Chad Patzer - Mr. #1
Three years ago we had a contest.
And as a final, late minute addition to that contest I decided to include an 'instant win' option. All you had to do to win the prize: get a Trek Light Gear themed tattoo somewhere on your body.
I'll be honest, I never expected in a million years that anyone would step up to say 'I'm getting a Trek Light Tattoo' - but a bearded champion by the name of Chad Patzer did just that.
Looking back, it was over 10 years ago that Trek Light Gear was born, and truth be told - at the time it felt more like a small idea than a big one. When it came time to create "the branding" I didn't consult with a big marketing firm to develop a company name and logo, I wrote names down on a paper and repeated them over and over until they stopped making sense and one rose to the surface. (The Colorado Hammock Company, Haber's Hammocks and Happy Hammock Co. are just a small taste of what could have been)
But then a funny thing happened: People started passionately identifying with the brand. I began receiving emails from happy customers with photos of them using their Trek Light products in countries around the world, people were putting Trek Light stickers on their water bottles, and proudly wearing our T-shirts.
I heard incredible stories: from married couples who had first met while using their hammock, couples who had gotten engaged in their hammock, and even a couple who had lost their home to a fire and made sure their Trek Light hammock was the first thing they replaced when they rebuilt.
Something was happening that went beyond this seemingly small idea I had to show people that life is better in a hammock.
Trek Light Gear is still just a small business, relying on word of mouth and grassroots growth to reach every customer. And yet, a year after the first Trek Light Tattoo entered the world we did the contest again - and incredibly another amazing fan stepped forward to show their support with a Trek Light Tattoo.
Which brings us to 2014. In case you missed it, a new Trek Light Tattoo Challenge just ended, and I've got something incredible to announce: FOUR new Trek Light heroes, two men and two women, have left their mark (literally) in Trek Light Gear's history.
Congratulations (in no particular order) to these new Trek Light Heroes: Casey Shoemaker, Chad Allison, Ashleigh Nicolle, and Jefferey Robinson! Not only have you all won a package of our best hammock camping gear, you've made me proud of what we've all accomplished together and where we're going.
On behalf of Trek Light Gear, I can't say thanks enough to all of you for the incredible outpouring of support you've shown for our small lifestyle brand that began 10+ years ago.
We're still doing everything we can to spread the word about our small business and constantly striving to make the world a better place with every sale we make. The passion you show for our brand is what drives us forward and proves to me that the Trek Light movement is not only resonating out there in the world, but getting stronger every day.
To the now 6 Tattooed Trek Light Heroes and to everyone else who supports small business with your passion and knows what it means to Trek Light, thank you!