celebrates 10 years of keeping Louisville weird in 2015 and in honor of
this milestone, we asked Ryan King, owner of Quest Outdoors, (one of LIBA's founding members) to answer a few questions about what it means to be weird.
Why did Quest become one of the founding
members of LIBA?
Quest became a founding member because we believe that
uniting all of Louisville's unique businesses brings strength to us and to our
community. From dry cleaners to stores like ourselves, it gives us all a way to
make our presence felt in an increasingly homogenized marketplace while
celebrating our diversity all at the same time. My nightmare is a never ending
line of strip malls filled with chain stores with no personality. The
consumer's appreciate variety and the personal feel that only local businesses
How has the Buy Local campaign affected
It has affected in a positive way. Too often people are too
wrapped up in their own daily lives to think about grand constructs like
keeping it local. Some do for sure, but others need a helpful reminder and that
is what Buy Local does. It strategically reminds our audience to remember us. I
personally would like to see more, and more nuanced initiatives like this.
They have great value!
What’s your favorite “weird” thing about
Louisville? About your business?
My favorite weird thing about Louisville is its regional
identity crisis and how it influences our culture and the things we celebrate
almost universally as a community. We are Southern to be sure, but we have
really cherry picked the more endearing aspects of Southern culture
and melded a more inclusive open minded, bohemian spirit as well. The
Hybrid is a beautiful thing and it feels like home to me.
My favorite thing weird thing about my store is the fact
that we are one of the biggest independent outdoor retailers in the entire
nation yet we have very few of the destination geographic features that drive
this business nationally. That means we have the best, most loyal customer base
in the land.
Our customers are my favorite weird things and they are
adventurous indeed. Their adventures in and out of the bluegrass never cease to
amaze me. They travel the world but they always seem to come home to us. Now
that we have our web business fully realized, It's amazing to see where some of
our customers have ended up. They'll be home soon too I put good money on it.
Tell us about your ‘Louisville Grown’
Our Louisville Grown
Logo was created by my lovely wife and partner-in-crime Michelle. Around 2:30 in the morning, we were trying to find a
good logo to commemorate Quest's 30th anniversary. We were due to go to the
printer the next day and we had tried about forty different things, all of
which were just okay. But then Michelle threw an idea out their like a Hail
Mary pass just as we were at our wits end.
She inverted the skyline, placed it
in the root system and I said "Oh my God you have it!" It fully
encapsulates our store. We are Louisvillians, our customers are
Louisvillians and from this wonderful city sprung not just a store, but a
beautiful community that continues to flourish and grow from one
generation to another.
I love it! I think it might eventually become
a bigger part of our business. I feel it is important to celebrate where we come
from and who we are.