We had the good fortune of connecting with Tony & Jaime Purinton and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Tony & Jaime, maybe we can start at the very start – the idea – how did you come up with the idea for your business?
Hike It Off was conceived a few years ago deep in the heart of the Sierra Nevada’s over a campfire and some strong mountain cocktails. Founder Tony Purinton and his best bud Rick Beach always came home with much more than memories and bruises while on their many hiking trips. They were notorious for the many mantras and catchy sayings inspired by their biggest muse, the mountains. Once back home, they would discuss putting some of their favorites mantras on t-shirts. They really wanted clothing that represented the way they felt about hiking, but could never find what they were looking for in stores. Hike It Off was always the first mantra they talked about putting on a t-shirt, but once they were back to the daily grind and distractions of life, the t-shirts never became a reality. Then something happened that would change everything. On June 4th, 2014 while celebrating co-founder and wife, Jaime Purinton’s birthday, the universe decided to change both Tony & Jaime’s life forever. While stepping over some rocks on a trail she has hiked a hundred times before, Jaime lost her balance and in a split second shattered all three bones and dislocated her right ankle. Neither Jaime nor Tony had any idea how much their lives were about to change while lying in the dirt waiting for help to arrive. When you are unable to do the things you love and are forced to be still and really think about your life and what is most important, your perspective changes. After two surgeries, a prognosis of a year of recovery, and an uncertain outcome, the thought of not being able to hike again was a real fear that crossed both Tony and Jaime’s minds daily. They both realized then how much hiking meant to them and even though this was the most difficult obstacle they had ever needed to overcome, they knew that the universe in its tricky little way had created an opportunity for them through this misadventure. While Jaime was in recovery, Hike It Off Clothing was born. She was determined to bring this dream to life. Now we live, breathe, eat, and sleep Hike It Off. In addition to the clothing, we have have added a quarterly magazine and the I Am The Wild: 30 Day Experience to help others reconnect to nature and themselves.
What should our readers know about your business?
We don’t just talk about hikes and gear. We incorporate the spiritual side of hiking, the healing aspects of hiking, how hiking helps to find your inner self, and the connection to the earth. Hiking has many deep aspects to it beyond just talking about favorite hiking boots and trail snacks. We are proud that we have been patient with the company. We stayed true to our vision and let it evolve naturally into a community of like minded people who love the outdoors as much as we do. The biggest lesson we’ve learned along the way is to just be us. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t but when we are authentically us, we enjoy it and learn more.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
We live in North County in Fallbrook, a small farming community that is proud of its friendliness- in fact it’s known as the “friendly village”. We are also known as the avocado capital of the world so if you love avocados- Fallbrook is the place to be. Fallbrook hosts the avocado festival once a year in April and it draws over 100,000 people in one day! We have one of the most beautiful trails in San Diego (we can walk to from our front door) at the Santa Margarita River. The trails winds along a year round river and is covered in centuries old oak trees. You can spot wildlife like bobcats, coyotes, beaver, and blue heron regularly. After a long hike, we love to grab a Sangria and catch a live band at our favorite vineyard- The Vineyard 1924. The Vineyard 1924 is an outdoor space that everyone who visits feels comfortable. The casual vibe and beautiful views make it a perfect spot to catch the sunset. Fallbrook also has quite a few other wineries to wine taste at. For dinner, we’d head to Small Town, known for their Farm to Table homemade cuisine or 127 West and sit on their patio next to a small creek that runs through town. Both have amazing food with plenty of choices including vegan options.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
We’d like to shoutout to our core group of friends and colleagues that encouraged us to do things our way from the beginning. They have been there for every event and support us in so many ways and encourage us to be as authentic and unique as we like. They inspire us everyday!