If you haven’t figured it out by now… I LOVE the outdoors and adventure seeking, and it is pretty safe to say that if I won the lottery that a pretty significant chunk of that money would be spent on outdoor gear and adventures. I’ve been a member at REI since 2010, loving the culture and expertise available from the staff and the quality of the brands they carry.
It wasn’t until the news of her passing away this week, that I learned about her remarkable story and that she lived to be 107, an achievement in itself, which many attribute to her love of the outdoors, nature, and philosophies on life.
I first heard about her passing from an NPR broadcast, but it was also the first I was hearing about her remarkable life as well. Mary and her husband Lloyd started their co-op in 1938 with a $30 loan. Their mission along with the 21 other members was to bring quality affordable products to those who wanted to invest in health, happiness, and the great outdoors. She was a Seattle school teacher and climbing activist, and she was fortunate enough to find a passion which became a career, her passion for helping others and doing what she loved is empowering and something that I greatly admire. Women leaders and business owners 🙂 woo! (Especially considering she retired at 58 and spent the last 49 years of her life enjoying retirement)
In doing a bit of digging and reading this week on Mary, I found the REI Blog which has definitely made its way on to my favorites bookmark, and I also found this interesting tidbit of information Jim Whittaker, the first American to summit Mount Everest, was hired as the first full-time employee of REI and served as CEO during the 1960s.
Cheers to Mary and her legacy, an inspirational and empowering woman who knew a thing or two about prosperity and doing what you love.