Monday, August 5, 2013

Too many shops to tour with TuTwo

Wednesday and Thursday nights were busy for Yessi and I as we made plans for a visit from TuTwo 图途(厦门)户外用品有限公司, one of China's largest outdoor gear retailers.  We had stayed up late working on a presentation getting up at 6:30 am with only 4 hours sleep to head to Seattle to pick up a 12 passenger van before meeting the TuTwo visitors.

The TuTwo team (图途团队) in Langley at the starting line for the Langley Second Street market.
It was a fast paced weekend right from the start, but the TuTwo folks were energetic, motivated and a lot of fun.  Yessi and I really enjoyed our visitors, even if we were totally exhausted by Sunday afternoon.

The TuTwo crew (图途成员) in front of their model and inspiration, REI Flagship, Seattle WA.
Our first stop was to head back north passing Boeing and then to  have a ferry ride to Whidbey Island where we visited Langley, Mukilteo Coffee, Wander on Whidbey.  Yessi and I thought a ride on the water was the best way to quickly show off our beautiful mountains.

 dbBrad (户外体验及拓展训练顾问), Hammer (图途企划总监林章锋) and Steve (图途总经理黄承辉),  the two owners of TuTwo.
From the Mukilteo/Clinton ferry, one can catch views of Mt. Rainier, Mt Baker, the Cascade mountains including Glacier Peak and the Olympic Mountains.  Unfortunately the clouds limited visibility to about 5 miles and no mountains were to be seen.  It just goes to show that you can plan, but you can't predict, hence the advantages of traveling 'freestyle'!!  Of coarse traveling freestyle is much more difficult with a group of 9, hence the planning we did.

The TuTwo crew (图途团队) taking a break at my favorite little park on Lake Union.  From L2R, YY歪歪 (Adventure developer旅游部经理), Susan李珊 (Retail零售部经理), Emma刘丽华 (Product Manager产品部经理), Steve黄承辉 (Owner总经理), Cony俞汀涛 (Purchasing Director产品部总监), Yessi, Naige王乃峰 (Designer and Superintendent of Construction设计装修监督) and Hammer林章峰 (owner企划部总监)
One week previous we had made plans to meet official representatives from Cascade Designs, Outdoor Research, REI, GreenTrails Maps, and Feathered friends which would have included a tour of their factory right here in Seattle.

Enjoying the bridge at the Fredley home on Whidbey Island
TuTwo had to postpone their trip to Seattle due to issues with their Visas forcing abandoning the original plans.  Unfortunately, we were unable to reschedule any of these tours since all my contacts were in Salt Lake City this entire week for the Outdoor Gear Show Expo.

TuTwo was very excited to see an old truck at Mukilteo Coffee
 and to find out that Pacific Coffee in Hong Kong
 gets all their coffee from this quality roaster on Whidbey Island.
 We were given a great tour and coffee for the road!
In a conversation with REI's Director of Public Relations regarding scheduling a tour of corporate headquarters for TuTwo, I was informed that the three most popular stops in Seattle, in order, are the Pike Place Market, REI Flagship and the Space Needle.  It was our intent to deliver all three!

The TwoTeam with Sarah at Wander on Whidbey.  For two of the members of the tour, this was
 their favorite shop.  Small, merchandise well displayed, simple and
only fine-quality gear with a complete selection.
When confirmation arrived just a few days ago, that TuTwo was arriving in Seattle on the 8th and departing on the 11th, we scrambled to put together new plans which included visiting:       
  • REI Tukwila (1/129  in USA 美国有129REI)
  • Wander on Whidbey
  • Eddie Bauer Prototype (1/6 special shops in USA,美国6个特别店之一)
  • REI Alderwood
  • REI Flagship Store
  • Feathered Friends
  • Play it Again Sports
  • Pro Mountain sports
  • R&E Cycles
  • Eddie Bauer standard (370 in USA美国有370家店)
  • Yoga Shop
  • Ibex
  • North Face
  • Patagonia
  • Columbia Prototype (1/5 special shops in USA美国6个特别店之一)
  • Mountain Hardware
  • OR, Outdoor Research
  • Outdoor Emporium
  • Filsons (1/2 in USA美国有2家店)
  • Cascade Design Headquarters
dbBrad (户外体验及拓展训练顾问) and Steve Huang (图途总经理黄承辉)
 forming an alliance in front of REI.
We also felt fortunate to get reservations at The Wild Ginger, where we planned to have dinner in the Dragon room to be followed with a presentation by Yessi and I of our amazing solo journeys last year, our meeting, and our fabulous adventures together this summer.

What would a visit to Seattle be without the Pike Place Public Market.  I'll bet the TuTwo
 crew devoured 5 lbs of crab!
To follow dinner we had planned a twilight ride on the Monorail to watch darkness set over beautiful Seattle. Unfortunately, this too had to be canceled.  Instead we had the good fortune to meet and spend the evening with the owner of a large importer of outdoor gear in China responsible for $5 million of Osprey packs a year and growing rapidly.

TuTwo in front of the Origional Starbucks Store, which opened in 1971.  
We did get to quickly see many of the great companies of Seattle.  Seattle is home to much innovation, evidenced by companies like Boeing, Microsoft, Starbucks, MSR, Cascade Designs, Outdoor Research and Amazon and of coarse, dbBrad (Design Build Brad)!

Seattle in Twilight with Mr. Rainier in background.  Photo courtesy of Google image search.

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