Meet Tyler Murphy
Written by Burgeon Employee, Megan Johnson
Title: Director of Marketing
Hails from: Hingham, Massachusetts
Alma mater: Providence College
Sign: He has no idea, but maybe one of the ones that starts with an S?
A favorite food: Complex breakfast sandwiches (think avocado, arugula, aioli…)
A vegetable he would eliminate from the planet: Kale
Preferred ways to move-it outdoors: Running and skiing
Tyler is a born and bred New Englander who brings a calm, cool, and collected energy to all of Burgeon’s endeavors as one of our most long-standing employees. He’s been our Director of Marketing for going on two years (we’re still so young!), plus almost a year’s worth of experience with the company through internships and part-time work before that. He has a lot of institutional knowledge, and I’ve been lucky enough to learn a lot from him. We ventured out into Lincoln on a recent afternoon to talk shop and what lies ahead, and I convinced him to try his first chai latte. Verdict: “Wow!! This is really good.”
On a memorable adventure: “Anyone who’s lived most of their life skiing in New England knows how special every powder day is, and I’ve done some trips to Stowe and Mount Snow that were just so unforgettable. One of my best skiing days ever was actually at Cranmore a couple years ago with some friends from high school. We planned a day trip in the middle of the week; we didn’t even look at the forecast but it ended up being a phenomenal powder day, but school wasn’t canceled so we had the mountain completely to ourselves. I’ve just about convinced myself that people who live out west are the unlucky ones because they have too many powder days, we get to remember ours! But that’s how I cope, I’m definitely jealous of them. I think any New England skier can probably relate to that.”
An item on the bucket list: “Definitely travel. I love New England, but I’m ready to go somewhere new, do some exploring, maybe see Europe, or see more of the US…maybe catch more of those powder days out west!”
What’s your five-year plan? Just kidding. What’s something the future holds for you?
Tyler loves skiing and running. He has prized memories of growing up skiing with family at Mount Snow in Vermont, and in recent years he’s made Wildcat Mountain his new ski home. Tyler’s also become an increasingly serious runner during and since his college years, and he says he has plans to add a couple more activities to the mix, like biking, ski touring, and winter running. “I’d like to keep that aspect of life fresh. I’ve never been good at winter running, and I’ve decided this is the winter I’m really gonna go for it. I know there’s no such thing as bad weather, just bad gear, so I’ll use my judgment and figure it out.” We geeked out about the best running shoes for gnarly winter conditions, then I had to ask; any Burgeon products that he expects will fit the bill? “Well for sure the Flume Baselayer, my Burgeon Flume Crewneck is my go-to above any other baselayers I have, for any winter activity. I wear the Franconia midlayer skiing, and I’ll wear that on winter runs too; there’s so much movement in that, it’s versatile.”
On the path that brought him here…:
“I started as an intern here in July 2021, and social media was my first major project and focus at the company. It was a cool opportunity, I worked alongside Rudy, collaborated with other employees and another intern, did some competitor research…I got to learn about Burgeon’s mission not just because I was told it, but I saw each day at the studio what was going on with production, practices, and engagement with the community. I strategized about messaging and worked on a lot of content, including a hiking blog series and product descriptions.
When I went back to my senior year of college, I continued to do some part-time social media work for Burgeon. Rudy and I would review marketing performance metrics on a weekly basis, and look ahead to future plans. As a student, it was a cool experience to get to be part of a real business. It was so different from sitting in a classroom talking about this stuff or working on a mock business project. My graduation lined up with Burgeon’s need for a full-time marketing person, which I was hired for, and I was able to transition into the role pretty smoothly because I already had nine months of experience with the company.”
…And the things that keep him here:
“I like being part of a small, young, and growing company, and I like the responsibility that’s come along with that. I see the outcomes of my efforts on a daily basis. I also experience every step of this first-hand, instead of doing one or two things over and over again. It’s definitely more engaging, and it gives me good perspective.
I also like that there’s no long and delayed chain of command. If I have an idea, or anyone has an idea, we can just say it. We’re able to collaborate, anyone here can give input on the marketing side of things, make suggestions about how we talk about products, and so on. And you know, it’s a tight-knit group. Everyone who works here is very kind and fun to work with, and I can’t imagine working anywhere where that’s not the case.”
On what it means to be Burgeon’s Director of Marketing:
“You could say everyone here is part of the marketing department, and everyone here is part of the operations department, and production, and design…so I do all things related to marketing…and then some!” Tyler provides critical input and direction for all of our digital and in-store marketing strategies. Email, social media, product development, product release schedule, product storytelling, market research, providing input for the annual budget and ad money, and working with the rest of the team to manage the event schedule and sponsorships are some of the more predictable parts of his job. Tyler also pitches in with retail operations, does quality control and inventory counts for product releases, staffs and manages events where he connects with prospective customers, and offers his thoughts on how to best display and manage our ever-growing product line at the studio.
When I asked Tyler about some of the unpredictable parts of his job, he chuckled. “I kind of expected the unexpected at Burgeon, I understood the small-business aspect of it. I knew there were a lot of tasks to go around, and I knew there was going to be some stuff outside of the traditional marketing job description. Last week I found myself on a loading dock in Lawrence, Massachusetts with Rudy and some other people loading up a bunch of stitching machines, office furniture, and storage we had bought at auction. I do some product testing; last year we took a trip out to Utah where I got to try out a prototype of our Tuckerman Jacket in the backcountry for a few days. Last Summer, Tim (Director of Operations) and I spent a 90-degree day unloading a shipment of over a ton of fabric at our production facility up in Gorham, New Hampshire! That segued right into the design process; we cut samples of all these rolls and brought them back to Lincoln to talk about colors, weight, thickness, other attributes, and potential products we could use this stuff for. Everyone has a hand in everything in a company of this size, there’s never a dull moment, that’s for sure.”
On learning, challenges, and growth:
Tyler connects and interacts with people who relate to our products in a lot of different ways; fabric suppliers, cutters, designers, stitchers, retail and operations staff, and the end users themselves. “A takeaway I’ve had is that it’s important to listen to everyone, no matter what their job title is or what sector of the company they work in. Being a made in USA company, everyone along the way, from the buying of the material to the eventual sale, every one of us has our own experiences with the product through our work and using it in our own time. Getting to hear from them all has certainly helped with my understanding of the industry, the company, and the product itself. It helps me communicate about our products and mission better.”
“And our product line is so much larger than when I started here. We’re using brand new fabrics that we didn’t use two years ago; we’re making waterproof products, and we didn’t even have the equipment for that 18 months ago. We’ve also expanded the use of some of our existing fabrics. When I started we had the Highlander Hoodie, but we’ve introduced the Highlander Full Zip since then, and we’ve introduced the Flume Hoodie, Tech T, and Baselayer Bottoms all within the past five months.” Tyler talked about how much he’s enjoyed the work that goes along with that expansion, such as the production schedule, product release schedule, and creating new content and marketing materials. He says working on timelines to get new products out in the appropriate season (and adjusting to all the surprises that could derail that schedule) is especially engaging and satisfying.
On a little amusement:
“I put off The Wire for a long time but now I’m flying through it. And I’m more of a nonfiction reader, so I’ve also been chipping away at McCarthy’s Bar: A Journey of Discovery in Ireland, by Pete McCarthy. It’s basically like a guide on how to not be touristy while being a tourist. He goes through different travel ‘rules’ and explains them in the context of a trip to Ireland, and the name of the book is based on the rule of ‘never pass by a bar with your name on it, you have to stop in and have a drink.’ Never use Yelp; instead, pick up the local paper, eavesdrop on locals’ conversations, chat them up if you can. It’s been a fun way to think about how to experience a place like you live there.”
On a favorite Burgeon product:
“In my first days at Burgeon, I got invited along to a networking event that was a paddle down the Saco River. That was the first time I tried out the Sunseeker Hoodie; quite a few people ended up pretty sunburned, but I wasn’t one of them! But that was a ton of fun, and a great way to kick off my full-time role with Burgeon.”
Fill in the blank; Life’s too short…:
“This feels like a cliche, but life’s too short to sit around and wait. Like, just go do it, go get it.”
Tyler, thanks so much for sharing and for always answering my questions about marketing!