Being a consumer in this day in age is an interesting responsibility. We have the option to walk into a store see something we like and buy it not knowing and possibly not caring where that item was made, if the people who created it were paid well or treated fairly and if that item matches what we state is our morality. As you can imagine when looking to bring in new brands to the shop we are indeed looking at all things most of all sustainability, versatility, and story. We hold core values at TB&C that are the threads in our everyday lives at work and at home, they are Adventure, Passion, and Community. We realize that not all brands, and really not many, can live up to our core values which is why we curate our merchandise the way we do. Every now and then a company comes to our attention that sparks interest and feels like a fit for our core values and our customers, our newest brand Sherpa Adventure Gear does just that (and more).
Sherpa Adventure Gear was founded in 2003 by Tashi Sherpa as a living memorial to honor the Sherpa people who have guided so many people through the Himalayas. It was important to Tashi that not only his community be honored for their efforts in mountaineering but also that he had a means of giving back and he has done just that. To date Sherpa Adventure Gear has employed over 700 individuals in year round employment and Sherpa children are also getting education opportunities, and thus far there are twelve students on full scholarship as well as many books being donated to communities for children to be able to learn to read.
Along with the thoughtful way Sherpa Adventure Gear has gone about giving back to their community they are also thinking of everyones community by making sure that all of the products that are not 100% Nepali made are made by neighbors with ethical labor practices, once again paying it forward to their belief system and that of sustainability in a global market place.
I recently had the opportunity to spend time in Seattle with the Sherpa Adventure Gear family and felt the love first hand. We were offered the opportunity to meet with them to discuss upcoming seasons designs, fabrics, and processes along side a few other US retailers to provide feed back to the designers and marketing team. This is a very unique opportunity, in my history working in the retail industry this is a first for me. Upon landing in Seattle I was greeted with joy and gratitude and that feeling lasted through the week only strengthening my desire to spread their message and invest in their future all while bringing a product line to our little piece of the world that allows us to empower our community to do the same all while standing true to our core values.
A treat I had while there was to share time and space (a lot of our week in fact) with one of their athletes, Lakpa Rita Sherpa, he has summered Everest 17 times, Cho Oyu 12 times, Pumori twice, as well as Shisapangma and Ama Dablam. He has also climbed Mt. Vinson, Denali, Aconcagua and attempted K2 and the south face of both Annapurna and Shishapangma. He offered me insight into who the Sherpa people are they are kind, humble, authentic, and he is very funny. It was through this meeting I was able to understand the whole picture Tashi, and now his daughters Tsedo and Pema, want to grow and share.
Sherpa Adventure Gear is known as Modern Brand/Ancient Wisdom and this could not be more true. The brand itself holds to the tenants of sustainability, technology in fabrics, while never losing form or function. The wisdom comes in through their use of Nepali prints and colors and most certainly through the energy that every employee founder on down has for the brand. They also have another tagline, it is #wearesherpa, although we are clearly not all Sherpa people we do all have the opportunity to utilize the tenants of the Sherpa people of humility and authenticity while living our daily lives. We are all capable of adventuring though our days believing that we are capable of braving the wilds of life be that a marathon, a work day, or parenting. It is indeed possible for us to live a life authentic to our principles while being consumers and creators. That is why we at TB&C are so pleased to bring to you a product that speaks not only to our hearts but our souls. Come in and see why we love it, and ask for me Ill tell you anything I can about my experience and the brand.