As a locally owned and operated store, we find pride in connecting with our customers—from the walkers and workout fanatics to the runners and triathletes. To help you get to know us better, we're continuing with our "Faces of Fleet Feet" series featuring the wonderful staff that make our in-store atmosphere so special. These features serve to bridge the gap and make those faces you see in the store every day that much more familiar.
Today, we're excited to feature Rachel Ebbers, our Retail Buying Team Lead. She spends the majority of her time at the Portland and Lake Oswego stores making sure our accessories, apparel and shoe strategies are appropriate for each of our nine stores, as well as coaching No Boundaries on the side!
How did you get started in run specialty (or at Fleet Feet)?
When I graduated from University of Washington, I was working three jobs: as an adjunct professor at UW, for a poetry publisher in Seattle, and for my thesis advisor who was starting a non-profit. The publisher booted me out of my contract (first but not only time I've cried in front of my boss) and I had to find another job to make ends meet. I spent some time considering what I loved and it dawned on me that maybe someone would pay me to be passionate about running. I interviewed for a job at Fleet Feet Seattle and Brian and Andrea Morrison hired me!
What do you do outside of Fleet Feet?
I started a book club two years ago. I also bought a house with my husband. It takes a stupid amount of time just to keep a 900 square foot space clean. I also spend a lot of time with my family all across Washington and Oregon. I grew up in Texas, so I'm making up for all the lost time!
What stands out to you about working at Fleet Feet?
I love the people I work with, and I love proving to people that they CAN run, and celebrating with them when they figure it out for themselves. I love that running is a community-based, free-as-you-make-it sport that transcends class, race, age, and gender. I love that you do it alongside people - it breaks down barriers to do something physical and spiritual at the same time. And I love Fleet Feet because it values these things and customer service. We live in such a disconnected time in history; I love that I work for a company that creates an atmosphere where real talk can happen. Kind of like book club!
Do you have any exciting race stories or big running accomplishments?
I ran an ultra with my brother in Arizona. It was the most memorable experience of suffering I've had because I was laughing with him at the same time.