What do you do when the gap between your perception of running and how brands represent it is incredibly immense? For Brett Farrell of Territory Run Co., it meant starting his own thing to feel less alone.
Welcome to Stitched Together, a new series where we have the rad opportunity to sit down with the founders, owners, and big minds behind some of our favorite brands inside (and mousse outside of) the running community. First up, I got in touch with Brett Farrell owner and founder of one of Portland, Oregon’s on-the-rise yet already-premier trail running contingents, Territory Run Co.
What first struck me about Brett was the fact that he wished to do this feature face-to-face. After a quick back-and-forth, we found a time for me to swing by Territory’s North Portland HQ, situated quietly under the St. John’s Bridge with an inspirational view of Forest Park licking your eyes from just across the Willamette River. Pulling up to the shop on a rainy Portland morning, a sense of belonging and “shit, this is gonna be good,” filled the wet air.
“There was a gap between the feelings I had about running, and what the brands at the timer were portraying,” Brett mentions as we start diving into the nitty gritty, pushing past initial niceties and the handshake moment. “I wanted to paint a different picture of being more chill and exploring the outdoors. It’s about having a good time in the outdoors… and running is the vehicle for that.”
There is a distinct honesty and uncanny relatability to Brett’s origin story for Territory Run Co. If you see something in the market you don’t vibe with, or you see a huge gap in what is being represented and how you feel, chances are, you are not the only one. As our conversation inevitably ventured into the trail running space, Territory’s bread and butter and chief audience, Brett began to explain, “If you talk to non-runners…non-trail runners, they would see [trail running] as extreme. There’s a gap between extreme and approachable to a lot of people.”
Territory, which takes inspiration from Southern California surf/moto/lifestyle brands, embraces the “everyone is welcome, and we’re just here to make sure you feel a part of the community” vibe. “From day 1, I wanted this brand to be about the community,” Brett explains. And with Forest Park as Territory’s unofficial playground, where the brand regularly hosts group runs for all skill levels, it’s hard to argue differently. There is literally a trail in Forest Park for ANY type of runner. Look it up and try to fight me on it. And if that’s not enough, Brett and crew have even put together a Beginner’s Guide to Trail Running to further assist anyone/everyone to lace up and get lost.
While Brett and his lean and community-focused crew continue to grow Territory, while welcoming new and seasoned trail runners from all over the world, he leaves us with one insanely relatable thought:
We’re constantly being pulled into the machine of making money, and the stress in that, and all the bullshit in the world: When you step outside of that and into the outdoors and running, that goes away.
Sit back, break out the theragun or footbath or TENS unit or roller, wipe the mud off your calves, and enjoy a chill and enlightening chat with Brett Farrell, live and direct from the Territory HQ in Portland, Oregon.
Follow Territory’s journey:
All right. I think we’re good to go. I dunno if it’ll matter. Maybe, um, as if we, if we keep on touching this, that might Oh, maybe do, I can, um, put like a shirt underneath. Oh, that might be good. Yeah, like a beanie or something, whatever. Just, uh, like one of these. Yeah, I don’t, I don’t know. That might help.
Good call. Yeah. I like this one.
There you go. Seems good. Yeah, I like how
small that one is. Seems precarious. The one I have is like, like this big. Oh, nice. .
All right, sweet. Um, so we’ll just start at the top, I guess, uh, brief introductions, who you are and, and where we’re based. So
just kick us off. Yeah. I’m Brett, I’m the owner of Territory in Portland, Oregon.
We’re in. , our territory shop location here in St. John’s in, uh, in Portland, right across from Boris Park, staring at the rain falling right now. Sweet. In a brewery.
Yep. Yep. Nice. Awesome. Um, so what do you, uh, what do you officially do here? What, what is your, uh, official title at
Territory? Yeah, I’m the owner, founder.
Um, I kinda. have my, my hands in a little bit of everything.
That was your next question. What’s
your, what do you actually do? ? Yeah, . We’re, we’re a bit of a, we’re, we’re a lean operation here, so we have, um, three part-time employees, um, and they handle, like managing the fulfillment and shop here. That’s Thomas.
And then, um, Mack does. social media and Allie, who’s been with us the longest, handles our customer service and, um, custom projects. And I, so I do kind of everything else, so Nice. The marketing, the product development, um, but definitely among product testing. Product testing, yeah. And getting, getting input from our employees on kind of everything, right.
So I’m just like, I also use them just to like be my. , um, just, yeah, sounding board on, on ideas and, and products and product development.
Nice. Yeah. Awesome. Yeah. I’ve met Allie. Uh, well, I didn’t meet Allie. I, I sent an email to customer service because I was so stoked on the hat. I got the, the blue one and I, I wore in a marathon.
I was like, look, I’m representing, and she was like, sweet. Good to see. And then I met Mac at the photo shoots. Yeah. Just Thomas’s left. Yeah. . All right. Great stuff. Um, so what did you do before this? What, uh, what was territory or what did you do before? Territory?
Um, yeah, it’s completely. Completely different, uh, background.
So I studied psychology in school and then, um, my thought was I was gonna like, use that to be like a counselor or like a cool, eventually get cool. My MSW masters in social work. Um, my first job outta college was working with, um, Uh, adolescents living in a group home back in New York. Oh wow. And so, yeah, completely different kind of world.
Um, and then I moved out to Portland after traveling abroad for a year and, uh, just kind of started at square one, um, where my interests were at, which was working at a, running a running shop. So I got a job at a running shop. Um, is it still around?
Yeah. Yeah. Which one? Foot traffic. Oh, foot traffic. Yeah.
Yeah, and I was also working part-time working with, uh, homeless youth in Portland. Oh, wow. Nice. So I was like still like maintaining that kind of, uh, uh, direction. Mm-hmm. . But then the running took over . Yeah. Yeah, definitely. It just, uh, yeah. Once I was working at the shop, I got started to get ideas.
I started to see some, like gaps in the, the industry. Yeah. And, um, , that’s, yeah. Making that decision to work at a running shop is what led me to start territory. Okay,
cool. Um, so you said you moved to Portland. Why, why Portland? Why here? Why the
Pacific Northwest? Yeah. So two reasons. So when I was traveling, I was in New Zealand, uh, and I, like, I wasn’t meeting that many Americans, but the Americans that did meet.
You gotta check out Portland, Oregon. Okay. . Interesting. I was like, really? Why? You know? Yeah. I didn’t know anything about it at that time, but my, my sister had moved out to Seattle the year prior, so before I was in New Zealand, I visited Seattle. Um, and she was living in downtown Seattle and she was in a, a building.
And the first thing I did, um, when I got there was go to the top of the building the roof and saw Rainier for the first time. Oh yeah. I had never seen, yeah. A mountain like that coming from New York, um, . Totally. And it was just mind blowing. It just kind of like was, uh, a big attracting force pulling me to the northwest.
Yeah, definitely. Yeah. That’ll do it. Yeah. . Yeah. It, it’s one of those things that makes this place so special is like, I get to Council Crest a lot like I was saying and like on a clear day, if you’re running up there, you get to see Hood Rainier, um, Washington and um, shit, what’s the other one? I dunno.
There’s one other one and you can just like see ’em off from Adams. Yeah, Adams. Yeah. Yeah. It’s it and it’s just, yeah, it’s incredible. It’s kind of what brought me up here too. It’s just like different place. Yeah. From, spent the last 10 years in San Diego. But, um, yeah, like see it was
nice down there, being able to see like peaks like that from city just.
I think, uh, I’ve always thought of it as like, it just pulls you out there. Yeah, totally. When you’re, when you’re constant looking at it, you’re like, all right, yeah, I’m going, yeah. I
gotta go do something about that . Yeah, totally. Um, okay, cool. So that’s kind of like the, uh, introduction, a little bit about you.
So, um, I wanna get into the brand a little bit more. Um, when did it officially start and let’s gimme some origin
stories. Yes. So nine years ago, like almost exactly is when I started working on it. Um, I had quit, quit my job, and then, um, went on a little road trip to kind of like, uh, cleanse the pallet , uh, just to like get some, get some ideas brewing.
And I, I had the idea like start a trail running brand for a couple years before that. Yeah, I got into, I got more into trail running. living in Portland, did my first 50 K in Wyoming and just started to see the culture and like, I was like, oh man, this is, this is pretty rad. Yeah, there’s like a clear difference between what I was exposed to prior when just road running, right.
Culture and like I just wanted to, wanted to be a part of it. I wanted to soak it up as much as I could. And also just coming from the running shop, I saw this, like, this gap in terms of like, um, the, the feeling. that I had about running mm-hmm. that wasn’t being portrayed, uh, by other brands at the time.
Mm-hmm. , it is a little bit more now, but like more about the experience in the outdoors, more about like this like kind of laid back culture. Mm-hmm. rather than like runners were always kind of, cast as like these type A, um, rigid personalities. Yeah. And that wasn’t what I was seeing in, in, in my experience of, of running totally trail running.
Yeah. Um, so I wanted to like paint a different picture of like just more chill. Yeah. This is like, this is about just like exploring the outdoors. Yeah. It’s about like pushing your limits a little bit, um, or a lot, but uh, it’s more just about. just having a good time. Yeah. In the outdoors. Okay. And, and running is, is the vehicle.
Yeah. For that.
Definitely. Well, it kind of gets into my next question about what needs you see in the market that you thought territory could help fill? So it’s really about like taking it from sort of like always on being extreme to like go do your thing kind of. Yeah.
Yeah. I mean there and there is like, like if you talk to non um, runners or even.
like trail runners, like Yeah. They think, they think of this as extreme. Mm-hmm. . Um, and there there are definitely elements of, of that. Yeah. Um, but yeah, that’s not like that, that, that’s not like how I identify as a runner. Mm-hmm. , I don’t feel like what I do is extreme. Um, and lately definitely not at all.
But, um, yeah, I, I just think there’s, there was a, yeah, a gap in terms. Of that as well. I’m just like, this doesn’t have to be extreme. This, this, this can be approachable to
Yeah. A lot of people. Okay, that’s good. Um, so, uh, in terms of brands you saw out there as inspiration for, for territory, who are you
Um, yeah, basically, um, any brand that wasn’t in the running world. . Okay. Um, so I was looking in like, like the surfing industry a lot. like. Yeah, a lot of like California, like motorcycle surf brands. Okay. Is where I was like looking a lot
like, uh, I’m trying to think of iron and resin. Iron and
That’s one was one that I always looked at. Yeah. And yeah, still look at as like just a great, uh, just have a great. Great branding, great imagery. Yeah. Um, for the, the lifestyle and culture of, of what they’re trying to,
instead of hitting you over the like head with, it’s all about motorcycles. It’s about like the adjacent lifecycle.
Yeah. It’s about, it’s about like hanging out with your, your dudes super. Yeah. Totally. More than it is about the
motorcycles. Yeah. I like that. Again, it’s like, that’s like
literally the vehicle. in this case, but yeah, it’s, it’s more about just being with your, your people.
Yeah. Okay. Um, so story behind the name, why territory,
Yeah. The name was a struggle to, to come up with. Like it kind of held up launching Yeah. The brand for a while. I was like, uh, interesting. Yeah, I think so. I had the idea like in October, 2013 and didn’t officially launch until. F 2014. Um, just, and like I was launching like very on a very simple basic level of just like one t-shirt design.
So like I could have done it right a lot sooner, but didn’t, didn’t have a name. Um, and therefore couldn’t come up with a design. Yeah. . Um, just designing like that’s,
mountain up there. You’re right, right. . Um, so yeah, it was like, it ended up being, , my roommate at the time, like, I would always just like be spitballing with her ideas.
Um, and I was like, really, uh, stuck on the words, like boundless. Mm-hmm. , like, I wanted that to be the feeling, but didn’t, it didn’t sound like the brand name. Yeah. Um, so I was just playing with Boundless for a while. Um, just like kind of the, the freedom element of being in the outdoors. And my roommates said territory.
Yeah, that’s it. Is that taken? Yeah. And after like months, um, it was literally like, uh, months. Um, it was just like, that’s it. Nice. And I don’t know if it came up before and I passed over it. Yeah. But, um, once I heard it at that time, it was just like, yeah, we’re
doing it. I like how that happens when you just like, hear a word or something.
You’re just like, yeah, that, that makes perfect sense to me.
Yeah. Yeah. I like that. Yeah. We even had a, um, I had like 10 or 15 people over my house to have like a. kind of post-it note like party of like trying to figure out the name. Yeah. And after all this, like all these people like writing on post-it notes and we had it up on the wall.
Nothing, never . Yeah. We got, got a lot of cool words that ended up like being a part of the brand, but Sure. Not the, the
name. Any, uh, any like top contenders that you remember that it could have been?
if it’s a trade secret, like you’re giving up for a line. Don’t. One was, uh, fi uh, okay. Because my one roommate at the time was, uh, spent some time in Norway, so that was her, her idea. And I really liked it because like, it just feels cool. Fi, f i e l f I think it’s fj. Oh, like, okay. Now, now I don’t even remember the spelling, but it’s Fj e l or fj?
E l l. Okay. Um. . I was just picturing like Americans just calling it fgl. Sure. Fg.
Yeah. Yeah. Oh, it’s a new energy supplement.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. So it didn’t, didn’t make the cut. And plus like, I don’t really have any ties to Norway. So yeah, it was, it was sense. Almost
likes performative in its own sense. Like it just sounds cool in another culture.
mine. Yeah. Yeah. Interesting. Um, so I guess we kind of touched on this, but like in a, in so many words, what do you think is territory’s major differentiator in the. .
Yeah. I, I think it’s always been, um, our branding, um, kind of the stuff I’ve just, just highlighted, but mm-hmm. also, just that we’re, we’re a small in operation, um, that’s just kind of like homegrown community oriented.
Yes. Um, you know, like, yeah, we’re not, I think we’re closer to a running shop in terms of like community oriented than we are, like, um, to a, a bigger brand. Um, but yeah, I think, I think we’ve kind of like mixed those two elements together. A brand and a local, local shop. Cool. Um, yeah, I, I don’t think there’s really much of that.
And also, yeah, there’s really not, um, Still, there’s not much in terms of like another trail running brand. Yeah, I’ve noticed that. Yeah. You know, like I envision there’d be like a lot more popping up over the years, like that are like really just tied to trail running specifically. Um, but we’re, yeah, pretty much still the only trail running specific.
Brand. Like I, and that’s been my thing is just like, kind of just stick in our, our spot. Yeah. Not try to be something else. Yeah. Um, not try to, you know, um, cater to a different different market. Like I, I wanted to create this for, for trail runners and I think that’s, that’s what we do well and that’s
Yeah, definitely. I like that. Which is a perfect segue cause I set it up, um, , how does community in the natural. , uh, play into the brand. So, uh, like how do you, how do you work that in? What’s, what’s the
significance of it? Yeah, I mean, it’s, it’s kind of, yeah, everything, I mean in terms of our, our natural environment, like, um, that’s what’s been so cool about getting this location in St.
John’s had, being close to Forest Park. Mm-hmm. and Forest Park is a big part of our brand from like day one. That’s, you know, where we were going to take photos and, um, it’s just, it’s been our, it’s our playground here in Portland. Um, but it’s definitely. , I think just it’s, it has matched up with our brand just because it’s, it’s here.
Mm-hmm. like that, that kind of moody northwest vibe has always been a part of Yeah. Our, our brand imagery as well. Um, moody, Northwest Vibe. Yeah. Yeah. , I like that. Yeah. And then, yeah, I mean, community. Yeah. It’s, it’s definitely been my, um, one of. , yeah. Priorities and interests is like from day one, I wanted this to be like a community thing and I don’t know if I’ve succeeded in that entirely in the way that I wanted to.
Mm-hmm. , um, uh, just cuz like you get caught up in so many other things, uh, aspects of the business. Totally. Like, yeah. I like, and that’s been great recently in the last year with, with our shop here, like being able to host, host runs here. Yeah. But yeah, in the past it was our sunrise runs, which. , uh, had an awesome following and we were having like, you know, big, big turnouts on nice, our monthly sunrise runs.
Um, but yeah, we want to, we’re just still trying to figure out more ways to, to get involved in community and yeah, meeting people face to face as a, as an online business, it’s like so much of it is, is. me. Yeah. In front of a computer. Totally. I don’t love that. Yeah. So .
Yeah. No, that’s why I was so stoked that, uh, you wanted to do this i l or in real life, um, versus the typed out.
Exactly, man. Yeah. I mean, that’s like, it’s not everything. Like I, yeah. I mean, I don’t have any interest in typing out. Right. Totally. The story to you, like, like I, I want to, this is, this is way more Yeah. Definitely fun for me to like actually meet you and Yeah.
Plus I get to check out this. Yeah, exactly.
Cool. Okay, so this one’s kind of interesting. What is like the, the uniqueness, um, of the community here and the landscape specifically here, that you can translate or makes aspirational to the rest of the world? Like why, how are you convincing people from not here to buy the brand or buy
into the brand?
Yeah. I mean, I, I don’t think, um, I mean Portland is in, uh, the Northwest is definitely a part of our, our brand identity. Mm-hmm. and like, um, I mean, yeah, I was just looking at our recent graphics. One is Oregon and one is specific Northwest. Mm-hmm. . I’m like that, that’s like the first time that we’ve really done such a specific design to our, our area.
Um, but yeah, I think, I think what we, what we do is try to appeal. To trail runners everywhere. And, um, yeah, I mean, we have people internationally buying our stuff and all, all over the US and, um, yeah. And I think that’s the message that we send isn’t, isn’t tied to really our area. It’s, it’s tied to trail runners and it’s tied to like, just like the struggles of the everyday person.
Like, like one of the, like the messages that I’ve always tried to put out. like that. Like we’re constantly being pulled into the, the machine of like making money and, um, and the stress in that and like all the, the bullshit in, in the world. And there’s like, when you step outside of that and are in the outdoors and running like that goes away.
Totally. And that’s like, that’s the message I’m always trying to push. Yeah. Just like that’s like the more human. Um, real life kind of, yeah. thing that I’m, that I’m seeking in my life, and I think a lot of people are seeking in theirs. And, um, and that’s I think, ultimately the message that people are gonna out to.
Yeah. Yeah. It’s almost like, yeah. When you’re on the trail. I, I, I think about that a lot. Like, I, I like to say I win a lot of hypothetical arguments in my head when I run . Like all that shit, like, I wish I should have said. Um, but yeah, it’s like you’re on the trail, it’s, that’s your territory, no one else is.
Mm-hmm. . Right. So that kind of relates to the brand name. Um, what’s been the biggest. For the brand since
launching? Yeah. I mean, honestly, our, our latest, latest, I mean, it’s fresh in my mind, but our doing teas in Oregon has, has been, it’s awesome. Like, on my mind for since the beginning of like, how can I, how can I make stuff as close to home as possible?
Yeah. Talking about community and, and that like, that was like the ultimate of having shirts made here. Mm-hmm. in our own state, in our own community. . That feels like, like a big, a big wind for me. Uh, unfortunately it doesn’t look like we’re gonna be able to do it again. Yeah. , the factory has not been able to, um, continue.
Um, they’ve been open for, for a few years, but mm-hmm. , um, costs were too high and, yeah. Bummer. Luckily we squeaked in there before they, they had to close down. .
Oh man. That’s a bummer. Yeah. Um, yeah, I, I got a couple of those shirts from this photo shoot and I absolutely love ’em, and I like, haven’t taken this off wearing the Beanie
And then, um, yeah, the shirt’s like my daughter’s even, she’s three, but she’s like, these are soft and she wants to wear ’em too, so they’re a hitter in the house. Awesome. Thank you for those. Um, so conversely, I guess maybe this is kind of the same, in the same vein, but what’s been the biggest learning? So opportunity for the brand outside of
Yeah, man, I mean, there’s always, there’s always so much to learn. Uh, I’m at a point where I’m like, I gotta, I gotta get back to figuring new stuff out. Mm-hmm. , you know, like the e-commerce world, the social media world, just like you, you can like coast that for only so long Yeah. Under your amount of education you have around it, and then you have to go back and, and learn a lot more.
Yeah. Like, so right now, like, um, I’m trying to learn tac . Oh yeah. Which is probably not where you’re going with this question, but it’s just like, Hey, anyway, it’s like, man, you. . Like that’s where people are at now. Yeah. Um, and, um, we, our brand really grew on Instagram. Mm-hmm. , that’s how we got a following in the beginning was, was definitely Instagram.
And it was like, it was organic. It wasn’t like we were paying for ads at the time. It was just, it was easy Yeah. For people to kinda latch onto us and now it’s, it’s not that case at all. Instagram or, or other platforms. But um, it seems like TikTok is the new Instagram on the TikTok. Yeah, I gotta That’s right here.
Gotta learn that, turn out stuff and try to try to reach people there with our, with our
messaging. Yeah, exactly. Yeah. I, I, uh, I used to work at a SASS company, a software company in, in San Louis Obispo. And, uh, we were trying to get into the TikTok world and I was like, look, I’m just like the manager guy.
You guys take care of this. I just pilot, like, just push it off onto the younger kids and like, I don’t know if it, is it funny. Just do it. I don’t know. Yeah. . So, um, in terms of sustainability then, for the product, I know you were talking about, um, you know, maiden Oregon, which is awesome. Um, but how much does that play into, into the production?
Yeah. I mean, um, yeah, so our current, our current fabric rts is recycled polyester, um, infuse recycled coffee grounds, which, um, definitely has. some good sustain sustainable elements. Um, unfortunately for like textiles in general mm-hmm. , like, no matter how you do it, it’s not like a clean process. Right. Even the best are like, we’re still contributing to the problem.
So it’s like, all right, how do we, how do we make it the least problematic as possible? Yeah. Um, and yeah, so I mean, we’re trying to incorporate that. , I mean, every product we have, um, it’s, it’s hard, but it’s like, definitely like anytime I talk to a, a factory or uh, a textile nil, I’m trying to go to go in that direction.
Mm-hmm. . Um, so yeah, hopefully our, our shorts and our hats are gonna be incorporating recycled nice recycled materials and, um, um, yeah. I mean, I, I want that to be in every product
we have. Yeah. Yeah. Good call. All right, so let’s get into some future state. Um, since we’re talking about sort of down the line, um, five years from now, territory will be blank.
What’s, what does the future state look like ideally?
Yeah, I mean, I, I envision now us being, um, just growing on our essential core products like our, our tees, our shorts, uh, our hats having like, um, multiple styles in each that. one, a little more lifestyle oriented, one, a little more performance oriented.
Mm-hmm. , um, for kind of every product category. And, um, and then just having our website be a little bit more of like a, a welcoming trail running marketplace for, um, yeah. New trail runners or really any, anybody who’s a trail runner. Mm-hmm. . So like, I would love people to come to our site as they’re just getting into trail running to not just find our products, but.
Other products as well that they’re gonna help their, their trail running journey. Nice.
Um, what’s a good setup then for, uh, the, the plans to diversify the offerings? So build on core products, but is there any, any rumors about footwear or anything else coming down?
No. Yeah, I’ve never had interest in, in doing footwear.
It’s just a two, it’s too much. Yeah. . Um, but like, I’d love to, to figure out a way to offer. , uh, other brands, footwear, yeah. Through our site. Mm-hmm. . Um, so yeah, it would, it would change, um, change our model a little bit, but, um, yeah. I would love at least like to have some like, core shoes that like Yeah.
Really make sense with our, with our brand and with our community to, to
offer on our site. Yeah. That makes sense. Um, I’m, I’m sure you’ve seen or maybe not the, uh, the satisfy running x norta com. Collaboration, anyone in mind for a territory collaboration?
Um, yeah. We, I always like, um, I’m trying to, to get new, um, yeah, new ideas for collaborations.
Um, but yeah, nothing, nothing’s on the. The table right now. But yeah, that’s definitely, uh, always a good idea to collaborate with other
companies to just start with like a local pizza place and just do like some stickers and start there. It’s
so small. . Yeah. Our last, our last one was with, uh, gooder. Okay.
Yeah. Yeah. The sunglasses. Yeah. We did, uh, a collab with, uh, true Gear a few years ago. They’re local Portland brand. They, they’re more back country skiing. Oh, cool. Back country snowboard. Nice. So we did a
hat with them. Awesome. Um, any more plans for, uh, further brick and. Is that a, is that appealing? You wanna set up shop anywhere else?
No, no. Yeah. I mean, we’re definitely like an online company operation. Um, but there, there’s always been that idea, um, to be more of, a little bit more of like a running shop. Okay. You know, like if we, if we were gonna offer shoes on our website once one day mm-hmm. , I think it would also make sense just to have a little bit of a storefront where we could offer in person.
Gotta try those out. Yeah. Yeah. Having a place to try on and, um, and then that opens the door for just like a whole lot more community interaction. Yeah. And, um, yeah. I, I would love that. Nice. All right.
Um, okay, so spreading bit, uh, the love a bit into the industry. Um, what other brands in the space are you seeing provide, um, value to the lives of trail runners and basically runners in general?
What are the brands are doing it right, I guess, in.
Yeah, I mean, I think, um, a lot of brands have shifted over the years, um, to really offer great, great products for, for trail running. Mm-hmm. . Um, yeah, I think, I think Solomon has always done a killer job. Like, I think I’ve always been a big fan of what they’re doing and especially like their content over the years, like a.
That’s, that’s really what I’ve loved is their, their, their films and, um, their portrayal of trail running. Um, it’s good shit. Yeah, yeah, yeah. Like, and, and that’s, and that’s I think is like one of the most important things. Yeah. I mean, gear is, is all a part of it, but, um, yeah, I mean, showing what it’s like out there and showing like human stories I think is one of.
Yeah. Aspects of it. It’s that connection. Um, so any runners out there that we should be keeping an eye on? Any, any names come to mind?
Um, yeah, actually, actually Mac here just interviewed, uh, rich Lockwood. Okay. Um, and Max’s in the room for the listeners. . Uh, yeah. And, uh, yeah, just kinda, um, started hearing about him last year and it’s, he’s off to like a really.
Awesome. Start. Okay. Excited to, uh, to read Max’s interview. Nice. .
All right. You going out for a run? Yep. All right, man.
We got my key. Cool .
Um, okay. So I’m trying to, so one of the points of this too is to, uh, sort of like offer advice and offer aspirational, um, insights for, for runners, amateur runners, um, runners looking to get sponsored or run for a brand.
Since you’re the founder and owner of this one, um, what advice would you offer to, to runners looking to get into that? ,
I would say, um, reach out to the brand directly. Um, you know, like I think early on I would get emails, um, from people asking about sponsorship, and it was like, um, yeah, it was just, and still to this day, it’s just like, it’s way easier for me to engage with someone, um, when they email me versus like if it.
to like a direct message on Instagram? Just, yeah, it’s just, um, there’s just so much going on on social media. It’s hard to like, make a priority to like, um, read all those Yeah. Comments. So like, I think it, it always makes sense to reach out directly. Um, but yeah, in terms of like, um, yeah, just their, what they’re doing, it’s, it’s, it’s, for us, it’s not so much about like, are you winning races?
It’s like, , it’s what your style is, is it’s what kind of person you are. Mm-hmm. , it’s, it’s always hard to gauge that, um, unless you’re talking to someone live, you know? Totally. Um, you don’t really know what someone’s like over social media. Yeah. Um, so yeah, I think it’s like, it’s about like trying to get a phone call.
Yeah. Like, I mean, I feel like that’s, that’s how I still operate. Like I want to talk to people over the phone rather than email. Yeah. . It’s just personal touch to it. Yeah, yeah, definitely. I want to have, wanna have more contact. Yeah. Especially like when I’m working in front of a computer all day, it’s just like, it’s just a nice break to, to have those conversations.
Talk to someone. Yeah. Yeah. So it’s less about like race accomplishments and potentially like social media followership and it’s more about judge a
character and Yeah. I what you’re providing to the community. I mean, yeah. I don’t wanna lie and say it’s not about race performance and. , there’s some element, all that.
Yeah. Yeah. That’s gotta be a part of it. Yeah, to an extent or, yeah. Or like just the following. Uh, there, there has to be something about them that is going to be, uh, noteworthy. Right. Totally. So.
Okay. Um, cool. That’s kind of all the brand specific questions. I just have a couple personal questions, just add a little bit of color on, on you.
Yep. Yourself. Um, so, uh, in terms of your running style, what type of running gets you going most? What, what’s your favorite type? . Um,
I think I know the answer. Yeah. So right, right now. Um, so yesterday was my first run in like 30 days. Oh wow. Covid. And it just like wrecked me. Oh geez. Sorry to hear you. Just like low energy for I think I, I’ve, uh, figured out I had medium Covid
Okay. Medium Co. I like it. I found an article about Medium Code. It was like, I think that’s what I had, but feeling better now. Um, but yeah, like, um, so. Where I got Covid was our run Camp . Oh, wow. And, uh, at that, that’s like, that’s my, that’s kind of my ideal running like, you know, 10 to 12 mile runs, like in absolutely stunning places.
Yeah. Um, and running with, with good people. Like, I think my, yeah. Still my favorite thing to do, like even like on a Saturday morning is just to like, run with like one, one good buddy. Yeah. do like, you know, eight to 12 miles. Yeah. Um, usually in Forest Park. Yeah. Yeah. Lately, yeah. Forest Park, um, like yeah, a few years ago I was always going out to the Gorge.
Um, oh yeah. And hopefully I’ll get back into that. I’ve had just a few like life projects that have gotten in the way, house projects and, uh, it’s a commitment to get out there. Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. It’s definitely more, and I’m looking forward. When that’s done, just to getting, getting really back into, into running.
Nice. Cause it’s, it’s been, it’s been kind of sidelined for a while. Yeah. I mean, first starting territory was like really consuming and then, uh, for some reason I, I chose to buy a house that was a complete remodel and uh, and then chose to so hard, what are you talking about? then chose to, uh, build out my basement from scratch to make that an apartment.
Oh, so sweet. Like I’ve had. Some tiny project, big projects. Yeah. That, that I’ve chose to do myself too. Right. I’m not like, oh, wow, you’re not hiring it up. Right. Yeah. That’s, and that’s, I think that’s like just my personality, like I, like in starting my own business, it’s like, it’s this like diy. Yeah. Kind of.
I want, I want to survive on my own. I want, I want to see what it’s like to like do it myself. Yeah. And there’s a, there’s some faults in there, , but you know, it’s learning. Yeah. But yeah, I love, I love that process. Of, of starting something and also, um, yeah, learning and getting my hands dirty. Yeah,
Um, in terms of the, uh, the runs in Forest Park, what’s, uh, if you, if you’re willing to share your favorite loops or favorite trails,
what do you Yeah. What’s your go to? Yeah, so it’s, it’s like a lot of people’s, the Maple Trail in Forest Park. Okay. It seems like it’s, uh, everybody’s favorite, but yeah, it’s definitely mine.
Um, yeah, I do like a. , eight mile loop. That’s like the go-to.
Okay. Yeah. Is that Maple is south
of Dogwood, right? Yeah. So I, uh, I start on, um, wait, maple I’m trying to fix, right? Yeah. A little bit north. I start, I start on uh, um, Salzman. Oh yeah. Okay. It’s kinda like mid Mid park. Mid park,
yeah. Yeah, exactly.
Yeah. Okay, cool. I usually start down by cumber. Um, or at Washington Park. Oh, yeah. Over on that Saturday hill. But, yeah. Um, cool. So what is some, uh, I want to ask you this specifically, cause you own an apparel shop, but what’s some running gear you can’t live without?
Ah, good question. Um, yeah, the, I mean, I’ll plug our own stuff.
Our hats . Cool. Our, our gorge cap has always been my favorite. It’s like, uh, doesn’t sell anywhere near as like our long haul cap. Mm-hmm. , but it’s always been. Favorite style? Which one is the, um, the one on the bottom, bottom left shelf there. Oh, yeah. Yeah. Okay. Um, just kinda like your, more like classic, classic hat style.
Yeah. Um, but yeah, the long haul cap, the five panel cap is way more, yeah. Like, uh, that’s, that’s what’s in right now. Okay. Um, yeah. So as far as shoes, um, like I was in Ultras for all, like basically when I first started trail running. Yeah. Up until. , I guess last year, um, my, my toes just got, got wider because, because of the shoe and haven’t Yeah.
Wasn’t able to switch to anything else, but I Oh wow. I just, interesting. Uh, Thomas, who works here, uh, had to be, try out the north face Okay. Vector shoes and. and it’s totally worked for me. I’m like, I’m hooked on those. So that’s
awesome. Yeah. Yeah. I’ve noticed in the last year my, uh, I would used to be like an eight and a five or eight and a five, 8.5, eight and a half, um, like flat across the board.
And since running more competitively, I like nine, nine and a half. I can’t fit eight and a half . Hell happened to my feet, man. I know toenails left, but I guess, uh, whatever. Um, all right. So in terms of keeping yourself motivated when you. Like, when things get hard, what’s your, uh, what’s your go-to quote that you like to tell yourself?
Oh, that’s a good one. Yeah. So, um, so early on when I first started Territory, I interview, interviewed Yasin Dub Boon. Okay. And, uh, he told me what he used and I just fucking love it. Um, his was like, I’m, I’m made for this. Um, oh, nice. Like that. Like he, he would, I think he, he said he was using. During his Western states, um, like top 10 finish.
Mm-hmm. , um, you know, and his story was like, you know, he’s got roots, um, from Morocco and you know, where it’s super warm and there’s heat and um, you know, he’s running Western states and the heat and so he is just like, I’m made for this. Yeah. Like, I’m made for this. And uh, obviously I don’t have a lot of those stor background stories.
that just stuck with me of like, whenever I’m like in a hard time in, in a race, um, something like that comes out and yeah. It works so well. Nice. Like I’m a, I’m a big believer in, in those, like, those mantras. Yeah. Because like you’re, the mind is like, it’s, it’s malleable. Like you can, you can make it do what you want it to do.
Yeah. As long as you can coach yourself a little bit, you know? Yeah. Look at whim H too, right? Yeah, man. Breathe through anything. . Absolutely. Yeah. The, the other one, uh, I stole from, um, um, oh God, uh, Lauren Fleischman, who Okay. Uh, uh, was, I saw her run at the Olympic trials in 2012, I think. Mm-hmm. . And I saw the post run, the interview, um, and her, her mantra was, um, or no, her, her visualization was the.
Mm-hmm. , uh, and the person interviewing her was like, oh, like you’re being traced by a lion? And she’s like, no, I am the lion. Oh, . And, and like, and like visualizing like, um, just like a strong animal like that. Yeah. And like, I think a lot of us runners, like, especially trail runners, like we feel like a little animalistic when we’re out there.
Sure. Incorporating like, just like this, this idea of a strong. animal, um, I think also helps significantly. Yeah,
definitely. I was running one time, um, on like fire lane two I think, and I was coming down the hill and it was like pouring rain and this like white. Dog. It turned out to be, comes up the hill and I was like, in my head, head for like a split second was like, how do I kill a wolf with my bare hands?
Yeah. And then I saw that owners coming up and I was like, my God, I didn’t kill it. .
I don’t think I would’ve been able
to. But yeah, animalistic quality. I like that it comes out. Um, absolutely. Yeah. Headphones, or no
headphones when you’re running? No headphones. Okay. Yeah, I. . Uh, so many of my friends like, do like, uh, books on tape or, uh, not books on tape.
They don’t, they don’t call that anymore. ? Uh, no. Not podcast too, but, um, audio. Audio
books. Yeah, audio books. Books on tape. You know, that’s not gonna
go away. Yeah. . Uh, and I’ve, I’ve done it a little bit, um, but I think I should do it more cuz like, it, like, I think it, it’s another, um, it’s just another way to like learn something.
while you’re doing something you love, you know? Yeah, totally.
Yeah. What’s, uh, so I’m putting together like a conversational pace, which is the feature, um, name, uh, playlist. So everyone that’s been contributing, I’ve just been throwing it onto a playlist and sharing that out. What’s, uh, what’s your pump up music or what’s your, what’s your go-to Jams?
Um, yeah, I’m, I’m not a pump up music guy. All right. , fair enough. What’s your comment like? Yeah, I’m like, my, my musical genre is like just like, chilled out. Awesome stuff. Um, I’ve always been a big Pete Yorn fan. Okay. Um, and he just came out with a new album, so that’s been my, my thing lately. Sweet.
It’s called Hawaii. Okay. The album. Yeah. All
right. I’ll check it out. Yeah.
Um, when you really don’t feel like going for a run, what do you tell yourself to get out the door besides watching your old video?
Yeah, that I will, way better off when I come back. Nice. Yeah, there’s like, without a doubt, like no matter what, you’re always happier when you come back from a run.
Yeah. And like sometimes it’s just like a all right, you know, I’m just gonna go out for a mile or two and mm-hmm. . Um, and eventually, yeah, I’ll probably do more, but, um, no matter what, it’s always. , you’re always happier after. Yeah.
Yeah. I heard a quote from uh, Lucy Bartholome too that said like, if you really don’t want to go for a run, just run for 10 minutes.
If you still feel like shit, go home. Yep. But 99.9% of the time you just keep going. You’re gonna keep going. That’s great. . Um, alright. Where, uh, if not, I mean, we’re living in one of the most beautiful places to run, but what are your bucket list places that you’d like to log
Some miles. Yeah. So when I was in New Zealand in 2007, 2008, like I, I.
Trail running at that point. Um, I was just doing backpacking, hiking. I would love to go back there and run. Cool. That’s like cool, probably like highest on my list. And that was like the one place that I’ve been, that when I was there I’m like, I’m coming back here someday. Nice. It’s just, it’s far away, so it’s hard to , it’s hard to make it happen.
Yeah. Um, it’s like kind of the. that, uh, we can go from here, but yeah. Yeah, that’s probably top of my
list. Nice. All right. Um, so someone that is looking to get into running, trail running, whatever it might be, what is no bullshit advice that you would give
them? Yeah, start, start small. Like I definitely have a, had so many conversations over the years with, um, yeah.
Even people who, who have been road running for a while, but don’t. don’t feel the confidence of getting on the trail. Mm-hmm. , um, for a variety of reasons, but more, a lot of it is because of the hills. Sure. And it’s like, here, just walk, walk the hills. Yeah. A lot of, a lot of trail runners are, I would say the majority of trail runners are, are walking a lot of hills and there’s no, there’s no shame in that.
Yeah. I think a lot of runners, a lot of runners coming from the road have a lot of shame when it comes to walking at all. In any, at all. Yeah. At any point of a run. Um, and it’s. . All right. Well what are you out there for? Yeah, that’s, you have to go back to that question. I was like, are you out to like constantly prove to yourself that you’re gonna run the whole time?
Mm-hmm. or are you out there for the experience? Yeah. Of just being outside, um, and. Moving your body.
Yeah, yeah, yeah. I learned that firsthand with, uh, with JT at Alpen Flow. We did the Elkhorn Crest Trail and, uh Oh yeah. I mean, there’s so much walking and I was like, Ugh, come on. Like, we gotta keep going.
But at the end of the day I was like, no, I was, I was here for the experience and like, it was, it was a really good, like humbling but also eyeopening moment. It was, it’s really cool to like, cuz I’ve been road, road running for so long and like to finally get into that state. It’s almost like zen like them.
Yeah, man. Like fast hiking. Absolutely. Fast walking, . Yeah.
Yeah. It’s great. Yeah. Like, yeah, just keep moving forward. You’re powering up a hill, like yeah. You’re not running and you’re just like, but you still get into that, those rhythms. Yeah. It
feels awesome. Exactly. Yeah. Um, alright, so, uh, just a couple more.
Who do you have to thank for where you are in your running and, and business journey? Shout out
time. Oh, good question. Um, yeah. When I, when I first. , you know, came up with the idea for territory. Um, I reached out to a lot of people, so like, for advice, for help. Mm-hmm. , people who had businesses and, um, Willie and ya, uh, Weis.
Wolfpack. Then they were animal athletics. Um, definitely like, brought me into the community. Nice. Um, like didn’t, didn’t really. bad and I about it, like, you know, like when someone starts something new in your, in your community, um, I think some people can get like, who are you? Right. You know? Totally.
Totally. Like, cause at the time I really wasn’t like I was trail running, but I wasn’t, I wasn’t like really in the community. Right. Yeah. Yeah. , like I was just kind of doing it on my own for the most part and with a couple friends. Um, so it was like, it was hard to. Break, break in mm-hmm. with this idea.
Interesting. Um, uh, you know, the whole like imposter syndrome, you know, like that’s definitely true. Definitely. Yeah. You feel that. Um, and there was definitely, um, yeah, just like an openness with those guys that were like, yeah, come on in. Yeah. Um, welcome .
Interesting. Yeah. Um, I wonder like, was that mainly due to the fact that you’re trying to start a brand and get into the community?
Yeah. Yeah. Like if, if I was coming in as just. Brett, like trying to run with people. Yeah, it would, it would be fine. But I had this other agenda. Yeah, exactly. Which felt, felt a little weird for me. Um, it’s like I’m not just trying to get to know people, I’m trying to like spread my, my idea around. Yeah. You know?
Um, but yeah, they, they made a big difference in like, Willie, Willie was like just a, he’s like a connector. He likes to connect people. Nice. He introduced me to a lot of people and That’s great. Um, people that I’m like some of my best friends. I feel that through him. Nice. That’s
great. Um, so when you’re not running, what are you doing to keep your body, mind, soul, everything
active and happy?
Trying, I’m trying to meditate, um, as much as possible. Um, that’s like I’m a big, like I said before, just a big believer in. , like the power of the mind. Yeah. And um, it’s a practice that I want to keep honing in on. Um, uh, I’ve always, or for a while I’ve seen a therapist, like, I feel like that’s like key to my mental health.
Mm-hmm. . Um, and uh, yeah, like I play guitar that’s like nice, like a kind of another meditative practice. Um, and. . Yeah. That’s, those are, those are great outlets. Yeah. Yeah. . .
All right. So anything else you wanna promote? This is, this is the part where you get to be as shameless as possible.
What, what you got going?
Yeah. I mean, again, like our, our new all day tees are, are where it’s at. Like, we absolutely love this, this fabric, there’s, there’s not really another performance. Like it mm-hmm. , other than maybe like a Marino. Mm-hmm. , it feels more like a cotton. Um, you know, I think everyone, like when they first see it, they’re like, oh, this isn’t a performing shirt.
Yeah. But then they take it out and they’re like, wow, this performs. Yeah. Really well. So that’s our, that’s our main goal with this shirt is to really inform people that this, this shirt performs super well. And it’s like you get the book best of both worlds. Yeah. It looks great. Feels great. Doesn’t feel like a, a technical fabric that you wouldn’t want to wear.
Yeah. Um, outside of running, um, and like that’s, Always like what I’ve tried to do with the products is like, I wanna make these products something you’d wanna wear even when you’re not running. Yeah, totally. Yeah. Just you should, why not ? Yeah. I mean, I don’t wear
my singlets around much, but I do wear these shirts.
Yeah. . All right. Any parting shots for the legs, community,
anything? Uh, yeah, keep, keep up the fight. Keep up the fight, uh, to keep running as much as possible. Being outside as much as possible. We have a lot on our plates in our. Adult lives and, uh, we’re, we’re all better for it when we get out and be outside.
I agree. All right, Brett, well thank you so much. That’s all. That’s
it? Yeah, that’s all. Thanks man. Looking for Yeah, of course.
I’m just gonna stop on that.