By John Clary Davies
On Friday night, evo, the Seattle-based winter sports retailer, celebrated its 10th birthday. Hundreds waited as the line to get into the Fremont Collective stretched down the block. Spotlights lit up the neighborhood while industry sponsors played music for those in line.
After a fashion show featuring new threads for the upcoming winter, evo founder Bryce Phillips addressed the crowd. Phillips pointed toward the culture the company had created as the driving force behind the brand.
“[We're] blurring lines between things that can live in silos," said Phillips. "From skiing and snowboarding to different lifestyles, art, fashion, etc., and blurring the line to how we run the business. The driving force isn't just to make money, it's really about building a culture."
Phillips told a story about a stranger who thanked him after the store's grand opening. The man had met his wife at the party.
"It was kind of like whoa, I was taken back," said Phillips. "How cool to be a part of something where we are bringing people together."
Both Phillips and his sister, too, met their partners through evo. This community showed Friday night when 2,000 strong showed up to the party. Phillips warned, however, that this was only the beginning for evo.
"It's pretty anticlimactic in a lot of ways," said Phillips. "The date or year or number is cool, and it's funny to look back at all the things we've done, but we're still at the beginning of it all. When I think about what the next ten years hold, I think that we're just kind of getting started."
In addition the fashion show, the party featured a gallery walk, DJs, a mechanical bull, the hip-hop group Fly Moon Royalty, free neon glasses for attendees, food and beer. Proceeds from event admission, tips from drinks, and the silent auction benefitted the Service Board, a Seattle-based non-profit that provides high-school students with life-changing experiences.