Dear NEMO family:
Approaching one year into this unexpected journey, with the holidays upon us, I am reflecting more than usual on how life has changed, what I am thankful for, and my hopes for the new year. No matter how frantic our lives are, to be our best selves, we must slow down periodically to reflect, appreciate, and recenter.
The holiday season and the time we are able to spend outdoors are great opportunities for this. Stepping away from our daily preoccupations to connect with the people we care about, especially to have an adventure together, big or small, can renew perspective and deepen bonds.
In recent years, I have passed up too many of these gifts. 2020 has been a recalibration. We were forced to do less this year. Some of it was quality time lost. But in many cases, we traded a commute for a sunset. Or an overscheduled and forgettable weekend for something more deliberate and memorable. Like anything that threatens our lives or livelihoods — a lightning storm on a high mountain ridge or a big runout on an exposed climb — the many threats we experienced narrowed our vision and made the world feel very small. And yet, when we are left to think of only the stuff that matters, we become more present.
And this is how I feel in COVID, as the holidays approach. Deeply aware of how fortunate I am that both my nuclear family and my NEMO family are healthy and, in some important ways, feeling more alive than ever.
There are many heroes to thank this year. Our healthcare workers, teachers, and scientists are top of mind. The outdoors also came to the rescue. If I have one personal regret, it is that we could not serve our customers better and faster when they turned to the outdoors for salvation. Many people had frustrating experiences with us as we struggled to handle a massive increase in call volume and turn our factories back on to meet the surge in demand. Nonetheless, I could not be prouder of our team, who with less to work with, worked harder than ever. The fault is mine for not being able to get them the resources they needed fast enough. And though we are not through the challenges yet, know that we are investing heavily in meeting the demands on the business and providing the very best customer service going forward.
On behalf of the entire team at NEMO, we are deeply grateful, not only that you stuck with us this year, but for the passion you showed for being outdoors and the creative ways you managed to thrive and adventure. We appreciate you as part of our greater family. And we appreciate our collective place in the mountains. Together, even in these difficult times, family and the outdoors have given us many lasting gifts.
Here’s to wishing you and your family a safe, happy, and memorable holiday season and a new year filled with solidarity, laughter, and overcoming obstacles.
Yours in adventure,
Founder and CEO