Making Friends on the Trail

Last week I had an interview with Earth 911.  It is an outstanding website, and I am not just saying that because they are doing a feature on Atayne next week.  I was a frequent visitor to their site beforehand.  During the interview I was asked the question, “What is the most unexpected thing that has happened to you while launching and growing Atayne?”

The answer was quite simple-the number of new friends I have made along the way.  Starting a company is an emotional roller coaster.  You experience the highest highs and the lowest lows.  One thing that can really drive some of the highs is the people you meet.  I never could have imagined some of the great friendships I would develop during this journey.

Friend of Atayne - Paige

Friend of Atayne - Paige

Yesterday I got an email from one of my great new Atayne friends, Paige.  She had reached out to tell me about an encounter she had at her most recent race, Louisville’s Lovin’ the Hills 50k.  From the words of Paige, because she tells it so well…

“I met this guy, Alan J., after finishing Louisville’s Lovin’ the Hills 50k last weekend, on Valentines Day.  I just thought it was so cool.  I was sitting at a picnic table in the warming tent stuffing my face with spaghetti after finishing the race, and in walks this guy with a massive mustache…with rubber bands on the end of each tip to keep it from flying in his face while running.  He popped a squat on a chair near me and, with his back to me, congratulated me on my finish, and then continued to tell me about his new Atayne top.  I had on the long sleeve top, but still had my Nathan vest on over it, so you couldn’t see the logo all that well.  He said he was so excited when he found out about the company, and told his wife that he wanted Atayne shirts for his birthday (or maybe it was Christmas?).  So she went on the website to buy him a couple, and just fell in love with it…he said she spends time on the site everyday because she thinks it’s so cool.  I’m just listening to him go on about it, smiling.  He said he wanted to get a picture of himself in the shirt on the trail so he could submit it for the Atayne 360 newsletter, but he thought he got it too dirty this time, ‘so I’ll do it at the next race!’  I was just tickled!”

I can’t read Paige’s story enough.  A while back I wrote about the milestones I live for and this is absolutely one of them.  It is hard to express the feeling of two strangers coming together in conversation over Atayne.  Despite what has otherwise been a rough few days (mom having surgery), this simple story has me flying high.  It is easy to keep the flame going when you have friends like Paige and Alan J.

Although I must say one thing to Alan, there is no such thing as an Atayne top that is too dirty!!!  That is what we make them for my friend, so get back out there, get dirty, and send us a picture.

4 responses to “Making Friends on the Trail

  1. Brilliant, I love it 🙂 Couldn’t have written it better! Hehehe

    I’m glad I could have some part in a milestone. The whole time I was sitting there talking to Alan I was thinking, “I can’t WAIT to tell Jeremy!” I almost felt like it was me receiving the compliments, and it was just as thrilling as finishing the race that day. I can only imagine what it must be like for you to hear these sorts of things!

    I look forward to sharing many more of these stories with you as I continue my running journeys in Atayne-wear 🙂

  2. I am very intrigued how you are applying the new ideas of the web 2.0 world to your physical business. I was thinking the other day you should really think about adopting the street team concept that small bands are using these days. There are so many of us out here that are big fans of Atayne and are always promoting the concept. The idea of the street team (though I would think you would call it a trail team) is to enable and offer incentives for furthering the viral marketing. I haven’t really thought through the details, but you could probably give each rep a coupon code to offer funds to local projects. Not really sure, but you certainly have the right type of people to build a little competition, etc.

    Good luck…

    • Thanks Stefan. Your thinking is right in line with where we are heading. In the next few weeks we are planning on launching a street team type program to leverage and provide incentives for the people who are spreading the good word on Atayne. Stay tuned for details.

  3. Great story, Jeremy — it made me smile, too. I imagine there are (and will be) many, many more of these stories as the brand gets more visible. Yay!

    And I know what you mean about the amazing, unexpected friendships. I am discovering a similar pattern in my own work. It helps reinforce the feeling that my life is moving in the right direction. 🙂

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