We had the good fortune of connecting with Drew Weingart and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Drew, what do you attribute your success to?
When it comes to the success of New Normal Works – for me it is really simple. I continually run everything through this framework; is what NNW is bringing to the world adding to human and environmental flourishing, or is it detracting from it? Being able to combine my love for all things design and materials with my deep passion for working towards human and environmental flourishing were not only the original impetuses for beginning this process, but they continue to define my definition of success as well!
Long story short – if I can put products out there that can help folks get out there and have a crazy fun time on a bike, trail run, or while sliding down snow, and continue doing that while using recycled, repurposed, and completely recyclable (at end of life) materials – well then, I am succeeding.
Alright, so for those in our community who might not be familiar with your business, can you tell us more?
One of the main differences that you’ll notice right away if you head to our website is that that we aren’t willing to compromise on materials or quality. That often means that there are higher prices and lower quantities of available products, but we are deeply proud of our ability not cut corners. That makes scaling much more difficult, but it is something we are willing to work through in order to hang onto our core values.
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?
Woof – I mean, there are really so many options here in Fort Collins. A killer way to start off is to hop on some bikes and head over to the Poudre Trail to enjoy a coffee at Wolverine Farm, Then I’d head west on the Poudre Trail to link up a big loop around town – if we’re feeling adventurous that day we could head up the dams and drop back into town via Maxwell trail. Snagging a burrito and Marg at Illegal Pete’s is always a good idea, so we couldn’t miss that! If it’s summertime, the Tuesday night City Park food trucks are a must hit, and Umami and the Silver Seed are always my go to’s. I definitely recommend dropping into the Topo Designs store downtown too; it’s always fun to stop by the store see what they’re up to. And who knows – you may see Jedd, Rick, or some of the rest of the crew cruising through. Also, if you can find some time to stop by Bender Bicycles I can promise that your mind will be blown. Will is doing some amazing things over there, and everything that he’s bringing to the table is the real deal – seriously. is If you have a chunk of time, I’d definitely recommend heading up Poudre Canyon, as the Poudre River is actually Colorado’s only “Wild and Scenic River,” and it is a killer drive! Once you’re up that way, you might as well head all the way up to Cameron Pass where you’ll be wowed by the gorgeous high alpine terrain. There are plenty of amazing hikes and bike rides up that way, but listing all of those would take way too long. Finally, when you get back to town, you’re gonna have to stop off at Brave New Wheel for a bike tune up, but you’ll end up staying for the beers and trash talk; how else would you want your local bike shop to work?
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
Absolutely! I originally fell in love with materials, bags, accessories, and began seeing what was possible while working at the Topo Designs retail store here in Fort Collins, CO. I was over there for ~3 years, and the friends that I still have over there have been so helpful throughout this entire process. Jedd, Topo’s co-founder, sat down with me a time or two over a beer and just let me pick his brain about design, production, etc. Endlessly grateful for those chats. Also – knowing that I was deeply passionate about repurposing and recycling fabrics – they passed a ton of material my way that they could no longer use. Lots of the bags that I’m still making today have a panel or two of Topo’s old repurposed 1000d Cordura on them! My buddy, Rick, over there also reached out late last year to see if I would jump on a fun project with them to make some custom tweaks to one of their cooler bags for a killer, local athlete, Quinn Brett. Super fun! Couldn’t be more grateful for their continued support and advice along the way; that crew is the real deal.