It's 7 a.m. on a weekday in October and I'm meeting Becky Day, marketing manager at Brunton Outdoor Group, for a pre-work hike. We're two of four cars in the parking lot at the trailhead for the Spring Brook Loop near Boulder—one of her favorite hikes in the area. It's early for me, but Day is already bright-eyed and she's even sent a few work emails from her phone while waiting for me to pull in.
Here's what I learn about Day within our first few minutes together: She's a morning person; she got her start in the outdoor industry at Kelty, where she met her husband, Andrew Day; she's a mom to an 11-year-old and a 9-year-old; she has also worked at Thule and Topo Designs; she grew up outside Chicago but her love of the mountains drove her to Colorado; she took an epic trip to Iceland in September; she gets outside as much as she can; and she simply oozes with enthusiasm, positivity, and gratitude.
"We live in an amazing place. Aren’t we lucky?" she says as we look back at the pale pink sky and sun rising over the city. "I love this hike because all of a sudden you're on this plateau and you have 360° views."
This week, I caught up with Day to congratulate her on her one-year anniversary with Brunton. During catch up and hike in the fall, we talked about being a leader in the outdoor industry, acknowledging our accomplishments, work-life-balance, and not included in the interview, movies, books, and tips for traveling in Iceland.
What are some takeaways from your first year at Brunton and Primus?
My first year at Primus and Brunton has been a bit of a whirlwind. Working on the small and agile North American team with the support from a wonderful team in Sweden has allowed us to test some concepts—like the Happier Camper Deskside Dinner tour—create some story-telling opportunities, and develop some great partnerships. Relationships were built at the Fenix office and in the outdoor industry and within the foodie realm. We will continue to build upon these foundations set in 2019 to expand the reach and brand recognition, with potential opportunities with retailers, press, new consumers and audiences at events outside traditional Outdoor channels. I’m excited that we were able to finish the year off strong and am looking forward to continuing to build the Primus and Brunton brands in 2020 and beyond.
You came to SNEWS' office with the dinner tour. How is that evolving or what's next?
Although we had to return the Happier Camper, we do have some great activations on the horizon. We are partnering with Fjällräven on a couple of events where we will take charge on feeding people and creating some great intimate opportunities around camp stoves and campfires. We know that food tastes better outside and we want to share our expertise and build experiences that educate people to cook anything you want in your van, RV, or vehicle, at your campsite, or in the backcountry.
Who have been your mentors in the industry?
I’ve been lucky to work with amazing people during my tenure in the outdoor industry. Some people that come to mind: When I started at Kelty, Casey Sheahan was the head of Kelty. He’s now at Simms. He’s just a very genuine, down-to-earth guy. Ann Obenchain, now the marketing director at Brewers Association inspired me to be proud of being a woman and stand up for myself. I also admire Jedd Rose and Mark Hansen at Topo Designs.
What is something you’ve been proud of, small or big, in your personal or professional life?
In my entire career, I only ever had one person I managed leave. Everybody else has always wanted to stay, which is rare in today’s day and age when you’re hiring a fair amount of people who are just starting their careers and tend to leave jobs every couple of years. Sometimes I show them tough love, but I also let them know that I’m on their side. I've been successful helping grow brands. I was at Thule when they launched all the soft sided stuff like backpacks. I helped create that category. I also helped grow Topo. I was the ninth person there, and when I left, we were around 35 people at the headquarters.
I think I know the answer, but morning person or night owl?
I woke up at 4:45 today. I’ve always been a morning person. When I was growing up, my mom would wake up early to get more stuff done in the morning, so she would wake up earlier only to find that I would wake up earlier with her! Today, I like to get into the office between 7 and 7:30. It’s so quiet, I get a lot of stuff done and can kind of get ready for the day before interacting. I’m personable, but I think there’s a time and a place to share everything.
What’s a fun fact about you?
I went from having the last name Knight to Day when I got married. I've heard all the jokes. This is also funny: Both my dad and my brother are Andrew Scott. My dad goes by Andy, my brother goes by Scott. I married an Andrew. My sister married a Scott.
When was the last time you felt really overtaken by gratefulness?
When my husband and I were in Iceland after my trip to Brunton Outdoor Group's headquarters in Sweden. I hadn’t even thought about doing something like that until Chris Clark, the director of sales and marketing, was like, "I encourage you to think outside the box on how to get home." So he helped spearhead that time I got to reconnect with my husband. We got married on a cruise ship. It was immediate family only, so it was small. And then we never really went on a true honeymoon, and that was almost 15 years ago. And so, this was our honeymoon 15 years later. I'm really grateful to have received the support from my team to go.