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To find out more behind how evo got its start and what’s in store for the future, Josh interviews evo founder, Bryce Phillips
More about the episode...
Josh sits down with evo founder Bryce Phillips. evo was founded in 2001 when professional skier Bryce Phillips channeled his entrepreneurial spirit to take advantage of eBay by re-selling skis. As business boomed, he reinvested his earnings into his operation which would eventually turn into a full-fledged independent online retailer, which we know today as evo. Now evo is not just a ski and snowboard retailer but has expanded deeper into outdoor and action sports alike. Follow along as Bryce describes how he grew evo out of his garage to bloom into one of the leading online outdoor gear retailers.
Have an opinion? We want to hear it! Join the conversation and leave a comment, check out show notes, and get all the links mentioned in this episode below.
- Check out evo’s website
- A full list of all evo’s brands
- Give evo a follow on facebook, instagram, twitter, youtube, and pintrest
- Head to their sale page and pick up some deals
- Dig deeper into the evo culture
- Shop evo surf, ski, snowboard, skate, wake, bike
- Jump on an evo trip and feed your need for travel and adventure
How did you get into skiing and the industry in general?
“I was actually introduced to skiing in the 5th grade by my uncle who paid for it all. It’s an expensive sport, so I was fortunate to have my uncle introduce it to me...I was buying and selling at a very young age and eventually gravitated towards gear…”
How did you start evo?
“Originally when we started evo in 2001 if was out of my garage. I’d actually bring skis in from Canada...the US dollar was very strong at the time and that was pre 2001 just selling on ebay...overtime when I was thinking about what the business would become a big turning point was opening the store…”
What makes evo stand out?
“From a categorical perspective in what we sell we really stand at the intersection of outdoor and action sports. Things that we did early on that don’t seem so revolutionary but at the time were definitely different since we brought in the blend of categories of action and outdoor sports…”
How did you build evo while being a pro skier?
“I don’t really know if I have the answer, but I’ve always kind of been wired to have a lot of balls in the air and most importantly there’s no chance any of it happens without working with amazing people…”
How did you develop your brand once evo was officially founded?
“I think the one thing that absolutely comes through from a customer service experience is people's passion for what they do...if someone's trying to sell you any of those products that we use to participate in the sports that we love, if they don’t really know it, it’s going to be very transparent. That’s always been there…”
What is something about you or evo that not many people know?
“I have absolutely been loving snowboarding lately...I’m kind of known more for the skiing side but I’ve been super psyched on snowboarding more…”
Have you had any mentors that have helped you a long your journey?
“I can’t say the entire time I had this one ‘yoda’ that I’ve always gone too...I definitely would say it’s a collection of experiences throughout this journey from people who are way down the road in regards to having run businesses to people who are brand new employees…”
What is evo’s commitment to sustainability?
“We describe success looking through three lenses, one of them relates to business, one relates to our team of people, and the third is leveraging our success to give back. Ashley has been fantastic. We came to know each other because she was the executive director of the service board here in Seattle…”
What would you say is the culture that exists within evo?
“The internal side in our company culture is all about people and the people are all about values. When we were really young we articulated what was the great eight, which is our core values and they’ve evolved a little bit in the way we articulate them today…”
What is a regular day for you like?
“I don’t know if there is a regular day...Running evo day to day is my central focus, I love so many things about it…I do spend a fair amount of time on real estate, it’s something I love...”
What would you say is one of the hardest parts about building evo?
“Specific to retail it’s just a hard business...considering the kind of operations, the capitalization, the people, the technology, the absolute need to be different...for all those things to work in concert, it’s a hard business…”
What would you say is one of your greatest fears and how do you manage it?
“Historically, there have been a couple times just trying to get through it financially...we’ve been very fortunate to have gotten passed that and we’re in a really stable spot...There was a chapter there where we were really hit with this perfect storm…”
What were some of the biggest mistakes you’ve made?
“Personally I was naive in certain ways when it came to some of the management from a financial perspective...You learn a lot when it comes to working with people when it comes to protecting your culture or making hard calls from time to time…”
What advice would you give someone that wanted to start a business?
“Absolutely first and foremost, work with people who have values aligned with yours...you could have success but you’ll have tons of challenges but at a fundamental foundational level have that alignment with the way you make decisions…”
What is in store for the future of evo?
“Bigger picture we are very much in a position to build a global lifestyle business. whether it be the products we have or the different elements that we key into and have a passion for, those aren’t regional or national but are truly are global...Really having a positive impact with every community we come into contact with…”
What would you say is the best part about running evo?
- “Going back to growing and working with a great team, people who are inspired by the the things that we share in common. Specific to the sports themselves, let’s face it, they are life changing…”