As Sarah McDonald and Heidi Fenstermacher soaked in the 15th Anniversary Celebration for their Wayne, Pa. small business, Out There Outfitters (OTO), in late July, they reflected on the past five years as owners, too.
“Everything about Out There Outfitters feels like a family affair,” says Sarah. “From the way our customers and Wayne supported us through the pandemic, when we couldn’t have our doors open and quickly pivoted to an online retailer, to our connection to local conservation groups and fellow dog lovers, it is such a great feeling to be where we are now.”
Since opening its doors in 2008, Out There Outfitters has climbed its way into the hearts of the adventure-seeking community. Located in Wayne, Pa., the store is one of the Philadelphia area’s largest suppliers of gear and clothing for the outdoor enthusiast. Out There Outfitters is committed to quality brands and curating a selection of lifestyle apparel, footwear and accessories for everyday style and comfort. The selection of hand-picked items from top brands is what makes OTO unique. There are also special gift items displayed around the store waiting for you to discover them.
As many brick-and-mortar stores struggle to stay in business, Sarah and Heidi are finding that their customers still search for service and popular brands and enjoy discovering new brands as much as they do, and they feel fortunate to be in a community that values service and in-person shopping.
Their online business still exists as a supporting role for local customers to check out new arrivals and inventory as well as nationwide shoppers.
“Our customers have been coming here for years, some since the beginning and they’ve continued to support us through the ownership change to today,” says Heidi.
“Those local relationships are key for us,” adds Sarah. “And they are also so much fun and bring that family feel to our business, like our ‘Dogs of Wayne’ wall, where we have more than 100 photos of customers’ dogs who come in to meet our Labrador Retriever, Sugar. She is a huge draw!”
Sarah and Heidi also prefer to keep their banking local and, through a referral from Heidi’s brother, a banker connected with Thecla Bene, Retail Office Manager for WSFS Bank’s Devon, Pa. Banking Office when they were looking for a new banking relationship.
While referrals are great, Crissy Bowden, Regional Manager for WSFS Bank, is a firm believer that “it’s up to us to earn that referral.”
“At a time when many businesses are resorting to ‘help yourself’ and automated responses, we prefer personal relationships with business contacts because of the sense of dependability and assurance they provide,” says Heidi. “Thecla and her team, and the teams at the nearby banking offices we also frequently visit for our business and personal banking, are the best part about working with WSFS. It’s the personal touch of their customer service, getting a real live human to answer questions and help in our banking needs. The WSFS motto of ‘We Stand for Service’ definitely holds true.”
As Out There Outfitters embarks on the next 15 years and beyond with Sarah and Heidi at the helm, their local roots and commitment to the customers and community that supports them will remain integral to their success.
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