Most of us have had a crush on another person at some point in life. But have you ever found yourself enamored with a company? Maybe they have the most beautiful clothes you’ve ever seen, or incredibly innovative products, or they are supporting environmental awareness in a cool way, or their employees seem to love working there. Perhaps you want to work there. Or maybe you’d prefer a shopping spree. For whatever reason, they inspire you.
When I started Traveling Ink, I wanted very much to not only provide resources for people visiting Charleston but also to provide encouragement and resources for locals to enjoy the Lowcountry more and to travel out of the area when they had the opportunity. One of the ways I envisioned that happening was through active engagement with outdoor adventure travel, hiking, and camping. These activities are a great way to enjoy a weekend with friends or family without breaking the bank. But they do require some upfront supplies... That’s where my company crushes come in. I’m excited to say a few weeks ago, they started winking back.
I became familiar with REI and Half-moon Outfitters in 2009 when I began to research and purchase gear for a trip to Burundi, Africa. I’d never been fitted for a backpacker’s pack, never owned a headlamp, or trail running shoes, or travel towels, but I spent hours online researching equipment. It all seemed so cool to me. When I got to Muramvya in Burundi, I realized quickly that having the proper gear made the experience exponentially more enjoyable. The equipment I bought was light, and well designed, and fun to use. And I bought almost all of it from REI and Half-moon.
REI is a megalith in the outdoor adventure world, but they do not make you feel small. Shopping their online and brick and mortar stores are both enjoyable experiences. I was lucky enough to be road tripping near Atlanta before my trip to Africa and made an extra pit stop just so I could shop at REI. They educated me about how a pack should fit, schooled me on the importance of sleeping pads, and showed me how the sometimes confusing strap system on Chacos works. They are a cooperative, so their members are part owners. They do a great job educating consumers and also play a big part in environmental conservation efforts.
Bouldering wall at the Half-Moon Outfitters in West Ashley. Image courtesy of Half-Moon.
Half-moon Outfitters has an amazing shop just down the road from me in West Ashley. In 1991 the founder, Beezer, wrote a business plan for an outdoor adventure store as a device to stay out of bars (that’s Beezer’s story at least). With the support of Patagonia and Beezer’s “rich uncle, Jim” the first Half-moon store became a reality. They have grown in great ways since then with exciting community events and stores all over Charleston, as well as stores in Atlanta, Savannah, Columbia, and Greenville.
A few weeks ago, Traveling Ink was approved as an affiliate for both REI and Half-Moon Outfitters, which means we can provide Traveling Ink visitors access to the same great brands and gear they do through these fantastic retailers. Needless to say, I was pumped to get this news and have been quietly building an online storefront for a couple of weeks now.
It’s not finished. So why am I announcing it now? One reason and one reason alone...REI is having their biggest sale of the year right now. It’s their anniversary sale and some products are up to 30% off. It runs until May 27th, and I don’t want Traveling Ink folks to miss out on it just because I’m not finished building the storefront.
So, pardon the construction, but go check things out as they stand right now. What you can’t see on our site yet, you can see on our affiliate’s sites. That includes Half-Moon, REI, Trek Light Gear, TriVillage, and Amazon. Sales coming from Traveling Ink visitors help support the travel site. It is my great hope that when folks are looking for a hammock, new running shoe, kayak, sleeping bag, or anything to enjoy the outdoors, they will browse to one of our affiliates' sites from Traveling Ink, and get to work on building their adventure inventory.
TRAVELING INK RETAIL AFFILIATES
Audra Gibson is a Christian, photographer, surfer, and a lover of teriyaki steak bites. She enjoys live music, doesn't like to be cold, and she's a bit of a cheese snob. Traveling Ink was her little brain child and she's very happy that you're here. She'd be oh so happy to recommend her favorite tours and attractions in town, help you with a team building event, or organize a day (or week) of fun for you and your group.Website: www.audragibson.com