In December of 2019 I joined hundreds of Snow Peak employees from around the world at the Snow Peak Headquarters in Niigata, Japan. We came together to celebrate another successful year, to recognize our colleagues who went above and beyond, and most importantly, to reconnect with the mission that underpins all that we do at Snow Peak. That mission, the Snow Peak Way, is a collection of values, mindsets and behaviors that guide our employees’ actions. During this annual trip, all employees spent time digging deeper into the Snow Peak Way and planning at an individual and team level for how the mission would inform our work in the coming year.
During one of these workshops, a Japanese colleague of mine leaned over and gave me the following advice: “During times of trouble where you are not sure what to do, first look to the Snow Peak Way, because the answer is probably in there.” It struck me as great advice at the time - and boy oh boy, did it turn out to be the advice we needed for 2020.
At Snow Peak USA, we entered 2020 with big plans – lofty growth goals, a new North American headquarters under construction, rapidly welcoming new talent onto our growing US team, major product launches throughout the year and a robust plan of events and customer engagement. Then, when the pandemic hit in March, like every business, we were forced to take stock of a rapidly changing environment and reassess the year. Were our big goals still achievable?
At the core of the Snow Peak Way is the simple belief that in times of tension, we restore the vitality of the human spirit by sharing time in nature with loved ones. When we stare into a campfire or share a steaming bowl of food made with love, or simply stare up at the clouds as they drift by, we’re not just passing the time – we’re recharging the soul.
With that point of view, the profound existential threats to the human spirit posed by 2020 became a call to action for all of us at Snow Peak. Lots will be written about 2020, and it will certainly be remembered across the planet as one of the most challenging years in generations. A global pandemic that continues to rage as I write this has taken millions of loved ones from us too soon, decimated entire economic sectors, and upended institutions that so many of us took for granted. We’ve been driven apart from one another and from the habits, hobbies, and traditions that give so much of our life meaning.
But one thing that has remained steadfast is nature. It’s patiently waiting for us, eternally ready to offer its profound power to heal. And in 2020, so many of us took nature up on that offer, as the outdoors revealed itself as the safest place to gather. I hope that each and every one of you reading this found at least one moment of solace outside in the past 10 months. I know that I did – and that the cumulative power of those moments carried my spirit through a really tough year. If Snow Peak was with you during your time in nature, we’re grateful for having been a part of it.
So as this grinding year comes to a close, I’d like to raise a toast. Here’s to the wisdom and leadership of the Yamai family, who for over 60 years have built Snow Peak on a mission to restore the human spirit and reconnect humans to the outdoors. Here’s to the incredible employees of Snow Peak, who leaned into the Snow Peak Way this year to find the answer to one of our biggest challenges ever and delivered on our goals in big ways. And here’s to our incredible community of Snow Peakers – the ones who have been with us for years, and the ones who we’ve just welcomed to our growing community. Snow Peak is who we are because of all of you.
From all of us at Snow Peak, we wish you health and happiness, and hope that you look to the coming year with a growing ray of optimism. On the other side of this thing, we’ll all get together in nature for the greatest campout of our lives!
Chief Operating Officer
Snow Peak USA