Evo.com was started by pro skier Bryce Phillips gathering up used skis and selling ‘em on eBay. Nowadays, Evo has blown up to the point where they have a store in Seattle, WA in additions to their fearsome online presence.
If you need gear this winter, Evo’s got it. Wake, Skate, Ski, Snowboard, and all the accessories in between.
Below evo answers a few of our questions about their overall vibe below:
How did evo get started?
Bryce (our founder) was selling whatever gear he could get his hands on since he was a kid. It was a perfect way for him to support his budding pro skiing career. His side gig started getting serious when he began buying up massive lots of ski and snowboard product from several mountain demo centers in Colorado and Whistler around 2001. We were a big eBay seller back then and were growing like crazy. From the very early days Bryce always wanted to do something different and build community around the evo brand. Our earliest “tent sales” would have break dancing crews and DJ’s and killer after parties, including the first ever 90s party…
What made you want to have a physical store location?
We knew we wanted to open a physical store and were finally able to do so in 2005. That was a insane year full of a lot of work and little sleep. In the span of a few hectic months we leased a space in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, gutted and remodeled the 8,000 square foot ex-warehouse, introduced a completely new version of our http://www.evo.com to the world and welcomed over 200 vendors to the evo fam. Opening the physical store was really the genesis of the evo brand because we could embody all elements from the ski and snowboard communities to parties to art, fashion, music and more. We’ve continued to build on that kick, adding permanent fixtures (like the Dale Chihuly exihibit) and will be celebrating the great ride we’ve had over the last decade this fall with a 10 year anniversary party of truly epic proportions.
The economy has sucked the past few years, how did you stay afloat?
I can’t say it’s been easy. We’ve made some very difficult decisions and tried to shore up our partnerships with the right companies. With all the challenges we’ve faced and changes we’ve experienced we’ve tried to stay true to our brand and culture which is the most important aspect.
How is Evo helping the little guy get gear?
One of our overriding goals is to make the sports accessible for people of everyone. Let’s face it: unless you’re pretty well off these sports are difficult to afford. That’s where the Outlet comes into play where we offer ski deals, snowboard discounts, and even wakeboard deals. From the very start we even have carried used equipment and still have offer a lot of used ski gear. In the end it comes down to accommodating riders at all stages of their interest and participation in the sport. These sports we love should not be just for the rich!
Not only have we made changes to the website to make things like ski jackets and snowboard pants easier to shop, we’ve also grown our offering of brands and styles in a big way. We’ve been deepening our relationships, and increasing our buys, with the big dogs – guys like The North Face, Burton, and Patagonia. At the same time, we’re differentiating our assortment by bringing in smaller, up and coming brands that are not only building high quality product, but set us apart from other retailers. On that note, a couple examples of these brands we’re stoked to partner with include Flylow, 686, Holden and Airblaster.
Do you guys ever get out and ski/ride?
Everyone at evo is passionate about the sports and lifestyle we represent. It’s tough when the business has demands that limit our ability to go ski but we strike a pretty good balance. Often we’ll take turns hitting pow days, because we all know it’s tough sitting in the office when it’s deep up there. For several years we’ve rented a cabin up at Hyak (near The Summit) for the crew to use for free and we also have a program that allows full time employees to get a brand new ski or snowboard setup every year called “New Gear Every Year”. For obvious reasons it’s a huge hit.
What philanthropy is Evo involved in?
We are wired to be a giving organization and have worked very closely with a wide variety of organizations like Big Brothers, Big Sisters, Direct Relief International, Carbonfund.org, and a host of others. We lean toward organizations that help children but at this point have been pretty liberal in who we help and how we support various causes. Sometimes we support by donating product for an auction, other times we volunteer time and in many cases we have provided direct financial support.
Where does the name ‘evo’ come from?
evo stands for “evolucion” which is a cool, South American way of saying we’re always trying to evolve and grow. We don’t want to get complacent or satisfied with the status quo, there is a better way and we’re determined to continual improvement.
Thanks for the interview guys! Check out EVO.COM for more….