Creating a company with meaning, and sharing what made a difference to help others.
It’s a sunny summer day in Jackson, Wyoming. Tourists happily snap photos in front of the well known antler arches, and, across from the town square, the Western Range Clothing store bustles with activity. An employee helps a woman from Texas find a soft sweater for herself, and a tiny bow tie for her young son. Spencer Dower Hirst walks across his store, wearing the exact same outfit as a model in a large photo behind him on the wall, jeans and a blue and pink check button down shirt he designed himself.
He holds up a tie featuring an antler pattern, and looks at it fondly. “These were our first ties and bow ties,” he says.
The antler ties are flanked by patterns such as cowboy hats, trams, and fly fishing ties.
“Every time I turn around, I find a new aspect of how much I love this place. The colors like sage green, the wildflowers, the sunsets, the huckleberries, the wildlife… they all represent...
A life of outdoor adventures, a career sharing stories.
Hot yoga class has just ended in Encinitas. An equal proportion of men and women exit the yoga studio into the southern California sunshine, wearing little clothing and very large amounts of sweat.
Lora Bodmer walks out looking refreshed, her sun streaked dark blonde hair pulled back into a ponytail, and strolls down the block towards a cafe with outdoor tables surrounding a large, calming, water fountain.
She orders an omelette with potatoes, and says with a laugh, “I’m never on this side of the mic! My place is usually behind the scenes, lining up people for interviews, helping someone else tell their story. I connect the pieces, but you never see me.”
She requests butter and jam with her toast, and explains her journey. “My path started in DC, and shifted to Jackson and California. Recently I’ve been able to blend those worlds, which feels right.”
Lora, what is your job?
I started my company, Deep Communications, about...
Traveling the world in search of snow, never losing sight of what matters most.
It’s a dark and snowy winter evening. Colter Hinchliffe arrives at the Little Nell in Aspen, Colorado, wearing ski pants and covered with snow. With a well cared for golden retriever in tow, he chooses a seat near the warmth of a large fireplace, and a group of nearby women stop their conversation about caviar to admire the dog resting his head sweetly on the arm of Colter’s cushy chair.
It’s a lively scene. Colter orders a jalapeno ginger margarita, his extremely polite manner with the server perhaps a result of his own service industry experience.
His demeanor is thoughtful, his words observant and deliberate.
Colter spends winter skiing, both in his hometown of Aspen and following snow across the globe, and summers rock climbing. He seems at home, clearly in his environment. Not specifically the Little Nell - but the mountains, and mountain town life.
Shares stories of start-up life, hundred-hour workweeks, and lessons learned from life in the mountains.
It’s a winter morning in the small, snowy, mountain town of Jackson, Wyoming. Stephen Sullivan, ‘Sulli’ to all around him, arrives at his office at Stio headquarters, a building with plentiful windows and a relaxed vibe. A large black and white photo of the Grand Teton adorns one wall, above a skateboard, guitar, and a large cushion where his dog, MJ, promptly settles in for a nap. Photos of Sulli’s wife and 3 children surround his desk, where he sits looking comfortable in Stio pants, a plaid Stio button down, and a Stio fleece jacket.
Sulli’s just arrived from skinning up and skiing down Snow King mountain, a quad-burning local favorite featuring a steep climb along with views of the town and the Tetons.
“I love being outside,” Sulli says with a smile. “I ski a lot. I skinned the King last year 55 times. I thought I would skin my age, 53, but I ended up with a...
On mountain adventures, learning new skills, and finding a very special person.
The sun shines across a clear blue sky, on an early fall morning in Bellingham, Washington. From the home of Gabe Rogel, perched atop a hill of lush, green landscape 1/2 mile from the Pacific Ocean, large windows offer panoramic views of Bellingham Bay, the San Juan Islands, and the snowcapped mountains of the Coast Range across the nearby Canadian border. In front of the home, the street bustles with activity as students bike and skateboard to Western Washington University.
Inside the kitchen, where paintings and projects from school are proudly displayed on the walls, Gabe and his nearly 8 year old son, Ever, talk animatedly while drinking berry and almond milk smoothies. Both seem filled with energy as they discuss mountain biking, math equations from school, and upcoming outdoor adventures.
Gabe rises and walks to the counter, looking relaxed in jeans, a flannel button down, and crocs h...
Shares stories of a unique career path, time spent abroad, and creating a life near nature.
Sarah Storms walks along the sand of the southern Maine coast on a cool fall evening. The sky, ocean, and sand take on soft hues of pink at sunset on the beach. The sound of gentle waves breaking as the Atlantic ocean meets the shoreline is constant, and a slightly briny scent of salt water permeates the air.
Wearing Blundstone boots and fleece jackets, Sarah, her husband Greg, and their fluffy dog Watson are the only ones on the beach.
“We go to the beach year round, even when it’s snowing” Sarah says. “It’s life changing for me. I had no idea how much it would affect me to be near the ocean!”
“Getting outside keeps me creatively inspired, and gives my brain room to expand in a different way.”
Greg throws a stick for Watson, who runs gleefully along the sand at top speed.
“Greg is a really stellar other half,” Sarah says, smiling contentedly at her husband, her rosy cheek...
On life in the mountains, reaching goals, and exactly what can make anyone happy.
It’s a calm, cool, fall morning in northern California. James Brown is at one of the SWS offices, a 100 year old house at the base of Mount Shasta. Outside the window, trees with autumn leaves in warm shades of red and orange are dusted with a fresh coat of snow, the seasons overlapping as is typical in the Northern Sierra. Inside, JB sorts mountaineering gear in jeans and flip flops while listening to NPR. The walls are covered with coiled rope hanging on pegs, and photos from expeditions on mountains around the world. Tents, harnesses, ice axes, crampons, and hundreds of carabiners fill the cozy space.
“I just got back from the North Cascades, and I have guides leaving for Aconcagua,” JB says while setting aside a winter tent, designed to handle heavy snow loads and high winds. “I was definitely on an expedition on Aconcagua, when the wind speeds were around 120 miles an hou...
On rainforest conservation, a nomadic existence, and $300 chocolate bars.
It’s a typically hot day in the quiet beach town of Canoa, Ecuador. Jerry Toth sits on the balcony of a room at a small posada, overlooking a river that flows towards the Pacific ocean. He wears shorts, no shirt or shoes. The sound of waves crashing at the beach nearby can be heard, and Jerry watches the waves break, determining that it’s a good day for a late afternoon surf.
“We were dreamers,” he says, as coconut palms and tropical almond trees sway gently in a light breeze. “The other co-founders and I talked about sustainable development and ecological conservation. We felt the need to take action, actually do those things, and do them well.”
He watches a large Iguana slowly move through the branches of a nearby palm tree.
“From that initial impulse we started the foundation. It took 6 or 8 months to build the research station in the rainforest. We built it using hand tools.”
Shares thoughts on pushing his limits, spending time in the wilderness, and how someone he never met left an indelible mark on the trajectory of his life.
Cold wind blows the tempestuous waters of Turnagain arm, as ominous clouds gather with surprising speed over snow-capped mountains on the Kenai Peninsula. Luke Metherell stands on a rocky outcropping at the waters edge, on a cool summer evening in Alaska.
Wearing a light weight down jacket and a faded Patagonia baseball cap, Luke seems to grow even larger than his 6 foot 4 frame as the wind intensifies. He removes his hat, and runs a rough, weathered, hand through curly hair that’s a mix of brown, sun-bleached blonde, and speckles of grey.
He’s returning home from a day fly fishing on Kenai Lake. “Usually, the gale force storm blows in while I’m still fishing, and I end up driving home soaked to the bone!” He says with a smile and a laugh. “Alaska is the frontier. It’s mother nature at her utmost beauty, and utmost strength...
On an accidental career as a professional athlete, the surprising value of an injury, and feeling at home even while across the globe.
It’s a snowy February morning in Jackson, Wyoming. The Tetons rise from the valley floor just north of the tiny town, their jagged shape softened somewhat by the many feet of snow that blankets them for the better part of each year. On the edge of town, smoke puffs slowly from the chimney of a cozy home perched high on Snow King Mountain. Janelle Smiley sits cross-legged inside on the couch, eating carrot cake for breakfast. Her long, thick, wheat-colored hair shines in the warmth of the crackling fire beside her. She surveys ski boots, ice axes, and crampons neatly organized across the room in preparation for her next trip.
“We create our reality, by either choosing to be victims in our life, or actively going after what we want,” She comments in between bites. “What holds us back is all in our heads. Getting n...