As a one-woman show, balancing production with administrative work can be a challenge – especially through the holidays. After that storm has passed, I get to turn my energy back inwards and revisit some of my reasons for consolidating my longtime hobby with my professional career in the outdoor industry (coaching and retail) as a full time business. Everything is strategic. I usually plan the itinerary for my backpacking trips based on calorie expenditure per thousand feet of elevation, and relative warmth. Knowing the frequency of potable water sources also helps many hikers plan their route and packlist. Similarly, I try to isolate a gap in skincare routines that I might solve with more sustainable ingredients, packaging or even my special branding navigation system. I am pursuing this labor of love as an artisan with an entrepreneur’s spirit; and that’s where the Triple Bottom Line fits in.
These 3 metrics of sustainability include People, Planet and Profit – and they must balance, prioritized equally. If there is no environmental problem to solve or one is created (example: single-use plastic); I move along despite the capacity to increase profit. If a raw material is sourced without fair pay, permissions, or in excess of crop tolerance; I find a substitute distributor, grow my own or find an equivalent material. Although it is a huge struggle for small businesses, I try to order in bulk to keep my materials costs low and calculate my retail prices to be accessible for the people. In the spirit of removing barriers, I sponsor ambassadors and various programs that support inclusion and diversity in the outdoors, donate a portion of my product to folks who contribution time to public trails with maintenance, education and leadership. Lastly, I personally volunteer 5-10 hours each week to repair drainage, restore trail corridors, assist with trail planning/land manager relations, remove invasive plants, plant native ones and provide some training opportunities to stewardship. As some elements of my professional training have past, others have just begun.
Here’s my short list of Trail Magic resources.