Photography by: Jo Savage
In a place as huge as the Denver Convention Center, it is not unreasonable to feel overwhelmed at first glance (or even third), especially during an event as popular and well-known as Outdoor Retailer. At the entrance to the building, a giant blue bear towers 40 feet in the air, peering into the center, where thousands of people are milling about. The convention center is made up of three floors, and even though it’s just a four-day show, hundreds of brands and more than 20,000 people attend.
Photo credit: choosecolorado.com
Inside the doors, it is enormous, crowded and noisy. Entire automobiles and camper-vans line the front entry, escalators carry lines of people up to the second floor, and at just eight o’clock in the morning, the air buzzes with caffeine, energy and excitement. Armed with badges, hanging from lanyards around their necks, exhibitors, media and retail buyers alike are preparing for a day full of eager conversation and exchanged business cards.
The convention center is separated into sections, where similar brands are grouped together. Companies from Scandinavia cluster together in “Scandinavian Village”, and designers and product developers collect in the “Trend + Design Center”. Located in “Venture Out”, one of the most outdoorsy sections of the entire show, sits DMOS Collective, nestled between brands like Cotopaxi, Snow Peak, TOPO Designs and Sanuk. Though a young company, in the midst of its third year, DMOS goes far from unnoticed, with its collapsible, packable and essentially indestructible shovels on display.
But it’s not just the booth that draws attention. Even tucked in a corner, the brand stands out, and a crowd begins to form to watch one of the Stealth Shovels take on a 300-pound block of ice. Susan Pieper, founder and CEO of the brand, stands to the side of the booth, smiling with confidence as a gentleman well over six feet gives the shovel a beating.
Ice flies and metal meets ice, and people cover their faces, sure they will be the first group to ever witness a Stealth Shovel break. But when the ice-chipping volunteer rests the shovel down, the crowd stands back in amazement. There is not a scratch on the shovel, the teeth are as sharp as they were five minutes before and the shovel stands proud next to a block of ice that has been chipped into pieces.
This superior strength is one of the many reasons that DMOS products have been such a success on the market and were such a popular product at Outdoor Retailer. Not only do they have a unique appearance and a collapsible shaft, but the shovels are no doubt the strongest in the world.
All in all, Outdoor Retailer was a massive success. From brands that make rechargeable hand-warmers, to companies who sell rain jackets for dogs, there is one thing that everyone has in common: a passion for the outdoors. In just four days, some remarkable people and incredible products really had a chance to shine. DMOS is hoping to be back for the Summer 2018 Outdoor Retailer. Will we see you there?