Guys who needed a chance to shine.
We're pretty sure that what makes us unique is that you have to have been in some kind of trouble in life before you can work here. Drugs, jail, prison, a bad attitude... we look for those guys.
GUYS FROM PRISON
We started with guys who had been in prison. These weren't "bad guys" but "broken". No one grows up and says they want to get in trouble, but it happens. Everyone in the company had a common connection: drug use had led to poor choices - and landed them in trouble.
We bonded over camping trips. That seemed a pretty good place to start.
Interesting thing about camping, it doesn't take long to figure out what someone is really like. Everyone has to pitch in to make things happen. Someone has to build the campfire, someone has to cook, and someone has to go down to the water to clean up and do the dishes.
Spending the weekend with others in the great outdoors allowed people to shine. Responsibility is proven.
There is something powerful about life in nature - no one needs to tell you what to do, instinct and respect for the outdoors seem to naturally take over. We've seen this time and again.
Our love of the great outdoors eventually was tied in to everything we did.
Homeless & street kids
Guys from prison came from a variety of backgrounds. But we found street kids (18-25) that had some of the same life struggles.
They had been to jail, been in and out of Juvenile Detention, used drugs, and several had been bounced from foster home to foster home. These were the kids that no one wanted. They were heading the same place where the guys from prison had been and we decided to see if we could make it work.
What happened next, was a gift. Those guys, whom families, society, the state, and others had given up on, started to shine. Big time.
Bringing the streets to the public at our events created some amazing conversation and lasting friendships.
Today, our company has the best of both worlds - guys from prison work shoulder to shoulder with guys from the streets. And everyone benefits.
HOW WE DO IT & WHY IT WORKS
Look for the good.
If you look for the good inside someone, you'll find it. It doesn't take much, but we all have a choice to look for the good or the bad in someone, and whatever we look for, we're going to find it.
We figured that once we found the good, we needed to celebrate it. Think about it, if you tell a kid they are a bad kid, they'll believe it - and they'll act like one. The opposite is true. If you tell someone they're good, they'll feel good, they'll work harder, and in time, they'll shine.
It's a pretty simple concept. And we built our company on it.
It works. Period.
Celebrate and appreciate
Milestone in life are everything. When you celebrate the little things, you add life to the big things - and the bigger picture.
We're proud of our guys as much as we are proud of the events that we attend. When you make a big deal about the little things in life, you spark happiness inside others. People can feel your energy.
We believe that the little things are important and that life is a celebration. Sure, there are challenges, in fact, everyone in our company knows challenge firsthand. But when you take time to pat others on the back for a job well done, it makes everyone feel good.
Watermarks on everything
You'll find we've put our guys on everything - from shipping labels to coffee labels, and from business cards to banners, you'll find our signature lithographs and engravings of our guys as watermarks on everything.
Aside from making our products look good, we want you to know that our guys are a big deal. And we let them know that.
In fact, our guys are the company. Their faces are the brand. We're proud of that. And hey, who really needs an icon when you have a guy standing in the middle of Mt. Baker surrounded by trees, mountains and snow?
That's the kind of thing an icon just can represent.
You'll find we are the perfectly imperfect company. We're good at what we do when it comes to quality, branding, packaging, presentation, and merchandising.
But we aren't perfect by any means. Our guys are a little rough around the edges. We're okay with that. Everyone is a work in progress during their lives. We love watching our guys grow.