Back in the Saddle, Again

Back in the Saddle, Again

Lincoln, NH, the heart of the White Mountains.

Despite the foreboding date, Friday the 13th was a gorgeous day in the White Mountains of New Hampshire - and it was great to get back on the trail.  A huge thank you to Alex Roberts, Philip Carcia, and Justin Walsh for making the time to get out there.

View from Flume summit

It was the kind of day that reminds you why you love it so much.  In just a few hours, we enjoyed ‘discovering’ an old/abandoned trail (Osseo - trip write up to follow), enjoyed bright sunshine, warm temperatures, hiked through 1-2’ of snow, got some great product shots, bagged a 4000 footer, and took in some great new views (could see Mansfield in the distance, at least we think we did!).  It was glorious.

The best part of the day, however, was just lounging around the summit with three friends for over an hour.  What did we talk about - everything and nothing at all simultaneously – and that is what made it so special.  In our ‘always on demand’ world, it was great to just enjoy each other’s company and not worry about the ‘real’ world down in the valleys.

 

We hope you are ‘back in the saddle again’ soon – whether it is hiking, walking, biking, running, kayaking or whatever it is you love to do.  We also hope you can carve out some time with friends and just enjoy the moment, be present and soak it all in.  Good luck and get out there!

Shop Burgeon Products

 

Burgeon Logo

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.

 

 

May 17, 2022
Know where your clothes are made

Know where your clothes are made

Lincoln, NH, the Heart of the White Mountains.

Do you know where your clothes are made?

Do you know the names of the people who make them?

Lots of companies will tell you ‘where’ their products are made.  They say things such as “Made in Indonesia”, “Designed in California, Made in China”, or just “Made in China”.  But do you really know where?

At Burgeon you can actually see the people making the products we sell.  Our studio is surrounded by glass on two sides and if you visit us, you’ll actually see the production team in action whether it is cutting hats, sewing hoodies, or putting the finishing touches on our latest line of tech t-shirts.

We think it is important you know not only where your clothes are made, but the people making them.  We want you to see how skilled they are and how complex some ‘simple’ garments are to make.  We want you to appreciate their craftsmanship – and the care they put into each Burgeon product.

We made your sunseeker hoodie

Burgeon is not looking to make clothes in the most efficient/cheapest way, we are looking to make clothes the right way.  One that sustains and enhances our outdoor community by creating jobs and donating a portion of our proceeds to efforts that make the White Mountains of New Hampshire the special place it is.

Our clothes are not “Designed in New Hampshire, Made in China/Mexico/ Indonesia, et cetera.  They are designed in New Hampshire.  They are tested in New Hampshire.  They are made in New Hampshire.  Yes, it costs more – but it is worth every penny.

We hope you’ll come visit us at our studio in Lincoln, New Hampshire.  We hope you’ll meet the amazing people who make our products.  We hope you’ll develop a connection with them.  Most importantly we hope you will gain an appreciation for their skill and dedication to their trade. If you own a Burgeon product you know how talented they are.

Hope to see you soon.

Shop Burgeon Products

 

Burgeon Logo

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.

April 06, 2022
Five Surprising Winter Views

Five Surprising Winter Views

There is no shortage of great views to be found in the White Mountains any time of year, but those willing to brave the harsh, cold conditions are often rewarded with especially beautiful sights during the winter.
 
And while some peaks offer outstanding, 360-degree views no matter when you visit, there are some spots that might not be anything special normally that suddenly become hidden gems during the winter.
 
Whether because of the thinner tree cover or, in some years, significant snow depth that can lift hikers above the trees entirely, here are a few peaks with views that are often better in the winter. Important caveat, winter conditions are unpredictable and vary by year and location, so the views described may not be present every winter.
 
Mt. Waumbek
Elevation: 4,006 feet
 
Mt. Waumbek is one of the best 4,000-footers for hikers new to winter hiking, and it also boasts one of the season’s best and most reliable views.
 
Upon reaching the summit of adjacent Mt. Starr King, hikers will be treated to an unparalleled view of the Presidential Range, which pops even more when blanketed in snow. A similar view can be found just past the wooded summit of Waumbek itself, and while it’s not possible to see through the trees at the main peak, the nearby clearing also offers excellent views and a great spot to stop and rest.
 
While similar views can be found at other times of year, winter really enhances the Waumbek and Starr King experience in a unique way.

Northern Presidentials from Waumbek
 
Mt. Tom
Elevation: 4,051 feet
 
Normally the summit of Mt. Tom is not anything to write home about. The peak is covered in short stubby trees that are difficult to see through, and any views you do get tend not to be great. But in certain high-snow years, the snow can get deep enough to lift hikers above the trees, unlocking what might be one of the coolest views in the White Mountains.
 
Situated along the Willey Range between the Presidential Range and the Pemigewasset Wilderness, Mt. Tom offers a unique vantage point of both regions during the winter. Similarly improved views can be found along the Willey Range, making the Willey-Field-Tom trifecta a great winter peak bagging opportunity.
 
 
Carter Dome
Elevation: 4,832 feet
 
Similar to Mt. Tom, Carter Dome doesn’t usually boast much of a view. There are a couple of isolated viewpoints but normally the tree cover is too tall and too thick to see past. But with enough snow, suddenly Carter Dome’s summit becomes a brilliant landscape boasting outstanding views across the Carter-Moriah Range and out towards the Presidential Range.
 
The snow can have a similar effect across the Carter-Moriah Trail, turning parts of the wooded ridgeline into an outstanding winter treat. The downside, however, is that the trail tends to be less traveled so navigating the rugged landscape can be tougher than places like Franconia Ridge.
 
Middle Tripyramid
Elevation: 4,140 feet
 
Middle Tripyramid fits into a similar category as Mt. Tom and Carter Dome where, with enough snow on the ground, a normally unremarkable view transforms into a cool and unique vista.
 
Under the right circumstances, Middle Tripyramid offers both a great look back towards Passaconaway, Mt. Washington further off in the distance, as well as a cool view directly down into Waterville Valley. The ski slopes along the side of Mt. Tecumseh are unmistakable, and the view over to Mt. Osceola is pretty striking as well.

Bondcliff from Owlshead
 
Owl’s Head
Elevation: 4,025 feet
 
Let me just say up front that the view from Owl’s Head’s summit in the winter isn’t necessarily great. The trees are still too tall to see over even with a lot of snow and there aren’t any great clearings for photos. That being said, what you can see is pretty cool and a massive improvement from what you’d get during the summer.
 
With comparatively thin tree cover, it’s possible to see out to Bondcliff on one side and the Franconia Range on the other. Given Owl’s Head’s unique position in the heart of the Pemigewasset Wilderness, this is a view you can’t get anywhere else and adds an extra payoff to the long trek out from Lincoln Woods.

~Mac Cerullo

 

Helpful Links for Planning your Hike

Trail Conditions

Weather

Other Hiking Blog Posts

First Five 4000 Footers
Top Five 4000 Footer Views
First Five Winter Hikes

 

Shop Burgeon Products

 

Burgeon Logo

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.

March 07, 2022
Until We Meet Again - A Tribute to Justin Walsh

Until We Meet Again - A Tribute to Justin Walsh

On August 16th, 2018, I took a hike that would change my life forever.

The goal was the summit of the Peak above the Nubble (PATN) which is on the New England Hundred Highest list.  The hike is not particularly challenging from a White Mountains perspective.  Though it is a bush-whack, the route is fairly clear for much of the hike - especially when you are traveling with an experienced guide.

Not just an experienced guide, but at that time a local business owner, property owner, and part-time real estate agent by the name of Justin Walsh.  I shared with him my vision of founding a company that made a positive impact economically, environmentally, and socially in The White Mountains of New Hampshire.

Justin listened intently and asked some pretty good questions.  During our hours together, we established a good rapport, so much that I wanted to hire him as a guide again.  Yes he was an excellent guide, but he was an even better source of knowledge about all things The White Mountains, and especially Lincoln, NH.

Scar Ridge

About a month later, we were hiking Scar Ridge and the conversation continued – except he was even more engaging.  He asked deeper questions and the conversation was lively and challenging at the same time.  He had clearly thought about the idea and done some homework.  

On February 21st, 2021, we hiked Liberty.  Another great trip into the mountains and another hours long discussion on what would become Burgeon.  Later that day, we visited potential sites for Burgeon, including the Village Shops where we are located.  

Without Justin, Burgeon would not exist.  As you already know, he helped find our location.  Prior to that he convinced me that Lincoln was the right location for Burgeon - and that he was the right person to be Burgeon’s first employee and Operations Manager.

Once I agreed to hire him, Justin then set out to show just how valuable he was in building the foundation of Burgeon.  He was there for the lease negotiation, he helped find the contractors who did the demolition work on the space, he contracted with painters, Lincoln Sign Corp, and more to get our space in tip top shape.  

In addition to the contracting, he painted the ductwork himself, laid the floor and built all of our shelving, display stands, and counter.  He literally did it all.  The gratitude Burgeon has for him will last a lifetime.

Justin then took to the tasks of interviewing and hiring our staff, which went great.  I then appointed him the leader of our stitching team even though he did not know how to sew.  I do not think our stitching team would give him high marks across the board, but they would most certainly give him an “A” for effort and determination.

During the initial stages of COVID-19, Justin continually stressed the importance of us converting to making masks.  He not only shipped thousands of masks to individuals (he made a couple hundred too!), but he sorted through the hundreds of requests we received from organizations for free masks - and did the work to make sure they had the most impact.  He showed up everyday during this stressful time and made a difference.  For that I, and thousands of others will be eternally grateful.

Justin Walsh Fit Session

In the time since he has tirelessly worked to further Burgeon’s mission.  He has helped us partner with local organizations, manned the studio most weekends, provided amazing customer service, and even served as our fit and field tester for new products.  He was more than a model employee, he was the mold.

Today is Justin’s last day at Burgeon.

The first law of thermodynamics states that “that no energy is created in the universe and none is destroyed.” 

Justin, all the energy you put into Burgeon is not only still there, but it continues to resonate through each brush of paint, hammering of a nail, placement of flooring tile, the counters you built, and the graphics you created.  The care and craftsmanship you put into each one of these will forever reflect your impact and serve as a monument to your time at Burgeon.

More importantly, every customer you welcomed into our studio was forever changed by your passion for Burgeon and the White Mountains.  

The enthusiasm in your voice, the smile on your face, the joy in your heart, all of these will bounce around the Village Shops and in the minds of everyone you helped – whether with a product, ideas for a hike, assistance finding a local business, or just the key to the restroom.

The kindness and understanding you displayed to those in need during COVID-19 will forever echo through the mountains you love with all your heart.

Justin, we hope your journey is a success.  We are forever grateful that you lent us three years of your life.  We thank you for your dedication to our mission and to our team.  Thank you for inspiring us.  Thank you for making an impact – both at Burgeon and in the community.  You made Burgeon and the White Mountains a better place, and though our collective light will dim when you leave, it will grow stronger with time as we remember all the things you taught us.

We hope to see you again soon.

Godspeed.

~ Rudy Glocker

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 environment 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

December 30, 2021
Passing out the Turkeys, Part III

Passing out the Turkeys, Part III

Lincoln, New Hampshire, the heart of the White Mountains

The tradition continues!  This is the third year we are giving Thanksgiving turkeys to all of our employees.  As this tradition grows in tenure, it takes on a new and special meaning each year – and it keeps getting better.

In 2019 we gave each employee a turkey.  In 2020 we gave a turkey and a pie from The Moon Café.  This year we added another special treat for our employees.

As we look back on 2021, we are thankful for many things:

  • Our team is healthy – despite a couple COVID-19 scares, we are in good shape (fingers crossed) and so are our families.  May this trend continue.
  • Our family and friends who have and continue to support us – on our good days, our not so good days, and the challenging ones as well.
  • Organizations such as the Granite Backcountry Alliance, White Mountains Trail Collective, Friends of Tuckerman Ravine, the AMC and many others that help preserve and maintain our amazing outdoor spaces.
  • Organizations such as Pemi Search and Rescue, Lakes Region Search and Rescue, Ammonoosuc Search and Rescue who help those of use in need.
  • New England Disabled Sports, Mt. Washington Valley Adaptive Sports, and others who get more people outside enjoying the spectacular beauty of the White Mountains - and building confidence and self-esteem.
  • For The Moon bakery down the hall and the occasional drop off of free pastries!
  • Not only making it through our second year in business, but growing and getting stronger.
  • Launching numerous new products despite a challenging supply chain and myriad obstacles.
  • The support we have received from residents, visitors, businesses and non-profits throughout the White Mountains.
  • Field & Stream naming our Flume base layer the “Best overall hiking shirt” for 2021!
  • Our wonderful customers who make this all possible.

“Piglet noticed that even though he had a very small heart, it could hold a rather large amount of gratitude.”  Winnie the Pooh

We are not sure of the size of Burgeon’s heart, but the amount of gratitude we have for everyone who has helped us on this journey knows no bounds.  We are truly blessed and thankful this year.

HAPPY THANKSGIVING!

~Cathy, Marlies, Sabrina, Nilia, Justin, Charmaine, Tyler, & Rudy

Shop Burgeon Products

Burgeon Outdoor was founded in 2019.  Burgeon’s mission is to create a better tomorrow for mountain communities such as Lincoln, NH where we are based.  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.

 

 

November 24, 2021
Burgeon Turns Two

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.

Second birthday celebration lunch

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!

Rudy Glocker

Shop Burgeon Products

 

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.

November 15, 2021
The Presidential Traverse

The Presidential Traverse

Lincoln NH, the heart of the White Mountains. The Presidential Traverse is one of the most epic hikes in the White Mountains, and also among the most challenging. Traversing the entire length of the Presidential Range, hikers will summit at least seven 4,000-footers including New Hampshire’s five tallest peaks. The majority of the trail is above the tree line and offers breathtaking views of the surrounding landscape.
August 27, 2021
Thank you Tyler

Thank you Tyler

Hey everyone, I’m Tyler Murphy and today is my last day as a summer intern for Burgeon Outdoor. I am a few weeks away from the first day of my senior year at Providence College in Rhode Island. I’ve spent the last 7 weeks in New Hampshire working out of our Lincoln studio and enjoyed every second of it. 
August 12, 2021
Meet Sabrina

Meet Sabrina

Lincoln, NH, the heart of the White Mountains. Sabrina Hamilton is accustomed to keeping a demanding schedule. As a licensed nursing assistant she has often worked 12-hour shifts, sometimes daily for weeks at a time. She’s also no stranger to heavily regimented routines, whether through her experience in a military family or through her past sewing work in a factory setting.
July 14, 2021
Climbing for Clean Air

Climbing for Clean Air

Christina Cozzens started off like many who catch the hiking bug in the White Mountains. The New Hampshire native wasn’t an experienced hiker at first, but she steadily built up her skills and confidence as she tackled the White Mountains 4,000-footers. Once she finished the full list of 48, she took on an even greater challenge, traveling west to summit California’s Mt. Whitney, the tallest mountain in the contiguous United States.
June 22, 2021
A Tribute to Dad

A Tribute to Dad

It all started 46 years ago this July, when Burgeon Outdoor founder Rudy Glocker hiked Mt. Washington with his father for the first time. Rudy’s father, Karl Glocker, led the family up Washington from the Ammonoosuc Ravine trailhead. The elder Glocker had hiked New England’s tallest peak many times before, and he was eager to give his children their own formative experience in the White Mountains.
June 16, 2021
Meet Dr. Adam Keul, our All American Stitcher

Meet Dr. Adam Keul, our All American Stitcher

Adam Keul has traveled all over the world over the course of his life, and he’s worn a lot of hats along the way. He’s been an elite pole vaulter, a college professor, a tourism geographer and an entrepreneur, and each chapter of his life’s story has been as interesting as the last.
 
But no matter where he’s gone or what he’s done, Keul maintained his unique passion for sewing, and now the former Olympic hopeful is making the most of his time away from academics by lending his talents to Burgeon Outdoor.
 
A fascinating life story
 
Originally from Tyler, Texas, a small city not far from the border of Louisiana, Keul was taught at a young age how to sew by his mother and grandmother. Over time he learned to sew clothes, furniture and just about everything else as he nurtured the passion alongside his other big love, track and field.
 


One of the top pole vaulters in the country, Keul starred at John Tyler High School before going on to compete collegiately at the University of New Mexico and then at Stephen F. Austin. By the time he was finished, Keul was a four-time All-American and placed second in the NCAA during the 2001 indoor season.
 
Following his graduation in 2002, Keul began training for the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens. To help support himself financially, Keul combined his track and sewing talents and started a business where he and a coach would help local track team’s repair their pole vault mats.
 
“We would go, bring all of our sewing machines and the equipment and sewed different covers,” Keul said. “It’s the kind of thing where if it gets a big rip in it, there are so few people who actually know how to sew and know how the pole vault pit is supposed to be, so it was always a win-win because we could make good money and really help out.”
 

Slovenia National Championship

Keul wound up qualifying for the Olympic Trials but not for the U.S. Olympic team, so while preparing for his next chance in 2008 he began working towards his Master’s at Arizona State and then his PhD at Florida State. In the meantime he continued pole vaulting, traveling all over the world to compete - including winning the Slovenian National Title.  He did qualify for the 2008 Olympic Trials, but he ultimately decided to end his Olympic dream to focus on the next stage of his life.  “For a long time I couldn't decide whether I wanted to be a student or an athlete, so I did both,” Keul said. “But eventually when you’re trying to write your dissertation you have to make a choice.”
 
Keul’s doctorate studies focused on tourism and geography – specifically Cajun swamp tourism like what you’d see on Swamp People – and eventually his academic work would bring him to New England. He first joined the maritime studies department at UConn Avery Point and then to nearby Plymouth State University, where he currently serves as director of the university’s Tourism Management and Policy program.
 
Currently on leave from Plymouth State, Keul has spent the last year working for various tourism-related businesses in the area, including Alpine Adventures and the Ice Castles. By joining the Burgeon Outdoor team, Keul is able to get back to his sewing roots while continuing to immerse himself into the local community.
 
Making a difference
 
As a geographer with a wealth of knowledge about the world economy, Keul understands better than most how global supply chains and economic conditions can often lead to production being moved overseas, as well as the resulting consequences. Because of that, he has a unique appreciation for Burgeon’s commitment to manufacturing apparel within the local community.
 
“I teach economic geography a lot, and that’s a class where I talk about the problems that Burgeon is trying to address,” Keul said. “So I’m well aware of how textile manufacturing occurs around the world, how the garment industry works and how there’s a reason we talk about sweatshops, so the fact that they’re trying to directly counter that story, that’s just as important of a part of it as the actual fact that I know how to sew.”
 
“And then obviously, the environmental impacts too, those can go hand in hand. The social impact and environmental impact, often we treat them like they’re two different problems, but they’re really not,” he continued. “They come from the same kind of system, so attacking it from within is more of a practical way to change the world. We spend a lot of time writing about it and theorizing but in a lot of ways this is walking the walk.”
 
In addition, Keul said he also loves getting to further immerse himself in the White Mountains community, and Burgeon has been an ideal place to do so.
 
“I knew going into it that a lot of it was going to be me fitting in with the group there and sitting around and telling stories,” he said. “So I really love it, it’s awesome.”

"Adam brings a great work ethic to Burgeon.  He is always looking to improve his skills, learn new ones, and is the first to volunteer to help out.  I can see why he was such a successful athlete.  He is a great addition to our team both for the work he does as a stitcher, but more importantly how he makes everyone at Burgeon a little bit better."  -- Burgeon Founder Rudy Glocker
 
If you’d like to meet Keul or any other member of the Burgeon Outdoor team, come on by the store. Burgeon Outdoor is open Sunday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. and on Saturday from 10 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Thanks for reading our blog.  You can save 20% on your next Burgeon order with coupon code "Adam", now through May 31st, 2021.

Meet our employees!

Cathy Duffy

Marlies Holmes

Danyal Bansar

Justin Walsh

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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.

 

May 10, 2021