The Blue Ridge is made up of so many incredible people, small businesses, destinations, and more. During the next few weeks, we would like to highlight some of them to allow you to get to know them better, a series we like to call Blue Ridge together. Today we are giving a shoutout to the people at Great Outdoor Provision Co. who are committed to helping people get outside. #BlueRidgeTogether
Words from Great Outdoor Provision Co.
Marissa: Sportswear Buyer Contact at the Charlottesville, VA GOPC shop
Around helping customers, most of my time at work is typically spent merchandising products, creating visual displays, and seasonally rearranging the floorplan. In the past few weeks, I have transitioned much of this time into managing our Charlottesville GOPC Instagram page, @trusty_cville, and collaborating with other employees to improve our social media presence as a company. For the last year I have focused most of my outdoor adventuring on climbing. Though, I grew up kayaking with my father, and am most experienced with backpacking.
What makes me most proud of working at GOPC are the people. I am convinced we have the best customer base of any business: friendly, loyal, and inspiring. Our corporate leadership, from our store manager, to the top tiers of the company, are interested in employee concerns, supportive, and informative. I consider myself very lucky to be working with such a fantastic team. It is this sense of community that keeps me excited about my work.
We are still doing what we do best: helping people get outside! (Even if it’s your backyard!) We are offering curbside pickup at our store locations, and have launched a new online shopping experience at www.greatoutdoorprovision.com. We will even wrap gifts for you before packing them if you request “Gift Wrap” in the comment box at checkout! Our website also lists each store’s email address and phone number, and we encourage reaching out with any inquiries, requests, or curbside pickup appointments. We are additionally offering exclusive shopping experiences on our social media channels, highlighting boutique brands and collections that cannot be viewed on our website. Each store will have slightly different collections, so following your local GOPC store Instagram or Facebook page will give you an opportunity to peak at our spring/summer inventory inside the shops.
We all really miss seeing our customers, and would love to keep in touch! We encourage everyone to share their adventures with our social media channels, so we can help keep our local outdoor communities strong!
Rebekah Robinson: Sportswear Product Contact Manager and Visual Merchandiser at the Greensboro Shop / Instagram Coordinator
I work at the Greensboro shop and am the sportswear product contact manager and visual merchandiser and currently run Greensboro’s Instagram page. My favorite outdoor activity is a tie between hiking and trail running, both get me outside and on the trails, which is honestly what matters the most to me.
There are so many things that make me proud to be at Great Outdoor. I love how no matter which shop you go to or who you talk to, everyone is treated like family. I love working for a small, local retailer that focuses no only on each individual city where each shop is located, but also on the bigger picture (like giving back 1% to the planet and to the Mountains-to-Sea Trail to name a few). I also enjoy getting to work with each customer that walks into the shop. Getting to hear each person’s story and how the products or advice that they’ve received from Great Outdoor has helped them have the best possible trip (or give the best birthday/holiday present) gives me so much joy and makes me swell with pride.
We are truly living in historic times and not just speaking about COVID-19. To help our amazing customers, we’ve also done something historic, opened up an online shop. Not only has Great Outdoor entered the world of online retail, but we’ve also introduced curbside pick-up for our customers as well. All they have to do is email or call and we will meet them in the parking lot with their purchased items. We have also allowed customers to set up in-shop appointments if they are interested in items that need to be fitted, like a pack or footwear.
My motivational message for everyone is, “This too shall pass.” Human beings are incredibly resilient and when we all stick together, we can truly achieve great things. I love seeing how communities have banded together and are helping out one another and how people are enjoying the outdoors again. I highly recommend for people to get outside, even if it’s just their front yard and to (safely) take in the beauty that is around them.