Creating, launching and growing the Snoloha brand has been, and continues to be, exciting and extremely hard work. There is a careful balance between the “Slacker-Friendly” attitude the brand exemplifies and the long hours and often intense pressures of owning a small business. Every once in a while, even I need to get my fix of escapism. After all, I gave myself the title of “Purveyor & Explorer of the Snoloha Lifestyle”, which means I need to explore and purvey (if you know the definition of “purvey”, email it to me and receive a Free Shipping code for your next Snoloha purchase).
So yesterday morning, I loaded up the Jeep and made the trek to Schuss Mountain. It was a perfect February kickoff. Blue skies, temps in the mid thirties, sun shining bright, and no wait at the lift lines. I also had a strong realization of how times have changed. 10 years ago when I was in “the industry” (industry meaning the ski and snowboard industry), we’d get up at the crack of dawn and drive 3 1/2 hours north to the hill, it was all about having the latest greatest gear, checking out what gear others are using, heavy music to get the adrenaline pumping (a play list that included Korn, Limp Bizkit, Incubus and Foo Fighters), hitting jumps and attempting tricks that I could never land and ending the day by driving home 3 1/2 hours and the heading out and drinking beer with the boys.
Fast forward 10 years and I’m taking a leisurely 1 hour drive to the hill while listening to Radio Margaritaville. I arrive at the parking lot and throw on my gear and grab my board that now are considered “old”. Go up to the lift ticket window with my $10 Sunday lift ticket coupon and head to the lift line, never once looking down at what everyone else was riding…I didn’t care. I thought it was great that people were just outside enjoying a beautiful Michigan winter day. At that point I started realizing how I’ve changed. Then it really hit me after a number of runs into the day. I had brought along my mp3 player and half way up one particular chair lift ride, I found myself alone on the chair, arms spread across the back as if I were relaxing on a couch, eyes closed and smiling and nodding my head to Bob Marley’s “No Woman No Cry”, mumbling along with the lyrics aloud to myself, “everything gonna be all right, everything gonna be all right.” My play list included Bob Marley, Kenny Chesney, Dave Matthews, Ben Harper, Jimmy Buffett, The Flow and Barenaked Ladies. After a couple hours, it was back home for a hike in the woods with the wife and dogs, shoveling snow off the roof and then a couple cold ones while watching the game. Today, I am tired.
How things have changed. And how they seem so much better. I guess that’s what time and age gives you…perspective.
I enjoyed my day of escapism. It gives me the chance to reconnect with the brand. That may sound weird, but it’s easy to get caught up and lost in the “business” and forget about the “lifestyle”. After all, the lifestyle is what this business revolves around, so it’s important to stay focused and revisit it from time to time.