Townsend Bertram & Company's top picks from Outdoor Retailer

In this retailer report, the brand manager at a North Carolina shop dishes on what gear excites her most from Outdoor Retailer Winter Market 2018.
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Betsy Bertram headshot

Betsy Bertram is the brand manager at Townsend Bertram & Company Adventure Outfitters in Carrboro, North Carolina.

Something you should know about Townsend Bertram & Company Adventure Outfitters: You’ll always have a friend there. The store has been in the same spot for 30 years, in the heart of downtown, close to plenty of lakes and wilderness trails. Brand Manager—and daughter of the founders—Betsy Bertram’s favorite part of working there is hearing about her customers’ exciting adventures. She works closely with General Manager Taylor Dansby and Buyer Sara Abernethy to make decisions. 

“My parents founded the store in 1988 and I’m in the process of buying it with two business partners,” Bertram said. “We have spent a lot of time identifying each of our strengths and playing to those. The three roles that we are now in have helped us achieve larger goals by each having a focus, but then we look at things like product selection as a team and make strategic decisions from the perspective of three different angles.” 

You’ll find hardgoods, footwear, and apparel in the store, along with a growing children’s section. 

“We have everything to outfit that backpacker for the Appalachian Trail, but our real focus is young families, and we’ve grown our kids’ section substantially this year. I think a lot of people are scared of [stocking kids’ gear], and it’s unfortunate because to me, if you can get a five-year-old to have a connection with a brand, you just made a customer for life. We’re really focused on being able to outfit the whole family.”

Mystery Ranch pack, United By Blue jacket, Meridian Line jeans

What new gear are you most excited about so far? 

1. Mystery Ranch Terraframe Pack

“The frame pack is external, so you can expand it out, and since it’s for hunting, you can put meat in between your back and the pack. But it doesn’t just have to be used for hunting—you can put anything in it.”

2. United By Blue Bison Snap Jacket

“We focus a lot on sustainability, and United By Blue saw a lot of waste in the supply chain of bison because the fur was being wasted in the processing of the leather. They created their own supply chain from that, and they fill jackets with it.”

3. Meridian Line jeans

“When you unzip them, it says ‘Be dareful’ on the zipper pull. I think that a good product has attention to detail, so I really appreciate that. And they fit great.”

4. Sierra Designs GOA exclusive sleeping bags

"That whole program is unique and gives us a talking point in the store. We also love the zipper-less sleeping bags with the foot openings, that is so cool to give ventilation.

5. Howler Brothers Mansfield Shirt

“It has jellyfish all over it. It’s really fun and unique and is going to stand out in the store.”

This article was originally published in Day 2 of The Daily (Winter Market 2018).


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