We had the good fortune of connecting with Eric Phillips and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Eric, other than deciding to work for yourself, what else do you think played a pivotal role in your story?
The single most important decision I’ve made is moving to Colorado. Some context, I was 19 and working on my sophomore year of college at the University of Wisconsin – Green Bay pursuing a degree in Environmental Science. I was also working as a snowboard instructor at the nearest ski resort on the weekends, Halfway through the winter I realized that I cared more about progression my education as a snowboard instructor than any of my classes at the college. I knew then and there that I was not going down the right path and needed a major life change. I ended up finding the recreation and outdoor education program and Western Colorado University in Gunnison Co, and immediately new I needed to apply. I had this gut instinct that moving to Colorado and attending the ROE (Recreation and Outdoor Education) was what I needed in my life. I moved out here sight unseen, and really program unseen. That decision to follow my gut and take on a major life shift was the single most important decision of my career.
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
My main art/passion is my photography! I love capturing landscape photos from my home in Crested Butte and all around the Western US. Im post proud of being offered a gallery spot at the Redline Gallery in downtown Crested Butte. They believed in my photography and gave me an permanent exhibit to showcase my fine art. landscape photo prints. Getting where I am. today in my career took me a lot of time and a a whole lot of luck! It all stems from my love for photography. I was taking thousands of photos a week, uploading daily on social media, and spending countless days and nights watching editing and photo tutorials. Eventually as my work got better I began getting noticed in my community and getting intro job offers for photography. Ive learned that you always have to strive for education and to better your skill sets. Even today I spend hours and hours on editing tutorials as im always trying to improve my work. Ive also learned to be patient and let your work speak for itself. If you putting out high quality content on a consistent basis you will get noticed.
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?
For everyone that wants to come to Gunnison/Crested Butte I have some great recommendations. Hartman Rocks Recreation Area in Gunnison is my all time favorite. place! I love bringing people there as you can find fun for everyone. It has the best camping, hiking, rock climbing, mountain biking, and most importantly sunsets.. My favorite go to restaurants in Gunnison are Twisted Fork, Anejo’s, and Tributary Coffee. Roasters. High Alpine Brewery has the best brews. For Crested Butte, Butte Bagels has the best breakfast sandwiches Ive ever tasted. The Slogar and Ryce are my must eat dinner spots, and my favorite drinking establishment is the Brick Oven, For activities, my favorite MTB Trails are the 401 trail, Green Lake Trail, Doctors Park, and Happy Hour. In the spring/early summer I love paddleboarding the lower slate river, and enjoying the wildflowers on the columbine trail.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
My shoutout goes to the entirety of the Recreation and. Outdoor Education Department at Western Colorado University. Both the fellow students and faculty at Western proved so much love, support, mentorship and education. They really helped me identify my passions, build community, and most importantly showed. me how. I can turn. my passions. in the outdoors into a viable career. There is no better place to learn about the outdoor industry and how you can succeed in it. I wouldn’t be anywhere near where I am today without the all the help from the students and teachers of the ROE department. They gave me so many opportunities that. helped launch my photography and marketing career within the outdoor industry. With their help I landed the dream internships that sent my career rocketing forward.