We had the good fortune of connecting with Keith Eshelman and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Keith, as a parent, what do you feel is the most meaningful thing you’ve done for your children?
Yes, I am a father of two, a 7 yr old girl and 4 yr old boy. I am so proud to be bringing up around this business and the positivity it puts into the world. We have done many outings to parklands and I feel they are already connecting with natural land in a powerful way. Understanding the greater world and how it works puts life into better perspective, and I think it creates a sense of appreciation for everything we have. The natural world has some of the most beautiful design, and many don’t even pay attention to how beautifully it functions. You know your place when you understand it, learn how you are connected to it, and sometimes when you are humbled by its power too. The one thing that I think has the most impact on my kids is encouraging them to explore; be bold, try new things, always wonder whats on the other side, and to have an open mind. I believe that will empower them to do great things in life, be able to see the world opportunistically, and also keep them curious which will lead to a life of discovery.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
Our brand was derived out of three gaps in the market. The first was that the “next generation” wasn’t showing up, like our parents did, to promote conservation of land and preservation of National Parks. And when we go the Parks Project volunteer group together we saw lots of people interested. There was just no vehicle available to reengage the digitally native and social media minded millennials and gen z. We offered connection, from two groups that wanted to meet; outdoor conservationists and park conservancies. The other success has come from reinventing a stale category, where we saw National Park products being not very sustainably made or with a strong sense of fashion. These were the biggest brands in the outdoors, the places where we got to push the limits, or simply get connected with nature in its pristine state. We wanted to do these “brands” justice and make amazing product that represented and supported them. Lastly, it was distribution, one couldn’t really find National Park goods outside of a national park gift shop. We got distribution into fashion retailers and most importantly seized the day with an online store that now makes up the majority of our distribution. At the end of the day, I would say “connection” is a huge word for us, connected to Parks, connected to natural world, connecting people, and connecting through new media and marketplaces.
Any places to eat or things to do that you can share with our readers? If they have a friend visiting town, what are some spots they could take them to?
2. Malibu Surfrider Beach
3. Will Rogers State Park
5. DTLA Arts District
6. Proper Hotel Rooftop
8. Venice Beach
9. Dodgers game
10. Angel City brewery
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?