Amazing Adventure Sales Contest
prAna’s “Amazing Adventure” Sales Contest Offers Seven Winners An Unforgettable Experience
In order to support outerwear sales at specialty accounts across the county, prAna announced the Amazing Adventure sales contest in October of 2013. The premise was simple: sell three pieces of prAna outerwear between November 1 and December 15 and get a $50 dollar gift certificate and the opportunity to enter our grand prize drawing.
Here’s where it got amazing: the grand prize was a four-night/five-day adventure in prAna’s backyard of north San Diego County California where seven specialty store winners would have the chance to surf, sup, practice yoga, go climbing in Joshua Tree, and basically hang out with the prAna staff. Along the way they’d learn about the company, meet its founders, enjoy some great food, and hang out in an awesome beach house perched on a cliff above the blue Pacific.
Not surprisingly, shops from across the country soon took up the challenge. But in the end, seven lucky winners were chosen:
• Mona Chapman of The Tennis & Golf Company in Royal Oak, Michigan
• Stacey Sholtis of Pete Lanes Village in Sun Valley, Idaho
• Daniel Ware of Half Moon Outfitters in Mount Pleasant, South Carolina
• Emily Pale of Trail Creek Outfitters in Glen Mills, Pennsylvania
• Rhonda Hoffman of Summit Hut in Tucson, Arizona
• Steve Gates of Potter & Co. in Newport, Rhode Island
• Megan MacDonnell of Gardenswartz Outdoor in Durango, Colorado
“When I first heard that I won this Amazing Adventure trip I was in shock! I didn’t even think that something like this could ever happen — especially to me!” ~ Emily Pale
The first evening kicked off with an amazing farm-to-table dinner made by one of prAna’s longtime friends, Dave Kennedy, who introduced prAna Founder Beaver Theodosakis to climbing more than twenty years ago, which set in motion an idea that would become the prAna brand. Assisted ably by his wife Erin, Kennedy served up a feast for the winners and prAna employees, including Sales Director Matt Weaber and prAna co-founder Pam Theodosakis.
“The humility of prAna is staggering,” says Gates of Potter & Co., who was in California for his first time. “The company and its employees have accomplished so much, but would never boast about any of it. There is a passion towards the experience as a whole that eclipses grandeur; what is done for and by the company is wholly organic, it’s prAna’s natural path.”
The group was greeted Wednesday morning by surf instructor Jason Weber of Encinitas Surf Lessons and Surfing for Empowerment and prAna ambassador Chadd Konig. They had a quick briefing and then took to the lineup at the surf spot Beacon’s, located a stone’s throw from the beach house.
“It was an absolute joy to be of service in the ocean to prAna’s Amazing Adventure crew and share the joy of riding waves with authentic people,” says Weber. “It was such a blast! We were super inspired to see prAna’s Amazing Adventure crew getting empowered from catching their first wave ever.” Ware from Half Moon Outfitters even had the pleasure of watching dolphins cross his path while swapping surf stories with Konig.
After drying off and taking to the streets of Encinitas on a fleet of cruiser bikes generously lent by Electra Bikes for lunch, the group met on the rooftop of the beach house for a very special yoga class with prAna ambassador Michael Fukumura. “The energy during the rooftop class was unlike anything I’ve ever experienced before!” says Pale. “Michael made you want to be happy and love yourself and one another. Through his session he kept coming back to opening yourself up to the world and all of those around you.”
When Fukumura told the adventurers they would be doing handstands that day, there were a few looks of skepticism exchanged. By the end of the session, however, everyone had done at least one assisted handstand.
“They all had so much enthusiasm and sense of adventure to try new experiences,” says Fukamura. “Yoga on the rooftop overlooking Beacon’s beach was quite spectacular.”
After stretching out, the adventurers tackled standup paddleboarding at the Carlsbad Lagoon—which proved to be a test of will. As the winds started to pick up, finding the way back to the beach became a challenge. Fukumura, who joined Konig and the adventurers for the SUP session, was impressed with their attitudes while dealing with the challenging conditions.
Not surprisingly, all this activity worked up quite an appetite for some authentic Mexican food at El Callejon in Encinitas. The group was joined by Ambassadors Chadd Konig, Steph Davis, and Chris Sharma, as well as prAna Founder Beaver Theodosakis.
“I was really happy to be included and get to know the group,” says Davis. “I really enjoyed getting to hear everyone’s stories about their lives, their shops, and their sports over the course of that first evening.”
The group woke up bright and early Thursday morning for a three-hour drive to Joshua Tree National Park, where they were met by Vertical Adventure guides Chris and Erik, and joined by Steph Davis for a day of climbing. Described as a favorite by all of the adventurers, Joshua Tree proved to be a take-away experience in many ways. “This experience really raised my respect and interest for the sport,” says Ware.
First-time climber Gates, agrees: “It was mildly terrifying, but also absolutely humbling. Using friction and focus to scale the slabs was an experience second to none.”
Steph augmented the great instruction from Chris and Erik and did a quick demo for our new climbers. Seasoned climber Megan MacDonnell says, “I loved that everyone climbed something — even the folks who didn’t think they could. We accomplished something great that day.”
There were plenty of unexpected moments to savor as well. “My favorite moment of the trip was sitting in the sand with Steph Davis and making a Mandala using sticks and rocks,” says Hoffman. “Getting to experience Joshua Tree and climbing for the first time ever was made even better by getting to create a Mandala-like design in the sand with such an incredible person.”
On Friday the group was ready for the full prAna download. Their morning started with a special gourmet coffee and tea presentation by Dave and Erin Kennedy, who explained how attention to tiny details can have a profound impact on results, not only while making coffee but throughout life.
After yoga and lunch at the prAna offices, the group was given a tour of the company HQ by Beaver, providing many insights into the values that make up prAna. “Everyone we met really showed that they love the brand and what it stands for,” says Ware. “It’s really awesome to put a great face to an already amazing company.”
The group put a grand cap on the week at K-1 Go-Kart Racing where Beaver, a former race car driver, gave a quick lesson about the track and navigating the curves. The group had a warm-up qualifying round and then Beaver joined them for the final race. As many predicted, Beaver came in first, with our own International Sales Manager Joe Jansen snagging second, and the comeback of the century by adventurer Emily Pale claiming third. The group reflected on the week and said some bittersweet goodbyes after a beautiful dinner at Firefly Wine Bar & Grill.
As Pale eloquently summed up, “I left California an improved Emily. You guys have helped me start a new chapter in my life. This trip was so much more than living in an amazing house and participating in all of the incredible activities. This trip was life changing and eye opening!”
Chapman echoes that sentiment: “It was truly a trip of a lifetime, and one that I will be talking about for years to come. All of the planned activities were a first for me, and they were made even more special by experiencing them with such a great group of new friends and prAna athletes.”
Sound like fun? You could be next! Stay tuned for an announcement later this year on the next Amazing Adventure experience Jump in, show your sales ace skills, and you too could be joining us for the next great prAna experience.
~ The Wholesale Marketing Team