Door to Door w/ Rose Schneider

Show Notes

Today on The Average Conservationist Podcast, Marcus sits down with Rose Schneider from The Grasshoppers Mermaid. TGM is a lifestyle apparel brand based out of Colorado. The two kick things off talking about Rose's background and how she found herself in Colorado and what made her decide to start her own retail brand, despite her background being primarily in journalism. Rose talks about the influence her grandfather had on her and how she takes a small piece of him with her to every trade show she attends. With conservation and giving back being one of the cornerstones of the business, Rose explains the importance of it and what they are hoping to accomplish in the future. If you're looking for some great new apparel that supports a good cause, be sure and check them out at

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Show Transcript

[00:00:00] You are listening to the average Conservationist podcast brought to you in partner with 2% for conservation. 2% for conservation's. Mission is to create an alliance of businesses and individuals that ensure the future of hunting and angling by committing their time and dollars to fish and wildlife.

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What's up everybody? Happy Wednesday. Welcome back to another episode of the Average Conservationist Podcast, and I'm your host, Marcus Shoeing. All right. This week I get a chance to sit down with Rose Schneider from the Grasshoppers Mermaid. And The Grasshoppers Mermaid is a lifestyle apparel brand. They make bags, they make stickers, they make hoodies, they make t-shirts.

Just a ton of really cool stuff. With a ton of really cool designs. I will [00:02:00] certainly put the website in the show notes, but I highly encourage you guys to take a look because. They have, I think Rose touches on it that something like over 4,000 designs that they have either had or have currently just a slew of really cool designs.

And it all. Is supporting a ton of great causes. Rose and I certainly get into that and how they are deciding where a lot of their donations, where a lot of their time is going when it comes to giving back. Rose and I also get to spend some time talking about her upbringing the influence that her grandfather had on her.

He was a game warden in the state of Wisconsin. And she carries around a little piece of him wherever she goes, and it's a reminder for her of, why she or, where she's at, why she's where, why? Let me, lemme try that one again. She carries it as a reminder as why she is where she's at in her life and all of the [00:03:00] good kind of land stewardship that he instilled upon her throughout their time together.

Really cool story and the influence. And it's one that. I think a lot of us listeners can relate to and maybe it wasn't a grandpa, maybe it was, a dad or a brother or an uncle or a mother or an aunt or anything like that. But having that kind of Steadfast person in your corner who was always with you through thick and thin and really instilled a lot into you and helped shape you into the to the adult that you've become is certainly one that touches home.

Yeah, we get into certainly the name. The Grasshoppers mermaid in its uniqueness and really what the name means. And yeah, rose and I just have all around just a great conversation one that I think you guys will certainly enjoy. So episode 1 55 with Rose Schneider. Enjoy everybody. All right, Rose Schneider, welcome to the podcast.

How are you this evening? I'm good. [00:04:00] How are you today? I'm doing well. Thanks. I'm glad that we made it this far because we had to overcome some technical difficulties here to get things started, but nevertheless, we prevailed and I'm really excited to talk to you because I think I first saw Grasshoppers Mermaid just on the Fish and Wildlife, the 2% page business page because I partnered with 2% for the podcast.

So I'm always like stalking the business page on there to see if new people have been new companies and new businesses have been added. And I stumbled across you guys and we've been at this for a while trying to find a time that works for both of us. So no I'm excited to hear more about yourself and the company and all it's that you guys do over there.

Yeah, we, it's great to be finally here with you. It's definitely taken a minute and I'm 33, but my tech level, if I function at about a 90 year old woman, so to get here, I'm glad we both made it. It's. It's good to be here. Yeah. So Rose, before we dive into Grasshoppers, mermaid, tell the listeners a bit about yourself and where you come from, your upbringing [00:05:00] and all that stuff.

Yeah. I am 33. I live in Colorado. That's where the company is, that's where the company started back in 2017. I was not always in retail. My degree was in journalism. I have a BA in international journalism and a double minor in advertising and multimedia. So I used to work for newspapers, magazines.

I was a bartender for 15 years. I've traveled all over the world doing that. And I landed myself in Colorado back in, I think it was late 24 or early 2014. And I just needed a break from bartending with, there's a lot of weird circumstances that kind of put me here, but yeah, that's when I started my company.

So where were you from originally, before you landed in Colorado? I was born in Wisconsin, ah, Midwest. All right. I like to hear it. Yes. There's a lot of, I don't sound like it, but that's where I'm from. That's the funny thing about the Midwest is whether you're in the east coast, west coast, whatever, down, from the south, people always think we have, from the Midwest, we have an [00:06:00] accent.

I don't see it. I don't. I don't hear it. Sometimes with my vowels, I'll drag 'em pretty hard, if I say bag or I don't know, a few things. That comes out a few different ways, but for the most part, I think I'm pretty clean with my speech. Yeah. I do notice that there is a lot of transplants from the Midwest that land in Colorado.

I don't know if it's just the allure of the mountains Colorado's just an absolutely beautiful state. We talked about it for a second before we were recording that. My wife and I get out there regularly every year. We take the kids, like there's just so many things to do out there.

Especially if you love the outdoors. It's kinda a paradise for people like us that love being outside. Yeah, a hundred percent. What I landed out here, I'd never seen mountains before and I remember. When I moved out and I was driving I saw the horizon and it was clouds mixed with mountains and I was like, oh my God, I'm going up there.

Yep. I'm going into those mountains, like, how do you get up there? How do people live up there? My whole concept was just, it was so foreign. But I left Colorado briefly for about two years. I moved to Nashville and took the company to Nashville, [00:07:00] and I could not get back fast enough.

Like I have a whole love affair. It's nothing against Tennessee specifically, it's just I have a love affair with Colorado in the mountains and it's beautiful and I'm happy to be back and I'm happy to call this home. I'm very fortunate. Yeah, no, that's awesome. Bouncing around, as a bartender and how did you find yourself.

In the retail space, but I I think I'm putting the cart before the horse here. Tell people about grasshoppers, mermaid the company, and then we can kind of transition into how you decided to make a right turn and or a left turn, and find yourself in the retail space.

Yeah. Grasshoppers, mermaid, like I said, it was started in 2017. We started out as an apparel company. I had two different designs. We did really well with the shirts. People were asking for what else they could sell the product on. I went around. Store to store. I was, younger. I didn't know what I was doing.

Didn't, I don't even know why anyone took any products that I had because literally door to door sales as a tatted up, whatever, [00:08:00] girl, I had no idea what I was doing, but people loved the art and they believed in what we were doing. And we went from the two T-shirt designs. We transitioned into stickers initially, so that's where we went from.

The start. And then we grew, and when I went to my first trade show, it was the Denver Mart, and that was maybe like nine months, maybe 12 months in. I had someone come up to me that had a store in Gulf Shores, Alabama. And she was like, oh, I love your stuff, do you guys have your coastal stuff here?

And I lied straight through my teeth. We did not have any coastal stuff at the time, but I was like, when do you want your order? She's oh, not till right before spring break and this was in the fall. And I was like, yeah, absolutely. You wanna floor display? This is our biggest display. Absolutely. We just don't bring that art to these shows cuz this is a mountain show, and I was like, Freaking out. I was like, oh shoot. What are we gonna do? Like you can say, shoot, that's ok. Okay, good. Oh shit. That was definitely I was like what the hell? What are we gonna do? And so I just, I completely lied through my teeth and that's how we went from Mountain Designs to Coastal designs relatively quickly.

And then I rest was kind of history. We, like I said, we [00:09:00] started with two designs on t-shirts. We now have almost 4,000 different designs. That's crazy. Crazy. We're putting out, We have a ton four, so there's a lot to choose from. Yep. Yeah. Yep. And I have I have some of the same artists that were with me since day one, which I'm really fortunate some of the same girls still draw from me, which is great.

So it's been a cool journey and I'm really proud of all the things that we've done. Yeah. So you said you started that in 2017? Yep. In January of 2017. So how did you come up with the idea? What was it that inspired to say, Okay. I, not even necessarily, like if you look at the big picture, not even, oh, I wanna get into the retail space or like the retail business, right?

Maybe it was just cause I didn't know that I was, I didn't know this is where I was gonna end up. Believe me, that was not like on the horizon for me. Yeah. But what, I guess what made you take that first step to. Decide to, design a couple shirts or have a couple shirts designed and then actually turn around and sell those.

Like how was that first like sales interaction? Was it just to like friends and family?[00:10:00] Did you actually go to a small trade show or something? What did that kind of process look like? Sure. I guess the easiest way would be to like, look back a little further. So I was bartending, like I quit.

I was still doing freelance reporting when I moved back, when I moved out to Colorado. When I moved to Breckenridge, I was doing stuff remotely for some newspapers and magazines in other states. But the mental health. Situation in Colorado, it can be toxic in the winter. There's a lot of people who have a lot of substance abuse issues.

So like the bar scene for me was just, it got to be really too much. And I was training for a half Ironman race, and so I had to step away from the bar scene just because, you wake up, you're hit the bar to four or five in the morning. Yeah. And then you have to go run a half marathon, you have to swim, a mile, whatever.

And so I just stepped away and my grandpa had passed away the year I moved to Colorado. That's actually how I ended up out here. Was after his passing and he was really important to me. And so I stepped away and I just wanted to do something that was positive because of all the toxicity that I was around at that time in the bar scene and everything in Colorado up in the [00:11:00] mountains.

And so I didn't really know what I was gonna do. I didn't have this whole like, thought process of Hey, I wanna do apparel, I wanna do stickers, I wanna do anything. It was just like, I had been doing bartending for so long, I knew that there wasn't a lot of money in journalism, although I loved writing.

I just wanted to do something that I would make me feel good and would make me feel happy. Yeah. And my grandpa, he was a game warden and like I said, super influential in my life. And so I just wanted to do something where I could give back. I just wanted warm fuzzies, get back to animals. I love animals.

Love the environment. Being in Colorado, like how could you not wanna make this place better? Yeah. And protect other places like it. That's how that all started and transpired. And so here I was trying to think of like how to do that and I was like, I'm a girl, I like clothes. I'm gonna design something that I would wanna wear.

And that's like how that whole situation looped in. And I ended up with, these designs or whatever and these shirts. And then when I finally figured it out, we got the art ready and everything. I had the images and I went around and yeah I went store to store Breckenridge, Colorado, downtown Main Street [00:12:00] and found people who wanted to give me a shot.

And that's where it came from. That's incredible. A few things from what you were just mentioning there. One, isn't it unfortunate that professions like journalism, writing that, like you said, like they're not very lucrative. Like they're not real high paying, but like to me it's such a, an important thing and it like, and writing, whether you're, an author who writes books, whether you're, you're covering for a local newspaper you write for a magazine, whatever the case is, right?

The words that people put on paper have the ability to like really move people, right? How many times have you read a book, read an article, whatever, and brings you to tears, right? Like it just, it moves you, right? Like I feel like there's few things in life that can really drum up your emotions, like I think, well-written.

Whatever it is. And like music, like those are two things that like, can instantly transport you back to a really sad time, a really happy time, like whatever the case is. And that takes a special talent in my opinion. [00:13:00] And maybe I said it because I'm, I can't do it right. But I can recognize it when I see it.

I guess I, I think you're right. And I guess a way that I still feel like that I can do that because I feel like I was a really good writer, but I feel like art has the same sort of connection and spark for people. A delicious, can elicit feelings and all sorts of emotion and it can motivate you.

It can make you happy, it can make you sad and. Our designs are not super whimsical, they're fun and they encompass, that moment and that place that person was. And I think that there's a part of me that kind of holds onto that, and I think it pushes into to what we do with T G M from that part of my life, like my past life.

Pgm, I'm just gonna refer to it that, because Grasshoppers Mermaid is a mouthful. It is. And I know I'm gonna butcher it at least once. It's like with the average conservationist, right? Like I, it's a mouthful and people are like, did you ever think of naming it something different? I'm like yeah, in hindsight, sure.

Something that was easier to spell. Easier to just say because, so I make, my [00:14:00] company makes apparel as well, like that's lifestyle apparel. Brand is what I started as before I got into to podcasting and. I have a shirt that's just very simple, just on the front it just says average conservationist.

And the amount of people who look at that and say, average, conservative, or average, which I don't even think this is a word, but conversationalist is one that I get a lot of times. So I either get like a funny look like, oh man, this guy's a proud conservative, right? He's wearing it on his shirt.

Or they laugh because they're like, huh. He's an average con conversationalist, like he must be okay at talking to people kind of thing. So it's, yeah I can appreciate the truncated version. So Tgm, we're gonna go with that. Tgm. Yep. I like that you had something that brought you so much joy and that you're still able to find an, find that outlet through your designs, through, the things that you guys are creating.

And I think, correct me if I'm wrong here, but that's gotta be something that really. Makes you happy, keeps you going and keeps everything fresh [00:15:00] and fun and what It's, what keeps you coming back day after day? Absolutely and I, the accounts that we have and the people that we get to work with and the people who have our art in their stores, like I am so humbled and so proud to say that I work with some of those people.

Like we just started working with NASA and I legitimately teared up and cried when I was typing out the address label to send it out. Just knowing, I went there as a kid, like I went to the Kennedy Space Center with my grandpa. He's one of the last places I went with him that I remember, and I, now they have my stuff.

And we designed this really cute little astronaut that says, don't quit your daydream, or something like that. Kayla, go grab that one so I can read it. It's really cute. And so just to know that they have those things and it's just, It's so humbling and I just, I have to slap myself and pinch myself half the time just knowing that, we work with these amazing accounts and they're so excited about our product, just as excited as I am.

Probably not as excited as I am, but they're [00:16:00] excited to, work with us. So this is the sticker. It says, don't outgrow your dreams, and it's a little astronaut holding up. Oh, that's awesome. Yeah, it's really cute. So I like that. Yeah, so just real cool stuff like that. I don't think I'll ever get sick of it.

There's always another account or, someone I wanna work with or something, I wanna do a goal that I have with the company to grow bigger and to work with someone new and to make a difference and to get our art out there in the world. 2017, you get everything started off the ground here.

Going door to door and downtown brack you're trying to pedal your stuff. You're trying to, get some floor space in these I don't even wanna say mom and pop shop, but these, it's, anyone who's been to a lot of these mountain towns, like Breck and Veil, like there's this, small downtown area, a lot of great shops, people come from all over the world to places like Breck and this in Colorado for their vacations, whether they're skiing or they just wanna enjoy the mountain life for, yeah.

For a week or a few days or whatever. At what point did you say[00:17:00] I have something here. We have something here, right? Like we can actually give this a real go. Oh. As soon as there was there was a store in Breck that had a few stores. I think they had three locations in Breck. They had one in Vail. And when that first year picked up and the reorders were coming in and we were having to go check on that store like every other week, I knew it was catching on and I knew that was a thing.

And then when I f got that first call for that floor display outta Gulf Shores, that they were like, we wanna reorder. I was like, Shit this is good. Let this is, people believe in this. It's not just some random crap. This is a thing. People actually like what we're doing. So let's go back to that story because you said obviously you're like, I'm lying through my teeth and I know that I am because I'm telling you.

Oh yeah. Oh yeah. Like we just brought the mountain stuff cuz this isn't like a coastal trade show. H how panicked were you to try to come up with designs and. I'm sure you don't just want to put anything out there, right? Like you want the same pride in that as you would in anything else.

But was it like super touch and [00:18:00] go to be able to fulfill that order or for them to, really like the designs that you were coming up with? No. I was actually pretty fortunate. I don't even think she asked to see anything. She just loved what she saw for the mountain stuff. Yeah. So she was just like, oh yeah, you have it.

That's fine. We love what we're seeing here. Just name, drop it with this, send it off. This is the address. This is whatever we need it by this date. Good to go. Like honestly, that was probably the best, worst case scenario all in one that I got for first. Hey, you need to develop 120 new designs in the next few months.

Let's get up and go. And that was really good for me because as I started doing more shows, like the amount of art that comes outta some of these shows, like we do the Gatlinburg Show or the Smoky Mountain Gift Show, that's our best show as far as getting new accounts. But we come out of that show with, I don't know, somewhere between like sometimes a hundred to 150 new custom pieces per show.

Oh wow. So it really helps to, that was a good start. Like everything that's happened, I guess I've been very fortunate it [00:19:00] has. Pushed us in the right direction, kinda shaped us for the next big thing that's come along that I didn't know we were gonna get, but we've been so fortunate to have.

Yeah. I think, having met you all of 20 minutes ago, I think that's probably a testament to your hard work and your determination and, not wanting to see this thing fail. And if you have the, I don't even know what the right word is here. If you have that it factor right to wanna go out to create something from scratch, to then believe in it to the point where you're like, you know what?

I'm just gonna go to these different stores that I know of. I'm gonna start knocking on doors. I'm going to, cold call people essentially, right? To get their business, to try to get our products in here. I think, your success and the success of Tgm is probably a byproduct of the work that you guys have all put in over the last, six years, almost six years.

Yeah. And I think it's also probably the reporter in me. It's like you don't, no. Isn't something that people say to you and you just walk away and say, okay, I'm [00:20:00] not gonna get that. I'm not gonna get that story. I'm just gonna go back and tell my editor that didn't work out. Yeah, that's, I don't know.

It's between that and that Midwest mentality, that hustle. It's. There it is. It's I have that, and I will, anything I do I always believe in putting yourself in a situation where you can't go backwards. It's always forward progression. It's always something bigger, something better. So with Tgm that's how it's been, and that's how it's gonna continue to be.

There's always something else to go after. All right, so Tgm. I mentioned it before we even started recording, but where did the name come from? Because it's a very unique name and it's not one that someone's gonna forget, right? Especially, no. If they come, if they, one, if they see your stuff in a store or they meet you at a trade show, like that's just the type of name that's going to you.

You're just, you're not gonna forget it. So where, how did you guys come up with the name? Yeah, so even before I tell you that, it was really cool, like when I was going around in Brack, we put up flyers to try to get more artists for the company and we would put up a flyer that said, artists, whatever.

And we'd walk out of the store and we'd hear like this chatter of. [00:21:00] Grasshoppers, mermaid, grasshoppers, mermaid. They were like, what is that? And so as soon as that was happening, and that was right away, that was like the first few weeks everything was happening. I was like, man, that's people. That name's gonna stick.

So you're right. Yeah. But it was actually, I lived in Dublin my last semester of college, and so that was my blog name and how I came up with it at the time. It's transpired through a lot of different stages in my life, but, They say, if you're seeing a grasshopper in nature, it means you're supposed to take a leap of faith.

And then mermaids are like the unbelievable unattainable, not real magic, whatever. So to me, what it has become for my company and kind of the mission statement behind Tgm, it's doing all the things that people say you can't do and succeeding in a far bigger way than anyone thinks that you can.

It's the magic and it's just closing your eyes, taking a breath, and jumping and seeing where you land. That's deep. I like that. I was hoping that you were gonna have a story we were having some drinks one night we just were like, we need a name for this company. And someone just like you, just [00:22:00] drew names out of a hat, right?

Like two things that you don't typically think of together with a grasshopper and a mermaid. But when you put it like that, when you if you know like the meaning behind those two things. It makes perfect sense and no, I think that's, how often do you guys have to relay that message when you're speaking to, whether it's just customers, random customers at a store that you happen to interact with or like at trade shows.

Do, does that question come up quite often? All the time. Especially when we're sitting down with somebody and it's a new account, people. I would say in the last two years, people finally know who we are, so people come looking for us. But before, like we'd be standing up in the aisle at trade shows, we're always wearing like our attire our uniform.

I have these mermaid leggings with scales and I have different colors. So that's what our uniform is. So everyone knows us as the mermaid girls. So people will come up and they'll, even if they don't want, whatever we're selling, stickers, apparel, whatever, they'll be like, oh, that's weird.

What does that mean? And yes, the story has been told many [00:23:00] times and my grandpa, like I, I said in the beginning, he's a very important part of my life and why the company started back then. And so I actually take his game Warden badge with me to the shows. And so when I'm sitting down with.

Accounts and especially like really important counts, like state parks that we get into or different things. I'll bring it out and I'll show them and this is my grandpa, this is why I do what I do. And so that's another part that I like to share with people when we're at shows.

Cuz I, I think that bringing his badge is good luck. Oh, I like that. And I think that when, you're having these conversations, whether it's with another potential Client or customer or account that you guys are trying to crack into or to get into or you're just having interactions with customers?

I think that there's speaking from a consumer standpoint, I think that we look for, or I look for as like a relatability. Especially when you're speaking to brands or you have that opportunity and it's amazing how often you talk to people at trade shows and things like this and it. They have so many similarities to you, or they grew up in a [00:24:00] town right next to you or, and like those connections that you're able to build in 5, 10, 15 minute conversations it's amazing what that does for the business, for the what's the word I'm looking for here?

Cute. Like just to build a relationship? Yeah, because like our booth, especially at trade shows I, I like to take pictures and videos of the booths around us. Our booth is super colorful. Not only do we wear colorful mermaid leggings, but our background is beautiful scales, like our banners colorful, our products are colorful.

All of our stuff, even our mountain collections have like a pastel kind of hue to them. Yeah. They're not like super hard, bold. Primary colors, they're softer. So like, when people come in, we like to invite them, we like to talk to them like we know them. I like to consider everybody a family.

And so like when we see our customers or meet new customers, we talk to them as friends. We're not corporate. We're very chill, we're very easy to interact with. But everyone's, we're, people are there cause they wanna buy [00:25:00] stuff. We wanna sell you something. Yeah. That's why we're all there.

But But yeah I think you're right. Just to be able to have that, people sit down, they talk about their animals with us, they talk about, different things in their lives. And we have been, we've become good friends with some of these people that we work with. Yeah.

Cuz that's always a tricky thing, especially at trade shows and things like that. Excuse me, going up to booths and speaking with people. You just, you never know really what you're gonna get from that person. Because I've. Participated in trade shows. I've attended trade shows. Some big ones.

I went to the Western Hunt Expo in Salt Lake this past February which is certainly geared more towards like hunting and that crowd and whatnot. And yeah, some people like you go to their booth and it's a very reputable brand or reputable company, whatever, and they're just, they don't seem like they have the time of day.

If they don't recognize you, if you're not. Someone that has x amount of followers in the industry, right? Let's, you're right. Let's say, let's just call it [00:26:00] what it is, then. They don't really wanna yeah. They don't really wanna give you the time of day. They'll like, maybe acknowledge you with a head nod or something like that, but, I think every person that steps in front of the, or that stands inside the booth is a representation of the company.

And you gotta put your best foot forward all the time because you never know who's gonna walk in that. Just because you don't recognize them doesn't mean they don't own a chain of, a hundred stores across the country. Something like that. You never know. Exactly. I wanna go back.

You've brought up your, your, excuse me. You've brought up your grandpa a few times and. I love the kind of what you've told me about it so far, but talk to me about the relationship that you had with him and how that really influenced everything that you've done up to this point with the company.

Yeah I grew up, he was like my main male figure growing up. Like my parents were divorced. He, I would always call him, a few times a week. It didn't matter where I was living in the country, what I was doing. Whether I did something really stupid and messed up really bad he would always just listen to me.

And he was always really supportive [00:27:00] and he loved me unconditionally through things when, other people in my family were a lot harder on me, and I always felt like I could tell him my deepest, most messy, disastrous shit without any sort of judgment. And and I valued that. And he was always there for me, and he loved animals and.

And I have this one picture of him on my phone with a baby deer that I'm sure he had probably, that he had taken in. Its mother was probably killed or something, since he worked with the D n R. But my grandpa was a very very special human. Like they still talk about him back where I'm from.

They still write articles about him. He was just that person that everybody knew. He's just a very amazing person. And Through all that when he passed away. The reason I took my road trip out to Colorado, and the reason I ended up moving out to Colorado in 2014 was because I was living in Kansas.

I moved back to Wisconsin when he got sick, and then he passed away from cancer and. When he passed away February in Wisconsin that year, the sun didn't come out. It was below zero [00:28:00] every single day. And I was like, I will literally kill myself if I stay here. Like I had vowed to never move back to Wisconsin in the first place, but I moved back because he was sick.

So I literally got in my car and drove. And the whole month of March that year, the only place I had to be was I had to be in Las Vegas for St. Patty's Day. I had no other plans and so I just put up on my social media. Does anyone know anyone in any states out west? I'd never been further west than Kansas.

And one of my friends who was an RA in college, we were in the same dorm together, she said, Hey, I've got this buddy out in Colorado. Here's his info. If you wanna see if he can stay with him, he's really cool. And he, I messaged him and he's yeah, my key's here. Show up whenever come in the back door.

And I showed up at his place and we hung out and I went and did some more stuff, came back around, hung out with him again. And there's this really cool bar that doesn't exist in Breck anymore. It was called Angels Hollow. And the bar owner, he was in there that day. We went and got food there and one of his bartenders was leaving.

She was gonna go hike the P c t. So he was like, Hey if you wanna move out here for the summer, I [00:29:00] have a position for you. You obviously know how to bartend. And I was like, hell yeah, I'll do it. So packed up my shit and moved out three months later and that's how I ended up in Colorado.

The story of a friend. Of a friend, that's like quintessential Colorado to me. Oh, totally. At least in my experience. Oh yeah. Like he's here. Just let yourself in, come whenever you need to. Absolutely. Like this open invite, right? Yeah, that's, I like that. So with this the presence of your grandpa and the influence that he had on you, did growing up in Wisconsin and me and in the Midwest was the outdoors a big part of your life?

Growing up, like whether it was just hiking or hunting or fishing or anything like that, or like what did the fishing, yes. Ok. But not even comparable to what life in Colorado is. Yeah, it's, yeah. It's so much littler. Yeah, no, there's and I'll slaughter it, but there's like this quote from Fight Club.

Something about once you start fighting, like everything else is turned down. So once I got out to Colorado and [00:30:00] I saw what life out here is, you know what? Being on top of a mountain and looking out and pushing yourself harder than you thought you could go, it's all about Colorado for me, which really ties into the company and how I've changed my life and who I've become and who the company has become.

I really. I don't think that it would be what it is, and I wouldn't be who I am if I didn't live out here, because there's just something about looking at those mountains and knowing that you can go higher and, just wanting to excel and to go to the top and then go to the next one and pushing yourself.

It's just, I don't know. It all translates to being out here and in Wisconsin. I did, I fished with my grandpa. I still have the first little, was it like, not goldfish? Not guppy. What? My brain's not working. Bluegill. Oh, blue gill, teeny little blue gill. I still have that. My grandpa, my my uncle was a taxidermist, and so he like taxidermy that, is that the right term?

Taxidermy? Yeah. Yeah. Okay. So he taxi it. I still have it. It's at my mom's house. It's a little tiny thing. But yeah I remember my grandpa and I would go out, I, as a little girl, I had a pink. Power ranger [00:31:00] fishing pole that I would use and I would get scared when the fish would come in. I'd see it and I'd always try to reel it up and he'd always be like no, you wanna catch the fish.

And I'd feel like scared about catching it. But those are like great memories, that I have with him and everything when I was younger. So did your life in the outdoors, I guess one, taking one step back, like you said. Living in Colorado and like seeing the mountains I think it's almost like living in a metaphor, right?

Like seeing, like you wake up every day, like you see something bigger than you, something greater than you. There's, there's almost no shortage of peaks, right? That one, you get to the top and you're like, oh my gosh, there's 50 more, right? It's this weird, I don't even, I don't wanna say it like this mind.

You know what I mean? Yes, of course. That it does to you and, but it keeps you coming back for more and Yeah. Keeps you hungry. It does. That's just it it's this continuous drive because you know that there's always another peak, another [00:32:00] valley, another peak, another you just, you have to get from one to the next.

And I think that living like that and taking that all, all in, it certainly helps continue to drive things in everything in life, not just in business or anything like that. So has your relationship with the outdoors changed since being in Colorado? Have you picked up more hobbies or, absolutely.

Yeah. So when I moved out here, I didn't know how to swim. Like I'd been snorkeling, but I didn't know how to like efficiently swim. So I think it was within the first year and a half I was out here. I signed up for a half Ironman race and I had six months to figure out how to swim. So my first. Actual swim in the ocean in a tri suit.

It was an open water swim, and it was the day of my race because I learned how to actually swim in the Breck pool at the rec center. So that was a catastrophe. I finished that race, but. Like I learned how to do that. I learned, I love road bike biking so much. My, when I lived in Bre, I would do veil pass three times a week.

It was like 4,600 vertical feet. It was, that was my back [00:33:00] and forth thing. Yeah. Amazing. I loved that. And then I started doing half marathons too. And so I made the decision that I was gonna do a half marathon in every state. My original goal was by the time I was 30, that did not happen. I'm 33, but I've definitely hacked off a large chunk of what I wanted to do.

I've done Alaska already. I did my Alaska race in North Pole, Alaska, which was really cool. But yeah, a lot of the West Coast, central Western America, yeah, I've done, I still have quite a bit of the East coast and all that stuff to do though. You got time. Oh yeah. You got time to do it. Yeah. Yeah. So how so I dove, quick answer, I dove right in. Yeah, no, I love it. And that's there's certain things that, states like Colorado, Montana, Wyoming, a lot of the western states that they have to offer that we didn't grow up with in the Midwest. I'm in Michigan here, so like I, I was just across like Michigan from you where I grew up, so I know exactly.

Likely, like how you grew up. Did you grow up in a rural community in Wisconsin? I grew up in, I grew up in a college town, so I [00:34:00] was in the city, small town though. It was like 19,000 people. Wasn't Madison, was it? No, I'm from okay. But yeah, the being able to. Ski.

If I grew up skiing and I'm I like to get out to Colorado a couple times a year if possible, to ski. And it's just not the same, right? There's you ski back here in Michigan and it's, you're almost like do I really wanna do this? If I guess what I'm trying to get to is if I had the ability to pick up and move west, I would do it in a heartbeat because why not?

What? There's everything that you could really look forward to in, in those kinds of states. How does the conservation tie into it? And we've touched on it a little bit, but when did you realize or know that you wanted conservation, the outdoors, giving back all of those things to be a cornerstone of tgm.

Before it was even born officially. Yeah, I knew. I knew when I was sitting down, I remember it very specifically. I [00:35:00] was sitting down in my living room, I had a notebook and I was brainstorming and I was writing all the things that I wanted to do, and I didn't even know that it was gonna translate into a company at that point, but I was just like regurgitating I hate this, but I love this.

I like this. This sucks. I wanna do this better. And that's really what it was. I still have the notebook shoved somewhere on the shelf that I look at sometimes, but it was that, it was, I knew my, I wanted to do something and it kept, it was really going back to my grandpa. My grandpa was a game warden and, after he passed away, they established a scholarship in his name that goes, it's back at U W S P.

He did so many things that were influential with the university for conservation. All different things and I just, I knew that I wanted to do something that was cool. And so when it started out and I was talking to people about it, I said, Hey, we're gonna get back 10% to conservation efforts. We're gonna split it between animal, ocean and forest, and that's what we're gonna do.

And I remember talking to someone and they were like, that seems high. And I was like, I really don't care. Yeah. I don't even think this company is gonna make money. If we make [00:36:00] something, I'm gonna give it away. Cool. Like I'm make enough bartending, like I just wanna make animals happy and make the environment better.

And that's all I wanted to do. You wanted to do your part? Yeah, absolutely. Cause light's short, so many people don't if every big corporation. Honestly took the time to, to try to make things better and to do their part, we would be so far ahead of where we are now. Yeah. Yeah. It's amazing. People don't care.

And that's the cool thing about 2% is if you go through the business page and you look at all of the different companies that have made the pledge to 2%, so 1% of your time, 1% of your dollars. It's incredible. There's obviously, and certainly brands that are very. Related to the outdoors.

Companies like Sitka or Stone Glacier that are making products that are directly related to hunting or to fishing, whatever. And inherently, if you're buying Stone Glacier gear because you have, some really big hunt, in Alaska, or you have [00:37:00] a once in a lifetime hunt, like you wanna have the best gear.

So you're buying their gear knowing that. The end result, or hopefully the end result is essentially you want to take from something from the land, right? Whether it's an elk, a moose, a mountain goat, or whatever. But the fact that companies like that recognize that, hey, what we're selling is directly taking from the land, or our customers are directly taking from the land.

So we're going to try to counteract that or balance that by giving back to, to fish and wildlife at the same time, but, If you look across the board, the different companies that are on there that have made that commitment I think is incredible. And that's one of the great things about conservation is you don't have to work in the outdoor space or.

Have a product that is related to that. Like you can just love the outdoors. You can just want to make everything a better place. And through that they're donating their time and their money. And I think that's one of the [00:38:00] things about just companies in general that see the need for that.

And you made a great point. If everyone that let's just say anyone that was related to the outdoors gave 1% of their company's income back. There would almost be a surplus of money to go around to all these different conservation organizations that they were like we, what? What do we do?

We have this surplus of money in our budget because we couldn't spend all of it. But I feel like that would be a really good problem to have if you were working in that space. And then it could go back into like education and other things. Like it wouldn't necessarily have to go yeah, if the budget was overflowing with actually doing things and providing, rehabilitation for injured animals or, building overpass bridges or, establishing recycling programs in different places.

Yeah. There's all different things that you could do, but then outside of that education goes a long way. Yeah. Like living in Tennessee, I was dumbfounded by how little people knew or cared about recycling. Like just, yeah. Nothing. And just to educate so people understand. So younger [00:39:00] generations will have a better environment in life.

I don't know why. That's such a bad thing. No, it's absolutely not. And the education, and I've had the opportunity to speak with a lot of people from a lot of different conservation specific organizations on this podcast. And the education piece is one of the ones that they talk about as being something that is oftentimes overlooked by different organizations.

But, I think in this day and age of social media, of younger individuals, getting out and enjoying the outdoors like now is the perfect opportunity to educate them because everything is so readily available. If you wanna learn something, you can. Google is amazing, right?

The amount of things that you can find, whether you want to or not. And yeah, the education is one that it cannot be. Overstated enough. No, I think that's a, that would be a great idea and a great place for a lot of these companies to, to spend their time and their efforts on.

I think so too.[00:40:00] With giving back, what are some of the organizations or foundations that you guys have donated back to, throughout the course of, the last six years? Yeah some of our favorite ones are Wolf Hollow and the Whale Museum, and those are both in the San Juan Islands.

And interestingly enough, I went door to door and met people up there. I was up there running my Washington half marathon when I came to see what a beautiful place that was. And I met a guy sitting at a bar eating dinner the day before my race who was like, oh, my wife volunteers with this organization.

Maybe you guys could, get together and meet up. And I had lunch with her. I think it was the next day or the day of my race. It was after I got back, took the ferry back and she connected with me and we've donated multiple times to that organization and. They're amazing. They do all sorts of stuff with injured, Harbor seal pups and different other animals that come in, birds and other mammals.

And the whale museum is really cool too. It's trying to remember which of the islands, if it's on Friday Harbor, which one it's on. But they do [00:41:00] educational programs as well. They educate about the whales, they have whale tracking and they send out emails. They follow the pods, talk about that, which is super informative, with the kids in school and.

Different things like that. So those are two of the organizations that I've really enjoyed working with over the past. Now, do you guys have like a set list that you say, okay, these are the ones that you know are near and dear to us. You have some type of connection to whether it's.

Excuse me personally, or you found this organization, you just love the work that they do, right? The work just really speaks to you? Or are you always looking for, new cool organizations or someone that's doing something kind of very niche or very specific and that just really speaks to you as well?

Both. Okay. So as we get bigger and as we're able to donate more, I'm trying to take the company to look at some different organizations to work with and to be able to donate, little things. I don't like to work with really big organizations because they get so many donations. Yeah. That it's okay, cool.

Are we funding someone's [00:42:00] salary or are we actually making a difference with an animal or an a habitat, a region, a cleanup. What does that money actually go to? And so these small organizations, I really enjoy that. Cause I, I've been there like I was at the Whale museum, I was there, I saw things, I know how this stuff works.

So I feel very confident knowing that, hey, I'm gonna do this. My money's actually going to get used, for something that's gonna make a difference. So that's one thing that I would like to continue to do small organizations, but I would like to diversify as well. Yeah, no, I love that thought process.

Knowing actually what your money is being used for, right? Because yes, certainly organizations are going to have a certain amount of overhead to, to operate and all that, but if you're gonna donate $5,000, $10,000, a hundred dollars, whatever it is, like you wanna know that's going towards a project that they're working on, funding, not going towards a luncheon.

That the organization is having, the following week or something like that, right? Yeah. You wanna make sure that your money is [00:43:00] being well spent, because obviously that's why you guys are donating it, right? To make sure that it's being used properly. And that was one thing too, this last year with Amazon, how Amazon Smile.

I don't know if you heard about that or knew what that was, but Yep. They took that away from, thousands and thousands of small organizations. And that money that they were getting, there was, it's not a Not a wildlife thing, but there's a blind cat sanctuary that I also donate to.

Okay. And they sent out an email and they were talking about the percentage of their budget that was going away just based on losing that funding from Amazon. And Amazon just made it sound like it was nothing. And all these organizations, it's not enough to make a difference. But for these small organizations, like it is, it was, yeah, it was so much money for them to lose.

And it was really sad to see that. And there was a few other, there's like a bat sanctuary that we follow too, that. Same thing. They were sending out emails, trying to figure out how else to get funding and when they were losing all that. So it really pays to find a small organization, do your research, and you'll find one that you associate with and believe in and to [00:44:00] donate to.

Yeah. And how nice is it when you're able to connect with an organization and the appreciation that they have when you're able to make a donation? Because I've made donations over the past where, you barely get a thank you. And we're not doing this for the attaboy, for the pat on the backs.

That's not why we're in it. But at the same time it is nice to be like, Hey, thank you so much. This money's gonna help for this or for that we really appreciate you don't even get that right. Or you almost have to like, jump through hoops in order to donate. They make it really hard for you to give them your money.

It's what's going on here? No, I agree. And exactly. And one of the organizations that we've donated to I think the letter, the email that we got after I made the donation, it was like the next day I woke up and I had an email and it was from the director, and she was like, oh my God.

Wow. Thank you. Yeah. Just like floored hey, like you chose to donate this like your full amount this year to us. Thank you. Yeah. That goes a long way. It does. Cause [00:45:00] that organization that I donated to when. It just left a really bad taste in my mouth and I felt like it shouldn't have, and that was last time I donated to him.

Yeah, I've had that too. And it is, it's an icky feeling. It is. It is. Yeah. I don't like that. So Rose, you guys are six years in. What's, what does the next five years look like? What do you guys have in store like that you're willing to share? Obviously I don't want any, I don't wanna put on any spoiler alerts secret, but yeah.

What is in the future for Tgm? Yeah. There's a few large brands that I'm, I have a whole list. I have a four by six whiteboard and in our office space, and I have a whole list on the back of goals already for 2024. So there's some, a few companies that we've been talking about doing partnerships with and doing some co-branding.

And so I'm really excited to see what transpires out of that in the next year. It would be great if that all comes to fruition, making stuff like that happen. It moves slower than the snail speed is. Yes. Yeah. There's so many checks and balances when you're [00:46:00] trying to get into a relationship like that with another company.

Crossing my fingers and toes of that stuff all comes to fruition. And we're also going to be doing some more events. I want to start doing a quarterly event now that Kayla is part of the mix here. It, she's a godsend and we're gonna be doing a lot of really cool things. Yeah, she needs to button not putting on a headset or not trying to join us tonight, cuz we've had to reference her a few times now.

Yeah, she's over here. Supportively sitting at the other computer. But, so with that we've talked about different ways to do it. There's a few organizations here in Colorado that we'd really like to partner with and, give them some publicity, do an event where we.

Donate and give some of that money back to them as well. I think that'd be really cool. But my goal would be a quarterly event and I would like to incorporate fitness with that as well. Maybe five Ks, cleanups, different things like that. Yeah. We also, because of all the, we are in an international company.

We have accounts from Alaska. I know Alaska's not international, but Alaska, Canada, all the way to Aruba, Puerto Rico like the. Bdi, like all the islands and stuff. [00:47:00] So because of that, we have a lot of reps across the country. So I would like to also do some events, targeting some of the places where they're located, like our southeast east reps.

I would really like to do some beach cleanups and different things like that. Just to really encompass a lot of different things, yeah. It doesn't just have to be one way of making a difference. I'd like to make a bunch of little differences and, people, it's always good to, to have seeds, different places, we're gonna be doing a lot of things. You're gonna see a lot more tgm around. There's gonna be a lot more buzz as to, who we are, what we are, what we're doing, and where we're going. Yeah. Sounds like big things are coming. I'm excited to watch from afar and see what happens. Yeah. It's a journey.

Yeah. Rose, I will let you get back to your evening. I and Kayla, I appreciate you guys joining me tonight. It was great to meet you to hear about yourself and the origin story and all that Tgm is doing. I wish you guys nothing but success and look forward to getting you guys on here again in the future.

Yeah, absolutely. Once we start cranking out on these events and stuff, we'll have to come back on and talk about 'em and hopefully get some more people to come out and hang out and [00:48:00] be a part of the team. Yeah. Everyone making a change. I love it. Rose, have a great night. Thank you again, and we will talk soon.

Absolutely. Thank you. Thank you. All right, thank you again to Rose for taking some time to join me today and tell myself and the listeners more about Grasshoppers Mermaid. Be sure and check them out as well as all of the other 2% certified And if you're interested in learning more about 2% for conservation, you can check out their website, fish and, and over there you're gonna see all the certified brands that have committed to conservation that you should support when you shop.

I also highly encourage you all to give 2% a follow on social media. Where it's gonna be only a ton of positive conservation driven content. So again, if you'd like to learn more about 2% for conservation, you can look for them online, on social media Thanks for joining me this week, everyone.

Hope you had fun and enjoyed the episode with Roses. Stick around as a, as always, tons of great [00:49:00] episodes and guests coming coming down the way. Certainly stick around. Until next week, stay safe out there and remember that conservation starts with you.