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Jimmy Funkhouser came to the outdoor industry from a corporate job with Toys "R" Us. He's always been an outdoor junkie, he says, and so he started Feral Mountain Co. in Denver to help align his personal and professional lives.
"I want to live an intentional life," he says. "I want to live a life that I'm proud of, and I think that this industry is filled with people that are living an intentional life, and are doing what they love. For us, it's just about being authentic."
Feral Mountain Co.'s mission statement is "Create Adventure," which is posted around the store in places where employees and customers can easily see it. It's a simple mission, but it informs everything the retail shop does.
Figuring out what you want your business to be about is critical to crafting a successful, authentic brand, Funkhouser says.
"Every decision we make has to account for that mission, ['Create Adventure'], whether it's hiring, staffing, buying, building relationships, marketing. Everything," Funkhouser says. "I ask myself that question: 'Does this help create adventure for people?' And if it doesn't, we don't do it."
This nine-part series was produced in partnership with Mountain Hardwear.