Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 38

Feature .01

For a self-taught surfer,

Stacy Forrester is one stellar instructor. I learn this firsthand at
Cowells, the beginner break in Santa Cruz, California. It's my
first time attempting to surf and I'm having a rough entry. I'm a
tad woozy-from my sweltering neoprene wetsuit, the excitement of embarking on a new sport, and from my annoying habit
of getting seasick pretty much anytime I look at the ocean-and
a knee-high roller is coming straight at us from the blue Pacific.
A flailing kook, I hold my board broadside to
the wave instead of nose into it. It crashes in hot
and the board whacks me in the shins. I trip into
a pile of rock beneath the foam. And so it goes,
repeatedly. Faced with my fragile ego, my inexperience, and my propensity for giving up when
I'm not instantly good at a new sport, the wrong
teacher could have suffered through an annoying couple of hours managing my whining.
Forrester is the opposite of wrong. She bobs
in the water, grins, and shows me the rules of
surf: Mount the board, paddle forward, and
sit up to watch a rise in the water that signifies an incoming wave. Not an hour later, I'm
catching on, seeing the swell, getting into position (stomach down, lower body straight and
tight, upper body curled in cobra), paddling
like hell, and feeling a surge pull me forward.
When I lurch up to my hands and knees, I hear
Forrester shouting, "You've got it! Another hour
and you'll be standing!"
I believe my baby-steps happened so quickly
because of three things: I'm an athlete (thank
you very much). I surf rapids (booyah, Salmon
River). And, most important, Forrester is compulsively inclusive. She founded Sawyer Land +
Sea Supply, a surf lifestyle shop on the west side
of Santa Cruz, in 2013. Over the past five years,
she's built Sawyer from an outdoor store with
an element of surf to a vibrant shop and community anchor that's surf without the surf ego.
Sawyer profited yearly, but, in 2016, the stress
became overwhelming. "I could no longer keep
up with demand and didn't have the cash flow
to grow," says Forrester. That year, investors approached her with the offer of a small loan that
allowed her to keep going. Another infusion of
money is helping her reach beyond the typical

38 OUTDOOR RETAILER

/ Summer 2018

retail plan, which, she says, was starting to burn
her out. With it, Forrester has taken on a new
project that's rekindled her spark and furthered
her life mission to make the world as kind and
welcoming as possible. And like many dreams,
it starts with a children's story.
Last year, she launched a surf clothing line
for kids. It's called Salty Little Sliders and it has
a fine art book that Forrester conceived and produced to go with it. The story features Sunny,
Koa, Moon, and Finn, all with nationality-ambiguous features so that every kid, no matter
their genetic makeup, can see themselves in the
story. Their adventures unfold through illustra-

tions, while the text asks questions-"Where
are the innermost limits of pure fun?"-and offers aloha-spirit-infused suggestions: "Go fast.
Don't rush. Glide and slide with grace under
pressure." That message, inclusive of all, is what
makes Sawyer Land + Sea more than a place to
buy stuff, but a place to be. It's a contagious vibe,
one that feels more like a wave.
I want to catch it-that's why I'm here.
I'll have just over 48 hours to immerse in the
Forrester-Sawyer-Santa Cruz lifestyle. I'll hang
with Forrester in her shop, at her home, and
back in the surf at Cowells. I'll see if her ethos of
inclusion is real-so far so good. She handled
my surf goob-ness without once making me feel
stupid. I want to know if she does the same for
everyone she meets.

THE PREVIOUS MORNING, UBER DELIVERED
me to Sawyer. Sluggish from an early flight,
I dropped my bag with store manager Candra
Jordan. I needed caffeine. She pointed me toward an attached courtyard surrounded by
boutique clothing shops, a yoga studio, a yarn
store, and a bakery. In due time, Forrester
waltzed to my table, tan, freckled, crop-haired,
and friendly, her style tomboy with a weekend
vibe on a Monday. She suggested I take my time
sipping my chai and then amble back to Sawyer
when I was ready to talk shop.
Some 30 minutes later, I walked through
the store's glass rollup garage door to find

INNER VISIONS
Sawyer Land + Sea Supply
promotes the vibe of surf
and outdoor culture as
much as it sells surfing gear.



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
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