Earlier this month, we learned of the passing of Mary Anderson, co-founder of renowned outdoor outfitter, REI.
Anderson spent much of her formative years climbing mountains and exploring the wilderness of the US’s Pacific Northwest and in the 1930s decided to start a business dedicated to outfitting others with the same passion.
REI was officially founded in 1938 but operated mainly out of the Andersons’ West Seattle home for several years.
Thomas Vogl, CEO of The Mountaineers and a former senior vice president of marketing at REI, said that the pair hadn’t initially planned on going into business, but that the co-op was born of necessity.
“Mary and Lloyd — they never started this buying cooperative to create a store,” Vogl said. “All they really wanted to do was make it easier and more accessible for people to get into the outdoors.”
Lloyd also lived to an old age, but died in the year 2000. People have accredited the couple’s general longevity to the amount of time they spent outdoors.
REI said in a statement that “Mary’s legacy is deeply engrained in REI and her contributions to the outdoor community extend far beyond the co-op.”
“REI and our employees are grateful to the Andersons for their dedication to REI and the incredible foundation they established. It is our honor to carry on their commitment more than 75 years later and beyond.”