Outdoor Retailer - Summer 2018 - 41

Feature .01
on me," she says. "I'm funny, and I love engaging
people, but it can be exhausting. I spent a lot of
time talking to my therapist about this in the beginning-how the whole enterprise, from what
shirt I picked out to how I displayed it to what
surfboards we had were...me. It's getting better,
but sometimes I start spinning about a wrong
decision. But one day, I decided I can't own that,
and I'm getting better in many aspects. "
One thing she knows she is doing right,
though, is providing a warm, safe, supportive
environment for both her customers and employees. Case in point, Gillette, a.k.a. Tent: The
two met during a "covert meet + greet," when
Forrester was looking for a designer to work on
the book. "My involvement in Sawyer started to
snowball. It was such a great fit," Tent says.
Forrester says that when Tent first came in,
she exuded a vibe of uncertainty about how or if
she'd fit in. "But I've seen her come into her own
in terms of sharing her skills and gifts." Tent created and produced the color design for the The
Adventures of the Salty Little Sliders book, which
originated in black-and-white. "When we got the
book and she saw her name in the credits, she had
this moment, you could see it. It stamped her acceptance in the Sawyer family."
"After meeting with Stacy and working with
her on a few projects, it was just a great collaborative flow," says Tent. "As a boss, she has so many
good qualities. She has the drive to take a project
from a crazy idea to successful completion. And
Sawyer is the first place I've worked where I feel
absolutely free to be who I am. I love working in
an environment where everyone is different and
individual efforts are seen and respected."
This attention to making everyone feel needed is perhaps Forrester's greatest gift, born from
a tubulent childhood. "I was a super creative,
imaginative kid, but neither my town or nor
home supported my gifts. As a child, I was bullied, and reacted by bullying back. To this day,
I still vividly remember both acts. So perhaps
Sawyer is my offering to everyone who wants to
feel welcome and cheered. And more important
the Salty Little Sliders stand strongly behind
welcoming all, cheering the underdogs, and
empowering others to lift people up."

TODAY, SALTY IS FORRESTER'S TOP PASSION
project. "I created a store, I created a brand,
and now I'm focused on creating inclusion,"
she says. She's relieved Salty came to her when
it did, preventing burnout at a crucial moment. But there's a also a need. In our current
socio-political situation, kids can use all of the

SURF SCHOOL
Local surfer and illustrator
Dave Gardner (above) reads
The Adventures of the Salty
Little Sliders (below).

support they can get. The Adventures of Salty
Little Sliders offers it by creating entries for dialog between adults and children. On the first
beautiful spread, Koa raises his hand as an unseen narrator asks the question, "How do you
know your friends?" I read this with my sixyear-old daughter, Hollis, and it sparked a long
conversation about what makes a good friend.
"Kindness, fairness, and not bullying," she said.
"Where do friends come from?" the same
page asks. "Freya comes from England. Elsa
comes from Boulder. But Fern (our dog) came
from Puppy Rescue," Hollis says. The book's
format-a suggested storyline, but not a definitive one-also invokes the imagination.
"Did you know you can fly through clouds under the sea?" it asks. Hollis and I have spent
hours discussing that.
So must the hundreds of others who've bought
the book since its November 2017 launch. Of the
1,000 copies made, 75 percent have been sold.
A line of T-shirts, sweatshirts, and hats accompany the story. "Sawyer is a more hip Patagonia,"
says four-year customer Eric Chin. True. Hollis
stands out in a homogenous Patagonia-draped
crowd when she wears her bright yellow Salty

T-shirt featuring Sunny catching a wave.
Last year, Sawyer kidswear also inspired a
surf team. "I have a hard time saying we're a
surf shop, because I don't see us that way," says
Forrester, "but kids kept asking so I gave in."
They're different than other teams in the region, though, who "focus only on winning," she
says. She drafted a contract her team members sign before inclusion. It has a no-bullying
clause as well as a requirement for 10 hours of
community service.
In return, the 12 surfers get sweatshirts,
T-shirts, and hats, plus the feeling that they're
part of a community. They help at store events,
and one member, 15-year-old Xander, now
works at the shop. "We've watched him grow
from a super nervous, super shy kid to one who
now knows how to use the register, help customers, and give advice," says Forrester. He
works for gear instead of money, and she thinks
he's saving for a new board.
All of this has led to Sawyer's continued success. In 2016, that investment capital came
from a dedicated customer. In the years since,
she and her husband have helped finance company branding efforts, Salty Little Sliders, and
Sawyer's entrée into cut-and-sew in order to
make their own products. Despite them being
"hands off," in return, Forrester keeps the couple
updated on expenditures and projects, invites
them to dinners, and communicates often. But
her goal is to "pay it forward not only to them
but to others as soon as I can. It's so important
to continue the chain of goodness."

RIGHT NOW, THOUGH, SHE HAS ME TO HANDLE.
After a day of talking, we head back to
Cowells. Walking the stairs down to the surf,
I carry a new board, one Forrester thinks
will help me stand faster. But when I get out
in the waves and try to surf, the nose dives,
over and over. I'm not all that frustrated-it's
thrill enough just to be in California, in Santa
Cruz, in the ocean, and in a swell. But out of
nowhere, Tent appears with the board I had
success on yesterday.
The boss and employee-friend and friend-
determine that maybe this board might be better than the one Forrester painstakingly arranged for me today. We swap, and I try to catch
another wave.
I watch it come in, get in position, and ride
its lift. I don't stand completely but I come a
couple of baby steps closer to success.
Better yet, I feel lovingly included in the
Forrester-Sawyer-Santa-Cruz scene. O.R.
Summer 2018 / OUTDOOR RETAILER 41



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
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/outdoorretailer/dailysm2022_Day2
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/outdoorretailer/dailySM2022_Day1
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
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/outdoorretailer/daily2021_day1
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/outdoorretailer/outdoor-retailer-august-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/outdoorretailer/outdoor-retailer-july-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/outdoorretailer/outdoor-retailer-june-2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/outdoorretailer/may_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/emerald/outdoorretailer/april_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/march_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/february_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/january_2021
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/december_2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_07302020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_07212020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2020summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_07072020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_06302020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_06232020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_06162020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_06092020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_06022020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_05272020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_05192020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/nxtbook_bhtest/weeeekly_05052020__JJ
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_05122020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/theweekly_05052020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/postshow2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/daily2020_day3
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/daily2020_day2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/daily2020_day1
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/preshow2020
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2020winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/postshow_summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/day3_summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/day2_summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/day1_summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/preshow_summer2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2019summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/postshow2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/daily2019_day3
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/daily2019_day2
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/daily2019_day1
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/preshow2019
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2019winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2018summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2018winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/201707
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2017summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2017winter
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2016summer
https://www.nxtbook.com/nxtbooks/outdoorretailer/2016winter
https://www.nxtbookmedia.com