When Coleman Whitsitt started Grivet Outdoors back in 2015, out of his basement, the company was nothing more than a website that re-sells Amazon merchandise on eBay. However, when things started taking off, Coleman realized that his side hustle could become so much more. He had the tools — secret software — and know-how on how to get the customers to love and buy his products, so Coleman reached out directly to the manufacturers.


“The software gave us opportunities to go to brands and say, ‘Hey, we can help you sell more products. Let us show you what we can do.’ And early on, it was just one or two small brands,” says Coleman. “I thought that, as we prove ourselves to them, we can go to bigger brands and replicate that, and so on.”

Fast forward to today, and that small yet big-dreamed business has been taken to new heights, reaching over $65 million in annual revenue and four physical stores in Memphis, Tennessee. In just seven years, Grivet Outdoors has snowballed from selling little-known brands to being the largest seller of esteemed brands in the country. 

Coleman owes his success to a customer-centric model and his vision of an outdoor gear company that would be more than just a store. And his vision is the main reason he decided to open a brick-and-mortar store in a world where most people thought that these stores were becoming obsolete.

“Every business-savvy person knows that satisfied customers are the lifeline of any business. That’s why I wanted to provide my customers with a unique and unforgettable shopping experience, and I realized that just having an online shop won’t cut it,” he says.

For example, the physical store allows you to do exclusive in-store reveals of new gear and items — an event where people actually come and hang out and have a few snacks and drinks. The physical store also allows you to offer personalized services, such as molding unique insoles or custom shoe fittings, that every Grivet Outdoors store offers.

“In-store events are always more personal than any online event. You can talk with your customers, get to know them and get a better insight into what they like and what they don’t,” says Coleman.

As a part of that customer mission, Grivet Outdoors became a vocal advocate and promoter of a healthy lifestyle and outdoor activities. Besides offering unique in-store experiences, Coleman and his team regularly organize “around-store” events. The success of these events – such as their Monday Night Group Run — has shown that Coleman is doing an amazing job of raising awareness about the many benefits of outdoor activities.

“We gather every Monday night at our Olive Branch for a 3-mile run, and anyone interested can come and join,” says Coleman. “The course starts in front of the store and loops around the neighborhood right back to where we started. After the run, participants can stay and hang with us at the store while enjoying beers on us.”

Coleman is also passionate about increasing accessibility to these activities, which is why Grivet Outdoors offers a range of gear to ensure everyone can get involved. From beginner-level training shoes to high-end running shoes, Grivet Outdoors has something for everyone. Additionally, their sponsorship of various outdoor events ensures that anyone can participate without worrying about cost or access.

But beyond just encouraging people to buy gear from them, Coleman wants to spread the message that outdoor activities are fun and beneficial ways to spend your time. He hopes his efforts will inspire more people around the world to get out there and explore nature.

“With the hustle and bustle of everyday life, it can be hard to find time for yourself and get out in nature,” says Coleman Whitsitt. “But taking a break from our screens and heading outdoors is essential for both physical and mental health.”

“Outdoor activities such as running and hiking have numerous benefits that make them worth your while. Not only do they help you stay fit and healthy, but they can also reduce stress levels, boost creativity, improve focus, and enhance sleep quality. So grab your gear, get out there, join an activity group, and enjoy life more.”

Author's Bio: 

Maria Grissol a Passionate Blogger and Content Writer.