Broken Buckles and Crappy Tennis Shoes

Broken Buckles and Crappy Tennis Shoes

By: Heather Stone, President of TETON Sports

When I was a kid, we didn’t have much. My parents were earning $14,000 a year at the time they married and created an instant family of eight. With dad in non-profit and mom in school teaching, money had never been their priority. Until they suddenly had two teenagers and four littles. Mom sewed our clothes from whatever fabric she could get her hands on.

When you come from a poor family, you don’t have outdoor gear. When the neighbor kids go sledding at the park, you’re the one bumming a turn on other people’s sleds because you don’t have your own. You’re the one whose toes are so cold they’re white for hours afterward because the moon boots someone gave your family four years ago don’t fit you anymore and your $3 tennis shoes don’t cut it. And your brother took the only pair of gloves.

You never say anything. Who ya gonna tell? Your parents can’t help, and they might make you come inside. Your friends’ parents would “Oh Honey!” you to death. And your friends—well, you were never quite sure you would have friends if they knew how different you were.

When my brother and sister-in-law started TETON Sports fifteen years ago, they wanted to make gear that was affordable so no one had to go without.

When you have gear and that gear works, you can participate. When you don’t have gear, or you don’t have enough gear, or you even don’t have the right gear, you’re on the outside looking in. When your gear breaks because all you could afford was crap, you’re left feeling stupid as your cool outdoorsy friends divide your stuff into their $400 backpacks.

TETON Sports exists because the outdoors should be for everyone, not just people with big budgets and perfect lives.

The only thing worse than not having the right gear to participate is thinking you do and finding out halfway through that you were wrong. Then you have to wear your broken zipper like a badge of shame for the rest of the camping trip.

When you buy TETON Sports gear, you don’t have to mortgage your house to do so. And TETON stuff works. It’s not crap. That’s why we can offer a lifetime warranty. It’s well-designed and it functions exactly like it’s supposed to.

You don’t have to be poor to buy our gear. Many people with high-end tastes and big wallets use TETON stuff every day. But the rest of us use it too.

I wanted you to know why the gear is made the way it is, and why it stands out in the marketplace as a great value for the money. Most of all, I wanted you to know that at TETON Sports, we are here so you can participate. You finally belong.