“Democracy is not a state. It is an act, and each generation must do its part.”
Civil Rights Leader and Congressman, John Lewis
I was reading Heather Cox Richardson’s daily, “Letters from an American” and she concluded her piece with that quote. It could not have been more fitting. Pictured above with a very young John Lewis (far left), was my grandfather, Civil Rights Leader, Whitney M. Young, Jr. (next to Lewis). Lewis would well outlive my grandfather and I was fortunate enough to have met him a handful of times.
I think if you were to ask Yvon Chouinard about Lewis’ statement, he might say that so too is business. I know that I would. Business is a series of acts and as consumers we have choices of who to support and who not to support. And to some extent, that’s a bit of our north star. It’s why we partner with the businesses that we do. When we enter into a relationship with a brand, we do not refer to them as vendors. We refer to them as brand partners. Of course we have a shared mission to sell goods but every single brand partner we are so fortunate to work with also believes that we all must do our part to ensure that we are treating our fellow humans with kindness and empathy, that we are welcoming and supportive and that we are doing our part to try and ensure that we are doing right by what Mother Nature has given us. It's the very reason we kicked off the "Why?" campaign so we could begin to let our customers know how great the companies and the people behind those companies are. To all of our brand partners, thank you for the opportunity to do right by you.
2022 was by no means a perfect year, but for us it was a great year. Why? Because we’re here. The universe (or perhaps there are some grandfatherly hands at work up in heaven) had enabled us to not only have a lifeline to carry us through 2022 but also to prepare us for 2023 and beyond. This is mostly due to having one of the most amazing individual investors imaginable. You know who you are. Thank you. Thank you. Thank you.
In 2022, we saw some relationships end and new ones begin. We established relationships with new brand partners and rekindled some old relationships. We hosted our first "fireside chat" with Alice Merryweather. We secured warehouse space with our friends at RT3 Stages! Apparently, I was named a pretty influential person in the outdoor industry. We have our very first salaried employee in Alyssa Moreau. If you haven’t met Alyssa, drop in and say hi. I’m literally on my knees thanking the universe for sending her our way.
2023 will see the finishing of the build out of our warehouse space and the formal push in e-commerce. We’ll be doing more "fireside chats", launching some exciting marketing programs including a podcast, some video content, a really cool mini-documentary courtesy of Drew Simmons (’89) and my alma mater Colby College (Thanks Gabe and Jasper as well as everyone else who took part in that effort), some collaborations with a host of brand partners and hopes of connecting some brand partners. We’ll be adding some new established brand partners and doing our best to support some small brand partners in their growth. We’ll be exploring some new store locations as well as a Series A capital raise.
In short, I’m humbled, grateful (literally in tears right now as I type this but for anyone who knows me this is of zero surprise), excited and happy.
Lastly, thank you so much to our intrepid and patient customers. Thanks for stopping in, chatting, sharing, trying, supporting. We most assuredly can’t do it without y’all.
We look forward to seeing you in 2023, helping you in support of whatever it is that’s intrinsic to you.
All the best,
(Founder/CEO, Intrinsic Provisions)
Gear You Can Feel Good About™