We had the good fortune of connecting with Brooke Murray and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Brooke, what was your thought process behind starting your own business?
Getting outdoors with kids can feel intimidating. I was a single mom shortly after my oldest was born, and even though I was an outdoor athlete, I quickly became intimately familiar with some of the limiting factors that parents face when they want to get outside with kids: cost of gear, knowing how to safely adapt outdoor adventure to acclimate children, and community support.
I was talking to one of my good friends (another outdoor athlete, turned parent, Heather Rochfort), and we wanted to find a way to help support parents in leveling up their outdoor adventure with children. We co-founded WildKind, a membership community that gives families rotating gear discounts, online courses to teach outdoor skills, and in-person events to help build community.
We have also Co-Founded The WildKind Closet, a low cost seasonal gear rental to help give families access to the gear they need for outdoor adventure.
What should our readers know about your business?
My partner and I quickly learned that we were pouring endless hours into creating a valuable and helpful product, but we still had yet to create a “business model” to help make our work sustainable. There aren’t many membership communities in the outdoor industry (yet!), and so we wondered if a membership community that supports families getting outdoors would be accepted and embraced. I mean, getting outdoors is supposed to be “free”- and many of us in the industry are used to figuring things out on our own.
Early on, we learned that there were some aspects the outdoor culture that didn’t jive with the traditional “membership community” model, After polling members, and several other parents, we made some tweaks to our initial plan. Now we offer more items a la carte, so we can make sure we are serving families in the most efficient way possible.
Additionally, meet ups and events were originally one of the main focuses of WildKind. Two months before our original launch date, the world began quarantining and social distancing. We learned that we needed to pivot and stay adaptable! By paying attention to some of the unique challenges families were facing during Covid (like limited access to Ski School). we created products that could serve families under the new landscape. That being said- we are looking forward to having more events soon!
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
Denver is fantastic for families because adventure is always close by! While we love a good adventure deep into the backcountry, we understand that most families also have school, work, and soccer practice. You can have a great adventure close to home any day of the week! Some of our favorite “close to home” adventures include:
– Hiking the family friendly trail, Independence Peak and getting a bite to eat at Lariat Lodge
– Sunset SUP and picnic and Chatfield gravel ponds
– Riding bikes along the platte river to Breckenridge Brewery for dinner
Little adventures can be had everyday! Instead of only focusing on the BIG adventures, look for adventures that are close to home and accessible for midweek fun!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I’d like to shoutout to all of the other parents in our community who are also working to get outside with their families. We can’t do it alone- we lean on each other and learn from each other!
Instagram: @wildkindinc @wildkindcloset @Brooke.froelich