It’s a story as old as time: prodigy Australian skier gets law degree, practices law, quits to hang out on the ice in Alaska — finds moment of clarity — joins French ski brand, grows French ski brand into worldwide ski brand, then quits worldwide ski brand to join a start up. If ya had a nickel, right?
Well, that’s the case of Chris Booth, who is joined Awayco this winter as our VP of Digital after a successful four years at Black Crows Skis. Soon after he joined, he sat down with Mark Warner for the Low Pressure Podcast. Chris’ past (4:48 – 31:00) is fascinating, but it’s the story of how he came to discover Awayco (32:30 – 36:25), and subsequent path to join the team and begin a new professional journey (37- end) to innovate the way we consume the products we love, that might be particularly interesting for you.
Have a listen and, if you’re short on time or just love reading, below are a few excerpts from Chris’ Awayco experience in at Magic Quiver in Ericeira, Portugal, and poignant thought about business, consumption and community.
I think I used 4 or 5 boards while I was there, and went into the store 9 times. Who goes into a shop 9 times on their holiday?
On the last day I took a Josh Hall board out which was an objective beauty and I went out on a quiet morning on this point break. Pretty small waves, glassy, dark water, just a few people out. And surfed surfed this board, and it surfed so well, and it was such a nice experience. And then when I was walking back to the car I was looking at this board that I really admired and was like, “I feel passionate about this board.” But I didn’t own it, and I was happy to share this ephemeral moment with this object that I felt passionate about without having to own it.
I met the guys at the shop. I had beers with them at the end. They gave me directions for where to get coffee what restaurant to go to. And they kinda made me feel local. I surfed more, because there was always a cool board to try out. I felt like it actually changed my values during that week, and changed my behavior. I had an experience that to me felt new. I thought, “That wasn’t retail. And it definitely wasn’t rental. That was a new third way.”
The last 15 years was the era of Amazon when you clicked something and it was delivered into your home the next day, and you never saw a store again because you felt you didn’t need to. The next 15 years will be defined by something which is more community based, which brings people back onto the main street and which gets people talking again, actually talking again, and sharing things. And I think that is something worth working on.