Last month in this blog, I said “I will have a lot more to say in the coming weeks about the changes to the Up and Out business model.”
Well, the coming weeks came quickly, and here we are: at a new trailhead in this journey. It feels like we’re leaving the busier, more popular trail for one less travelled, but with some good predecessors to follow. And, we’re hoping, plenty of room for blazing our own trail and maybe even serving as a bit of a light for those coming after us.
Lest I be accused of taking a metaphor too far, I’ll cut to the chase (sorry, I couldn’t resist…): Sue and I have been thinking a lot about our role in retail, what we have liked about it, some of the unsavoury aspects and how we see ourselves fitting in as we and the retail sector continue to evolve.
We have decided that, for Up and Out, our role will be more about supporting local and non-local people, businesses and organizations that share our vision: spending more time in nature and reaping the physical, mental, emotional and spiritual benefits, while working to protect these natural healing spaces.
Since the beginning, our business model has been based on an overlap of 4 things:
- Helping protect the environment,
- Promoting outdoor tourism,
- Promoting healthy, active living outdoors, and
- Selling quality trail shoes and accessories made by ethical companies to help people – and their dogs – run, walk, hike in nature.
Moving forward, we will simply be removing our active involvement in most of the retail element and replacing it with a more educational element, focusing on profiling people, products, businesses and organizations that are making a difference in ways that impact the environment, health and/or tourism in the Simcoe County area.
In other words, we will have more to say and less to sell. This also means that, in the very near future, you will see less space – both in the boutique and online – dedicated to selling products.
We are really excited about this change and hope you will continue along with us on this new trail.
Robb and Sue