Grassroots Outdoor Alliance welcomes Farm to Feet, KAVU, Rab and Sierra Designs to national vendor partner network

New vendors’ first event as members will be the Grassroots Connect show (Nov. 4-7, 2018) in Denver, Colo.

Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, the national organization dedicated to the health and growth of specialty outdoor retail, this fall welcomes Farm to Feet, KAVU, Rab and Sierra Designs to their national vendor network.

The new vendors’ first event as members will be the Grassroots Connect show (Nov. 4-7, 2018) in Denver, Colo. -- the outdoor industry’s best buying experience held immediately prior to its biggest national trade show.

“These companies do more than make quality product that Grassroots retailers love to sell. They’re openly supportive of independent specialty retail and the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance mission,” said Rich Hill, president of Grassroots Outdoor Alliance. “While Grassroots Outdoor Alliance retailers typically make their own decisions on which brands to support -- considering regional uniqueness, sales representatives, and personal opinion -- Grassroots vendor partners always have an elevated role within our retail collaborative, and are in the true driver’s seat when it comes to communication, industry data and breaking news.”

Farm to Feet (www.farmtofeet.com) celebrates the American manufacturing tradition by producing their comfortable and feature-rich socks in a sustainability-focused facility in Mt. Airy, NC. In addition to employing advanced knitting techniques, Farm to Feet is also committed to improving the outdoor recreational experience for all and advocating for the protection of wild places.

“It’s an honor to be welcomed into the Grassroots Outdoor Alliance family, especially as we celebrate our 5th Anniversary”, said Kelly Nester, Farm to Feet President. “From the beginning specialty retail has always been the focus for Farm to Feet. We began with an idea that we knew would resonate with retailers and consumers – a brand that told the narrative of the product and the people associated with it from the source of its materials to the consumer. We look forward to including Grassroots Outdoor Alliance and its members into our story.”

KAVU (www.kavu.com) creates clothing and accessories for people to live life to the fullest. KAVU derives its name from an aviation acronym, “Klear Above Visibility Unlimited,” which is a guiding principle in how the company does business. Founded in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle, KAVU this year celebrates its 25th anniversary as an independently-owned company.

“Grassroots Outdoor Alliance is a force to be reckoned with right now and KAVU is thrilled to be included in this tight knit community of outdoor industry leaders,” said Barry Barr, founder and CEO at KAVU. “We are looking forward to contributing to the network and helping it grow. When grassroots efforts take the lead in any initiative, it’s a good thing.”

Rab (rab.equipment/us/) is the eponymous apparel brand founded by Rab Carrington in Sheffield, Eng., in the 1980s. With a deep understanding of the needs of climbers and mountaineers, as well as a tradition of practical gear design, Rab combines a down-to-earth approach with a true commitment to innovation, integrity and function.

“Within Rab, we talk about surrounding ourselves with kindred spirits – those who relish the experience of a gritty and memorable mountain endeavor. Being vetted and invited to become a vendor member of Grassroots Outdoor Alliance validates our brand focus on the specialty outdoor retailer, and supports our standing with core outdoor users who continue to embrace the climb. We couldn’t be more excited to join this group of Grassroots retailers as they continue to seek unique and authentic brands to offer their specialty customer base,” said Chris Tennal, U.S. president of Rab.

Sierra Designs (www.sierradesigns.com) was born in California, bred on the trail, and has been on a mission to redefine how people interact with the outdoors since 1965. Sierra Designs creates equipment and apparel that is functional, beautiful, and most importantly, attainable. Their team believes that adventures should be within everyone’s reach, because life is found in the adventure, not the destination.

“Over a 53-year history at Sierra Designs, our business thrived in times where we were most closely aligned to specialty retailers,” says George Bryant, VP/GM of Sierra Designs. “Partnering with this group of innovators in outdoor retail allows us to present our product innovations to a special group of consumers while forging sustainable business partnerships for the long term, and we are grateful to join a community focused on those goals.”

ABOUT GRASSROOTS OUTDOOR ALLIANCE: Grassroots Outdoor Alliance is an active network of 70 independent retailers working together for the health and growth of specialty outdoor retail. With 132 storefronts across 37 states, Grassroots member retailers currently total approximately $325 million in annual sales. Through data collection and analysis, direct member support, specialty events and deep vendor partnerships, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance is creating both a vision and roadmap for the long-term success of independent specialty retail. Grassroots Outdoor Alliance is also recognized as a catalyst for the success of its retailers and vendor partners; an advocate for specialty independent retail; a promoter of education and community within the specialty channel; and a key influencer of the national outdoor industry. For more information on Grassroots Outdoor Alliance, please go to www.grassrootsoutdoors.com.

ABOUT GRASSROOTS CONNECT: Efficient, affordable and effective for every attendee, Grassroots Outdoor Alliance Connect is the only national show designed specifically to improve retail buying results. Scheduled as early as possible in the buying cycle, the growing Grassroots Connect show is now in its 20 year, and attracts nearly 1,000 independent specialty retailers, vendor brands, media, and members of the outdoor industry community to each show. Connect provides a highly efficient opportunity for retailers, reps and vendors to present, discuss, plan and collect pre-season orders. Cost-effective and simple, Connect is both an incubator and testing ground for the greater outdoor industry. Invited retailers receive a per attendee reimbursement to offset their travel costs. Future dates for Connect include Denver, Colorado (Nov. 4-7, 2018) and Knoxville, Tennessee (June 10-13, 2019). For more information on Grassroots Connect, please go to https://connect.grassrootsoutdoors.com

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