Burgeon Turns Two
Just over two years ago Burgeon Outdoor opened for business. It was, and continues to be one wild ride. We are incredibly thankful to all of you who have supported us as customers, friends, and believers in our mission.
While we have had our ups and downs, we have never wavered in our commitment to creating a better tomorrow for mountain communities, and specifically Lincoln and the White Mountains of New Hampshire.
Just over two years ago, my wife and I welcomed our second son, Emmett into the world. About six weeks later, Burgeon opened its doors for business. As we look back over the past two years, there are many parallels.
The first few months of Emmett’s life, all he did was eat and sleep. Yes, he would smile every once in a while (probably due to gas or seeing some bright shiny object), but he did not do much else.
When we opened our doors, we had one product, our Flume base layer. Everything else you had to pre-order – and everything else was our Franconia mid layer, Washington softshell, and our Powerwool beanies. That’s it. In short, we did not do much either.
Similar to Emmett, we had our ups and downs. We had some great days and some not so great days. But Christmas was coming and things felt good. People were excited to learn about us, hear our plans for the future, and word slowly started to spread.
Emmett was maybe not that ‘interesting’ the first few months of his life, but my wife, son Thornton, and I were always excited to see what Emmett would do next. Many of those days felt the same – groundhog day in your very own home.
That said, you could feel the bonds forming. The love we had for Emmett grew stronger every day. Each smile, giggle, or just the feel of his warm hand brought a smile to our faces and a tear to our eyes. You knew deep down in your heart this was something special, something that was impossible to explain, but easy to understand. It was love, it was family, it was everything that was good in the world – and it was right before our very own eyes.
At Burgeon, things were strikingly similar, but in a different dimension. We had days with zero customers, we had days with dozens. It was frustrating and fun all at the same time. The bonds were forming here too.
Each customer brought a smile to our faces. Those of you who visited and said “I’ll be back next time” gave us hope and encouraged us to continue forward through some of the more difficult times. Deep inside we knew we were onto something. Something that resonated with people, not only in Lincoln and the White Mountains, but beyond our walls & immediate community. Something special was happening, it was impossible to explain, but easy to understand.
Covid-19. What can we say? Emmett was stuck at home - no more play dates, or visiting relatives. Trips to the playground became fraught with danger. A world that was growing larger each day suddenly shrank to a shell of its former self.
Burgeon struggled during COVID-19 as well. The lifts at Loon stopped running. Our retail store closed for over two months. Lincoln felt like a ghost town. It was eerie.
Emmett, his brother, my wife and I spent a great deal of time together. While it was a very small circle, our bonds as a family grew tighter. We grew closer and the bonds we held became even stronger. We were in this together. We were going to make it.
During the initial months of COVID-19 we switched 100% of our production to making masks. Our team worked in the studio, but we kept our distance. The sewing machines hummed and every few days we would ‘sell’ our masks for $0. Let’s just say the demand was incredible. We would ‘sell’ +500 masks in 2 minutes.
Like my family, we grew tighter as a team. We were united in a shared vision of making a positive impact during some of the darkest days we could remember. We knew each mask would make a difference and we were excited to play a role. We felt a sense of control, but also humility as we knew others were in far worse conditions.
Summer arrived. The playgrounds re-opened. The PPE shortage, while still serious, was in much better shape. The virus seemed to slow down, especially here in New England. Life might not have returned to normal, but we slowly re-established our social connections.
Lincoln bloomed that summer. Town was packed - well at least there were long lines at all the drive-thrus! Business returned, but it was still difficult. While things were recovering, restaurants had capacity limits, many people felt uncomfortable in stores, and caution still filled the air.
As Emmett celebrated his first year, his progress was more clear. He was walking. He was ‘talking’. He started to develop a personality. You could see him acting more on his own, venturing forward, exploring. Things were changing, and they were exciting.
Burgeon stumbled out of the pandemic. Our development was months behind schedule. New products were delayed, both due to our production and supply chain issues. Right around our first birthday, however, we launched the Highlander Hoodie, which quickly became one of our top sellers. Enthusiasm was growing. We were developing our own personality, our own sense of style and vision.
Emmett’s second year was one of incremental growth - with plenty of ups and downs. He could walk, but he fell constantly. He would chase his brother and do a faceplant after two or three steps. He would try to talk, but sometimes no words would come out. He dropped things constantly.
Burgeon had its fits and starts as well. Our sunseeker hoodie took twice as long to produce as we anticipated. Our supply chain had issues with materials. The wheels turned maddeningly slow at times, but we persevered. It was a struggle at times, but it was always fun.
Emmett slowly but surely began to walk better. Then, before you knew it, he could run across the yard. He began to say real words (at least ones we could understand). He improved his motor skills to the point where he could eat soup and get more in his mouth than on his chest. The milestones were somewhat blurred to Lianne and me, but much more noticeable to those a little more outside our circle.
Burgeon slowly expanded its products in its second year. We re-arranged the studio to accommodate more retail space and production space. We were working so hard we barely noticed the difference. Customers who had seen us three or six months ago would say, “Wow, the space looks great, look at all the new products”, and we would sometimes look at them a little funny, but they were right. We were getting better everyday - things were coming together.
Just before our second birthday, Field & Stream named our Flume Base Layer the “Best Overall Hiking Shirt”, beating industry competitors such as Patagonia, the North Face, Fjallraven, and dozens of others. What a great achievement to celebrate and to accelerate our momentum into Year Three.
I still remember holding Emmet in my arms just over two years ago. We remember our first sale (Flume baselayer - that’s all we had!). My love for Emmett grows deeper every day. Our family bonds are continually strengthened. Our conviction in Burgeon’s mission and business model deepens every day.
I am truly fortunate to have two healthy sons, a loving wife, and good health. I am doubly blessed to work in Lincoln, the heart of the White Mountains, with dedicated and wonderful employees and a community and customer base that embraces our mission and values.
To Justin, Cathy, Marlies, Sydney, Danyal, Sabrina, Adam, Katie, Charmaine, and Tyler -- thank you for all the work you have done in the past year to make this a reality. People really do make the difference. Your dedication, ingenuity, and shared sense of purpose are what allow us to be the company we are today. I am forever grateful.
To our customers - thank you for supporting our mission. Thank you for helping us to create a better tomorrow for both Lincoln and the White Mountains of New Hampshire. You inspire us to get better every day and we promise to do exactly that.
Here’s to looking back on fond memories over the past two years. More importantly, we are thankful for the foundations we have built and look forward with anticipation to many more special moments, memories, and great things to come in the year ahead.
On behalf of everyone at Burgeon and the Glocker household, we thank you for your continued support. We cannot do it without you. Stay tuned, more is on the way!
Burgeon Outdoor was founded in 2019. Burgeon’s mission is to help mountain communities flourish. Burgeon proudly manufactures premium outdoor apparel in Lincoln, NH. By manufacturing locally, Burgeon creates year round jobs in the White Mountains. 5% of Burgeon’s sales support its community and environmental efforts. To learn more, please visit our studio at the Village Shops in Lincoln, our website burgeonoutdoor.com or call us at 603-745-7123.