDGOODS
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 53
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - THE RENEWAL WORKSHOP
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 55
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - BROWN GIRLS CLIMB
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 57
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - COUNTER CULTURE
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 59
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - THE VIEW
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 61
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 62
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 63
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 64
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 65
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - HOW I GOT HERE
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 67
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - FROM THE ROAD
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 69
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - #REPLIFE
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 71
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - BACKSTORY
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - Cover3
Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - Cover4
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/outdoorretailer/dailySM2022_Day3
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https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/outdoorretailer/daily2022_Day3
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/outdoorretailer/daily2022_Day2
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/outdoorretailer/daily2022_Day1
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/outdoorretailer/daily2021_day3
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/outdoorretailer/daily2021_day2
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https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/daily2019_day1
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/preshow2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2019winter
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https://www.nxtbookmedia.com