Love your people! A look into the culture and methodology of Over The Edge.
If you’ve spent any time with Over The Edge founder Troy Rarick you may have heard him use the phrase “Love Your People and let them love you back!” It’s one of the underlying principles of the business that Troy started 25 years ago, and it’s still one of the key principles that Over The Edge follows today. But what does it really mean?
This simple little phrase carries a deeper meaning than just a cliche of “be positive!” To Troy it means that Over The Edge as a business starts with creating a beautiful experience for the staff working in our stores. By having efficient systems, exact inventory and “the right tools for the job,” we hope to not only get the best staff, but also to make it easy for them to carry that forward and love our customers. By being able to say yes to the needs of our enthusiast clientele we empower our staff to empower our customers and power a successful small business. Starting from the top that love flows down through the store owners, staff, customers, friends, partners, pretty much everyone. Chances are if you’re reading this you’re one of our people and we love you.
OTE provides bicycle parts, repairs, and rentals so that our people can enjoy their riding adventure. Having the ability to “actually” fix it now and having the right gear that people will benefit from using means that they have a great experience. Having “fun things” that people can take home and remember us by allows people to love us back. This mechanism of “actually” and “actively” allowing our people to ride bikes and have fun and then empowering them with the opportunity to reciprocate that love fuels our sustainability, honors our staff, and allows us to maintain our “Edge” as leaders in our sport and examples in our world.
At Over The Edge our staff are our most important people. They’re the ones that are out there on the front lines, meeting people and solving their problems. If you’ve come to an Over The Edge store there’s a pretty good chance it’s because you need something. Whether that’s simply a cup of coffee before your ride from our Tahoe store, a demo bike for the day from our Hurricane store, or perhaps just trail directions from our Sedona store, you’re looking for something. When you walk into any Over The Edge the first person you meet will most likely be one of our staff, without them the shop would just be a room full of stuff.
We love learning things from our people, and we love sharing what we learn, often it fosters great new ideas. We invest in our staff, and provide them opportunities for growth and travel. Every year for the past few years we have sent several staff members to the Jamaica Fat Tyre Festival to experience what we feel is an amazing event, and also to support that event. They come back from Jamaica with a whole new perspective on what it means to ride a bike and what bicycles can accomplish in the world. We sell a lot of T-Shirts at our stores, and this year year we decided that rather than giving our money to a random shirt printing company we would offer to help a staff member or friend start their own shirt printing business and grow from within. So far no one has taken us up on that, but the offer still stands.
OTE Staff Retreat
We host staff retreats, little vacations that all of our staff are invited to. This years staff retreat was in Hurricane Utah, hosted by our Hurricane shop. It was a great opportunity for our staff to get to know each other better, share thoughts and ideas, and do the thing that brought us all together in the first place, ride bikes with other people in amazing places!
Paying it Forward
We believe that “loving your people” includes not only staff and customers, but also vendor partners, industry peers, and the world around us. We host events for our friends to bring them together and provide them with a great experience. From feeding them and providing a social atmosphere at events like the Sedona Fat Tire Festival and the Fruita Fat Tire Festival, to starting events like the OT3 series, we want to bring our friends together and show them a good time. It’s another of the OTE key principles, and it’s another way that we love our people. At Over The Edge we want to keep this wheel spinning forward, to say thanks, to get to know you better, and to inspire community fellowship in an increasingly isolated world.
“Love Your People” is not a simple shallow statement; we are actively seeking opportunities to actually love people and inspire them to pass that along.
“This goes way beyond bike parts, its a chance to change the world, to do business with beautiful integrity, and encourage humans to spread the passion of life out of doors. Love your people and let them love you back!”Troy Rarick