All orders qualify for free returns. Free shipping is automatically applied to orders over $50. Want to enjoy free shipping on every order? Join Routefinders Rewards for free.

Free shipping is not available for pro deal members unless otherwise stated.

An Outdoors for All: Celebrating 5 Years with Slim Pickins Outfitters

From two small towns in northwest Texas, Heather and Jahmicah Dawes both grew up with different, but important experiences in the outdoors. 

Heather is from a town of 700 people, and while her outdoor experience might not seem conventional, it played a critical role in her upbringing. Whether it was tending to the family garden, fishing in the summers or camping on a mattress on a flatbed trailer—these experiences helped shape the Heather Dawes we know today.

For Jahmicah, his introduction to the outdoors through organized youth programs didn’t start him off on the most positive terms, but he eventually found his way back to the outdoors in college. His group of friends reintroduced Jahmicah to the more traditional outdoor activities such as mountain biking, fishing and hiking, and together they fostered a community that he is still passionate about to this day.

But while the great outdoors played a big part in their lives, one of the many threads that weave Heather and Jahmicah together is their shared sense of community. Both prioritizing inclusivity in the outdoors and the outdoor industry, they set out on a journey that would become one of the most memorable roller coasters of their lives. 

 

A man and woman holding their two kids and posing with their basset hound Jahmicah, Heather, Silas, Finis, and their pup Bill Murray - image courtesy of Wondercamp

 

Slim Pickins

Slim Pickins Outfitters (SPO)—the first Black-owned, independent outdoor retailer in the nation—can be found on the corner of Washington St. and Belknap Ave in Stephenville, Texas. It’s a place where anyone is welcome, and serves as far more than just a gear shop.

SPO is a community where everyone can feel safe, comfortable and be themselves. Their mission—Act Justly, Serve Kindly, Love Humbly, and Adventure Out—applies to all.

But Slim Pickins Outfitters was not always the plan for Jahmicah. He started his first business out of his dorm room in college. Called Slim Pickins Vintage, Jahmicah would tap his background in fashion merchandising to provide styling services for clients—making sure they were dressed for success for date nights and other events around town. 

Catch a little déjà vu with the name Slim Pickins? We did too. 

Jahmicah’s grandfather on his mother’s side was a 6-foot-10-inch, 375-pound mountain of a man, according to Jahmicah. But that didn’t stop him from having incredible style. After he passed, Jahmicah asked his uncle how and where his grandfather adopted such taste, to which his uncle replied: “Style and quality clothes for us big guys, you know, it’s slim pickin’s out here. Man, I’ve been slim pickin’ it all my life.” And thus the Slim Pickins moniker was born.

If you look for Stephenville on a map, you might wonder how and why an outdoor gear shop landed there. Heather says, “Simply because there wasn’t one.” Surrounded by nine state parks within an 80-mile radius, there are so many different ways to spend time in the outdoors. The SPO team hoped to eliminate the need for people to drive hours just to buy or rent gear required to spend time outside. In addition to outfitting people for success in the outdoors, SPO hopes to encourage folks to explore the special and unique public lands, particularly in Texas. 

Early Days of SPO SPO, 5 years in the making This year, SPO is celebrating their fifth anniversary—an incredible milestone. And while time might seem to have flown by, it hasn’t always been easy for the Dawes. After pushing back the opening of SPO once already to ensure everything was in place and ready to go, Heather and Jahmicah were coming down to the wire only six days until their grand opening.    That morning, when Heather arrived to the shop with her own exciting news to share, Jahmicah was feeling overwhelmed with nervousness and doubt. He explained to her that he wasn’t sure they’d be able to open in time—if they could open at all. It wasn’t too late to back out. They could return the product they’d ordered, give back the money they’re received from investors and still call the whole thing off.    Heather decided not to share her news just yet and left, making her way to the sneaker store in town—the only other Black-owned business in Stephenville—to buy a pair of tiny shoes. She was pregnant, and wanted to surprise Jahmicah, not catch him in his moment of uncertainty.   Returning to the shop later that day, she presented the shoes and broke the news to him that he was going to be a father. Everything changed-for the better.  “What are we going to do?” Jahmicah remembers thinking. “Not in the sense that we were stuck, but I think like, we were honestly just more committed than ever.”  While a baby on the way added new layers to their ambitions, it also created newfound motivation and creativity. Now, in addition to opening a business, they were hoping to create something more—something for the next generation. And that’s exactly what SPO has become.   A man smiling and standing in front of his store, with clothing display racks behind him Image courtesy of Wondercamp   Celebrate Good Times Community has always been a priority for the SPO team. It’s a core foundation of who they are as individuals, as a married couple, as a family and as shop owners.     “We knew that if we were going to be successful with this, we would need to have community buy-in,” Jahmicah reflects.   Prior to the shop opening, the local community banded together to help support the Dawes. They built clothing racks, helped inventory incoming product and really got the building into shape.    Fast forward to their one-year anniversary. SPO hosted a live music event to celebrate with the community. As they reflected on their doubts and worries right before opening their doors, their friends, supporters and community came together to celebrate all that they had accomplished so far.    Sleepy baby Silas was passed around the room and rocked back and forth to the music. As one of her favorite memories to date, Heather recalls the happiness she felt during the one-year celebration.   “We did make it. And not like, we’ve made it, but this is like what we’re going to do. We are going to keep showing up, we’re going to keep bringing our kids, we’re going to keep doing the hard things and then maybe eventually it will pay off,” she explains. “And maybe it won’t. But this is what we’re going to keep doing.”    Now, as they celebrate five years as a business and community, the SPO team acknowledges that they are never perfect, they are always growing, they appreciate what’s most important. It’s all part of what they aim to share with their customers, supporters and continually growing audience.    Walking through the doors, you’ll see more than just a shop. You’ll see all the bits and pieces of Jahmicah, Heather and their family that went into its creation. You will find subtle influences of Jahmicah and Heather’s time in the outdoors, hear tunes from the record player, and may even be greeted by now four-year-old  Silas with a smile on his face. A man and a woman holding their two kids, wearing matching outfits inside their store The Dawes Family - Image courtesy of Tommy Cory   Act Justly, Serve Kindly, Love Humbly, and Adventure Out SPO is Black-owned, women-ran and they keep it all in the family. They are looking to express positive energy to make a change in the outdoors, in the outdoor industry and beyond. Everyone belongs in the outdoors, and the team at SPO wants you to know that there is space for you.    Jahmicah is grateful to have created a space for everyone to be themselves, and to feel safe and welcome.    “This is a place that people are able to call a community, and feel welcomed in, and safe in, and encouraged in, and being challenged to step out of their comfort zone and getting back outside,” he says.   Heather wants everyone to know that they are welcome.    “Hey, you belong outside. You belong outdoors,” she says. “There is space for you.”    If you don’t know where to start, know that there are people in this industry like the Slim Pickins team who want to help others feel safe and comfortable in the outdoors. And if you already have the privilege to feel comfortable in the outdoors, you can work to help others feel safe and know that they belong in the outdoors, too.

SPO, 5 years in the making This year, SPO is celebrating their fifth anniversary—an incredible milestone. And while time might seem to have flown by, it hasn’t always been easy for the Dawes. After pushing back the opening of SPO once already to ensure everything was in place and ready to go, Heather and Jahmicah were coming down to the wire only six days until their grand opening.    That morning, when Heather arrived to the shop with her own exciting news to share, Jahmicah was feeling overwhelmed with nervousness and doubt. He explained to her that he wasn’t sure they’d be able to open in time—if they could open at all. It wasn’t too late to back out. They could return the product they’d ordered, give back the money they’re received from investors and still call the whole thing off.    Heather decided not to share her news just yet and left, making her way to the sneaker store in town—the only other Black-owned business in Stephenville—to buy a pair of tiny shoes. She was pregnant, and wanted to surprise Jahmicah, not catch him in his moment of uncertainty.   Returning to the shop later that day, she presented the shoes and broke the news to him that he was going to be a father. Everything changed-for the better.  “What are we going to do?” Jahmicah remembers thinking. “Not in the sense that we were stuck, but I think like, we were honestly just more committed than ever.”  While a baby on the way added new layers to their ambitions, it also created newfound motivation and creativity. Now, in addition to opening a business, they were hoping to create something more—something for the next generation. And that’s exactly what SPO has become.   A man smiling and standing in front of his store, with clothing display racks behind him Image courtesy of Wondercamp   Celebrate Good Times Community has always been a priority for the SPO team. It’s a core foundation of who they are as individuals, as a married couple, as a family and as shop owners.     “We knew that if we were going to be successful with this, we would need to have community buy-in,” Jahmicah reflects.   Prior to the shop opening, the local community banded together to help support the Dawes. They built clothing racks, helped inventory incoming product and really got the building into shape.    Fast forward to their one-year anniversary. SPO hosted a live music event to celebrate with the community. As they reflected on their doubts and worries right before opening their doors, their friends, supporters and community came together to celebrate all that they had accomplished so far.    Sleepy baby Silas was passed around the room and rocked back and forth to the music. As one of her favorite memories to date, Heather recalls the happiness she felt during the one-year celebration.   “We did make it. And not like, we’ve made it, but this is like what we’re going to do. We are going to keep showing up, we’re going to keep bringing our kids, we’re going to keep doing the hard things and then maybe eventually it will pay off,” she explains. “And maybe it won’t. But this is what we’re going to keep doing.”    Now, as they celebrate five years as a business and community, the SPO team acknowledges that they are never perfect, they are always growing, they appreciate what’s most important. It’s all part of what they aim to share with their customers, supporters and continually growing audience.    Walking through the doors, you’ll see more than just a shop. You’ll see all the bits and pieces of Jahmicah, Heather and their family that went into its creation. You will find subtle influences of Jahmicah and Heather’s time in the outdoors, hear tunes from the record player, and may even be greeted by now four-year-old  Silas with a smile on his face. A man and a woman holding their two kids, wearing matching outfits inside their store The Dawes Family - Image courtesy of Tommy Cory   Act Justly, Serve Kindly, Love Humbly, and Adventure Out SPO is Black-owned, women-ran and they keep it all in the family. They are looking to express positive energy to make a change in the outdoors, in the outdoor industry and beyond. Everyone belongs in the outdoors, and the team at SPO wants you to know that there is space for you.    Jahmicah is grateful to have created a space for everyone to be themselves, and to feel safe and welcome.    “This is a place that people are able to call a community, and feel welcomed in, and safe in, and encouraged in, and being challenged to step out of their comfort zone and getting back outside,” he says.   Heather wants everyone to know that they are welcome.    “Hey, you belong outside. You belong outdoors,” she says. “There is space for you.”    If you don’t know where to start, know that there are people in this industry like the Slim Pickins team who want to help others feel safe and comfortable in the outdoors. And if you already have the privilege to feel comfortable in the outdoors, you can work to help others feel safe and know that they belong in the outdoors, too.

SPO, 5 years in the making This year, SPO is celebrating their fifth anniversary—an incredible milestone. And while time might seem to have flown by, it hasn’t always been easy for the Dawes. After pushing back the opening of SPO once already to ensure everything was in place and ready to go, Heather and Jahmicah were coming down to the wire only six days until their grand opening.    That morning, when Heather arrived to the shop with her own exciting news to share, Jahmicah was feeling overwhelmed with nervousness and doubt. He explained to her that he wasn’t sure they’d be able to open in time—if they could open at all. It wasn’t too late to back out. They could return the product they’d ordered, give back the money they’re received from investors and still call the whole thing off.    Heather decided not to share her news just yet and left, making her way to the sneaker store in town—the only other Black-owned business in Stephenville—to buy a pair of tiny shoes. She was pregnant, and wanted to surprise Jahmicah, not catch him in his moment of uncertainty.   Returning to the shop later that day, she presented the shoes and broke the news to him that he was going to be a father. Everything changed-for the better.  “What are we going to do?” Jahmicah remembers thinking. “Not in the sense that we were stuck, but I think like, we were honestly just more committed than ever.”  While a baby on the way added new layers to their ambitions, it also created newfound motivation and creativity. Now, in addition to opening a business, they were hoping to create something more—something for the next generation. And that’s exactly what SPO has become. A man smiling and standing in front of his store, with clothing display racks behind him Image courtesy of Wondercamp   Celebrate Good Times Community has always been a priority for the SPO team. It’s a core foundation of who they are as individuals, as a married couple, as a family and as shop owners.     “We knew that if we were going to be successful with this, we would need to have community buy-in,” Jahmicah reflects.   Prior to the shop opening, the local community banded together to help support the Dawes. They built clothing racks, helped inventory incoming product and really got the building into shape.    Fast forward to their one-year anniversary. SPO hosted a live music event to celebrate with the community. As they reflected on their doubts and worries right before opening their doors, their friends, supporters and community came together to celebrate all that they had accomplished so far.    Sleepy baby Silas was passed around the room and rocked back and forth to the music. As one of her favorite memories to date, Heather recalls the happiness she felt during the one-year celebration.   “We did make it. And not like, we’ve made it, but this is like what we’re going to do. We are going to keep showing up, we’re going to keep bringing our kids, we’re going to keep doing the hard things and then maybe eventually it will pay off,” she explains. “And maybe it won’t. But this is what we’re going to keep doing.”    Now, as they celebrate five years as a business and community, the SPO team acknowledges that they are never perfect, they are always growing, they appreciate what’s most important. It’s all part of what they aim to share with their customers, supporters and continually growing audience.    Walking through the doors, you’ll see more than just a shop. You’ll see all the bits and pieces of Jahmicah, Heather and their family that went into its creation. You will find subtle influences of Jahmicah and Heather’s time in the outdoors, hear tunes from the record player, and may even be greeted by now four-year-old  Silas with a smile on his face. A man and a woman holding their two kids, wearing matching outfits inside their store The Dawes Family - Image courtesy of Tommy Cory   Act Justly, Serve Kindly, Love Humbly, and Adventure Out SPO is Black-owned, women-ran and they keep it all in the family. They are looking to express positive energy to make a change in the outdoors, in the outdoor industry and beyond. Everyone belongs in the outdoors, and the team at SPO wants you to know that there is space for you.    Jahmicah is grateful to have created a space for everyone to be themselves, and to feel safe and welcome.    “This is a place that people are able to call a community, and feel welcomed in, and safe in, and encouraged in, and being challenged to step out of their comfort zone and getting back outside,” he says.   Heather wants everyone to know that they are welcome.    “Hey, you belong outside. You belong outdoors,” she says. “There is space for you.”    If you don’t know where to start, know that there are people in this industry like the Slim Pickins team who want to help others feel safe and comfortable in the outdoors. And if you already have the privilege to feel comfortable in the outdoors, you can work to help others feel safe and know that they belong in the outdoors, too.

SPO, 5 years in the making This year, SPO is celebrating their fifth anniversary—an incredible milestone. And while time might seem to have flown by, it hasn’t always been easy for the Dawes. After pushing back the opening of SPO once already to ensure everything was in place and ready to go, Heather and Jahmicah were coming down to the wire only six days until their grand opening.  That morning, when Heather arrived to the shop with her own exciting news to share, Jahmicah was feeling overwhelmed with nervousness and doubt. He explained to her that he wasn’t sure they’d be able to open in time—if they could open at all. It wasn’t too late to back out. They could return the product they’d ordered, give back the money they’re received from investors and still call the whole thing off.  Heather decided not to share her news just yet and left, making her way to the sneaker store in town—the only other Black-owned business in Stephenville—to buy a pair of tiny shoes. She was pregnant, and wanted to surprise Jahmicah, not catch him in his moment of uncertainty. Returning to the shop later that day, she presented the shoes and broke the news to him that he was going to be a father. Everything changed-for the better.  “What are we going to do?” Jahmicah remembers thinking. “Not in the sense that we were stuck, but I think like, we were honestly just more committed than ever.”  While a baby on the way added new layers to their ambitions, it also created newfound motivation and creativity. Now, in addition to opening a business, they were hoping to create something more—something for the next generation. And that’s exactly what SPO has become. A man smiling and standing in front of his store, with clothing display racks behind him Image courtesy of Wondercamp   Celebrate Good Times Community has always been a priority for the SPO team. It’s a core foundation of who they are as individuals, as a married couple, as a family and as shop owners.  “We knew that if we were going to be successful with this, we would need to have community buy-in,” Jahmicah reflects. Prior to the shop opening, the local community banded together to help support the Dawes. They built clothing racks, helped inventory incoming product and really got the building into shape.  Fast forward to their one-year anniversary. SPO hosted a live music event to celebrate with the community. As they reflected on their doubts and worries right before opening their doors, their friends, supporters and community came together to celebrate all that they had accomplished so far.  Sleepy baby Silas was passed around the room and rocked back and forth to the music. As one of her favorite memories to date, Heather recalls the happiness she felt during the one-year celebration. “We did make it. And not like, we’ve made it, but this is like what we’re going to do. We are going to keep showing up, we’re going to keep bringing our kids, we’re going to keep doing the hard things and then maybe eventually it will pay off,” she explains. “And maybe it won’t. But this is what we’re going to keep doing.”  Now, as they celebrate five years as a business and community, the SPO team acknowledges that they are never perfect, they are always growing, they appreciate what’s most important. It’s all part of what they aim to share with their customers, supporters and continually growing audience.  Walking through the doors, you’ll see more than just a shop. You’ll see all the bits and pieces of Jahmicah, Heather and their family that went into its creation. You will find subtle influences of Jahmicah and Heather’s time in the outdoors, hear tunes from the record player, and may even be greeted by now four-year-old  Silas with a smile on his face. A man and a woman holding their two kids, wearing matching outfits inside their store The Dawes Family - Image courtesy of Tommy Cory   Act Justly, Serve Kindly, Love Humbly, and Adventure Out SPO is Black-owned, women-ran and they keep it all in the family. They are looking to express positive energy to make a change in the outdoors, in the outdoor industry and beyond. Everyone belongs in the outdoors, and the team at SPO wants you to know that there is space for you.  Jahmicah is grateful to have created a space for everyone to be themselves, and to feel safe and welcome.  “This is a place that people are able to call a community, and feel welcomed in, and safe in, and encouraged in, and being challenged to step out of their comfort zone and getting back outside,” he says. Heather wants everyone to know that they are welcome.  “Hey, you belong outside. You belong outdoors,” she says. “There is space for you.”  If you don’t know where to start, know that there are people in this industry like the Slim Pickins team who want to help others feel safe and comfortable in the outdoors. And if you already have the privilege to feel comfortable in the outdoors, you can work to help others feel safe and know that they belong in the outdoors, too.

SPO, 5 years in the making This year, SPO is celebrating their fifth anniversary—an incredible milestone. And while time might seem to have flown by, it hasn’t always been easy for the Dawes. After pushing back the opening of SPO once already to ensure everything was in place and ready to go, Heather and Jahmicah were coming down to the wire only six days until their grand opening.    That morning, when Heather arrived to the shop with her own exciting news to share, Jahmicah was feeling overwhelmed with nervousness and doubt. He explained to her that he wasn’t sure they’d be able to open in time—if they could open at all. It wasn’t too late to back out. They could return the product they’d ordered, give back the money they’re received from investors and still call the whole thing off.    Heather decided not to share her news just yet and left, making her way to the sneaker store in town—the only other Black-owned business in Stephenville—to buy a pair of tiny shoes. She was pregnant, and wanted to surprise Jahmicah, not catch him in his moment of uncertainty.   Returning to the shop later that day, she presented the shoes and broke the news to him that he was going to be a father. Everything changed-for the better.  “What are we going to do?” Jahmicah remembers thinking. “Not in the sense that we were stuck, but I think like, we were honestly just more committed than ever.”  While a baby on the way added new layers to their ambitions, it also created newfound motivation and creativity. Now, in addition to opening a business, they were hoping to create something more—something for the next generation. And that’s exactly what SPO has become. A man smiling and standing in front of his store, with clothing display racks behind him Image courtesy of Wondercamp   Celebrate Good Times Community has always been a priority for the SPO team. It’s a core foundation of who they are as individuals, as a married couple, as a family and as shop owners.     “We knew that if we were going to be successful with this, we would need to have community buy-in,” Jahmicah reflects.   Prior to the shop opening, the local community banded together to help support the Dawes. They built clothing racks, helped inventory incoming product and really got the building into shape.    Fast forward to their one-year anniversary. SPO hosted a live music event to celebrate with the community. As they reflected on their doubts and worries right before opening their doors, their friends, supporters and community came together to celebrate all that they had accomplished so far.    Sleepy baby Silas was passed around the room and rocked back and forth to the music. As one of her favorite memories to date, Heather recalls the happiness she felt during the one-year celebration.   “We did make it. And not like, we’ve made it, but this is like what we’re going to do. We are going to keep showing up, we’re going to keep bringing our kids, we’re going to keep doing the hard things and then maybe eventually it will pay off,” she explains. “And maybe it won’t. But this is what we’re going to keep doing.”    Now, as they celebrate five years as a business and community, the SPO team acknowledges that they are never perfect, they are always growing, they appreciate what’s most important. It’s all part of what they aim to share with their customers, supporters and continually growing audience.    Walking through the doors, you’ll see more than just a shop. You’ll see all the bits and pieces of Jahmicah, Heather and their family that went into its creation. You will find subtle influences of Jahmicah and Heather’s time in the outdoors, hear tunes from the record player, and may even be greeted by now four-year-old  Silas with a smile on his face. A man and a woman holding their two kids, wearing matching outfits inside their store The Dawes Family - Image courtesy of Tommy Cory   Act Justly, Serve Kindly, Love Humbly, and Adventure Out SPO is Black-owned, women-ran and they keep it all in the family. They are looking to express positive energy to make a change in the outdoors, in the outdoor industry and beyond. Everyone belongs in the outdoors, and the team at SPO wants you to know that there is space for you.    Jahmicah is grateful to have created a space for everyone to be themselves, and to feel safe and welcome.    “This is a place that people are able to call a community, and feel welcomed in, and safe in, and encouraged in, and being challenged to step out of their comfort zone and getting back outside,” he says.   Heather wants everyone to know that they are welcome.    “Hey, you belong outside. You belong outdoors,” she says. “There is space for you.”    If you don’t know where to start, know that there are people in this industry like the Slim Pickins team who want to help others feel safe and comfortable in the outdoors. And if you already have the privilege to feel comfortable in the outdoors, you can work to help others feel safe and know that they belong in the outdoors, too.

SPO, 5 years in the making This year, SPO is celebrating their fifth anniversary—an incredible milestone. And while time might seem to have flown by, it hasn’t always been easy for the Dawes. After pushing back the opening of SPO once already to ensure everything was in place and ready to go, Heather and Jahmicah were coming down to the wire only six days until their grand opening.    That morning, when Heather arrived to the shop with her own exciting news to share, Jahmicah was feeling overwhelmed with nervousness and doubt. He explained to her that he wasn’t sure they’d be able to open in time—if they could open at all. It wasn’t too late to back out. They could return the product they’d ordered, give back the money they’re received from investors and still call the whole thing off.    Heather decided not to share her news just yet and left, making her way to the sneaker store in town—the only other Black-owned business in Stephenville—to buy a pair of tiny shoes. She was pregnant, and wanted to surprise Jahmicah, not catch him in his moment of uncertainty.   Returning to the shop later that day, she presented the shoes and broke the news to him that he was going to be a father. Everything changed-for the better.  “What are we going to do?” Jahmicah remembers thinking. “Not in the sense that we were stuck, but I think like, we were honestly just more committed than ever.”  While a baby on the way added new layers to their ambitions, it also created newfound motivation and creativity. Now, in addition to opening a business, they were hoping to create something more—something for the next generation. And that’s exactly what SPO has become. A man smiling and standing in front of his store, with clothing display racks behind him Image courtesy of Wondercamp   Celebrate Good Times Community has always been a priority for the SPO team. It’s a core foundation of who they are as individuals, as a married couple, as a family and as shop owners.     “We knew that if we were going to be successful with this, we would need to have community buy-in,” Jahmicah reflects.   Prior to the shop opening, the local community banded together to help support the Dawes. They built clothing racks, helped inventory incoming product and really got the building into shape.    Fast forward to their one-year anniversary. SPO hosted a live music event to celebrate with the community. As they reflected on their doubts and worries right before opening their doors, their friends, supporters and community came together to celebrate all that they had accomplished so far.    Sleepy baby Silas was passed around the room and rocked back and forth to the music. As one of her favorite memories to date, Heather recalls the happiness she felt during the one-year celebration.   “We did make it. And not like, we’ve made it, but this is like what we’re going to do. We are going to keep showing up, we’re going to keep bringing our kids, we’re going to keep doing the hard things and then maybe eventually it will pay off,” she explains. “And maybe it won’t. But this is what we’re going to keep doing.”    Now, as they celebrate five years as a business and community, the SPO team acknowledges that they are never perfect, they are always growing, they appreciate what’s most important. It’s all part of what they aim to share with their customers, supporters and continually growing audience.    Walking through the doors, you’ll see more than just a shop. You’ll see all the bits and pieces of Jahmicah, Heather and their family that went into its creation. You will find subtle influences of Jahmicah and Heather’s time in the outdoors, hear tunes from the record player, and may even be greeted by now four-year-old  Silas with a smile on his face. A man and a woman holding their two kids, wearing matching outfits inside their store The Dawes Family - Image courtesy of Tommy Cory   Act Justly, Serve Kindly, Love Humbly, and Adventure Out SPO is Black-owned, women-ran and they keep it all in the family. They are looking to express positive energy to make a change in the outdoors, in the outdoor industry and beyond. Everyone belongs in the outdoors, and the team at SPO wants you to know that there is space for you.    Jahmicah is grateful to have created a space for everyone to be themselves, and to feel safe and welcome.    “This is a place that people are able to call a community, and feel welcomed in, and safe in, and encouraged in, and being challenged to step out of their comfort zone and getting back outside,” he says.   Heather wants everyone to know that they are welcome.    “Hey, you belong outside. You belong outdoors,” she says. “There is space for you.”    If you don’t know where to start, know that there are people in this industry like the Slim Pickins team who want to help others feel safe and comfortable in the outdoors. And if you already have the privilege to feel comfortable in the outdoors, you can work to help others feel safe and know that they belong in the outdoors, too.

SPO, 5 years in the making This year, SPO is celebrating their fifth anniversary—an incredible milestone. And while time might seem to have flown by, it hasn’t always been easy for the Dawes. After pushing back the opening of SPO once already to ensure everything was in place and ready to go, Heather and Jahmicah were coming down to the wire only six days until their grand opening.    That morning, when Heather arrived to the shop with her own exciting news to share, Jahmicah was feeling overwhelmed with nervousness and doubt. He explained to her that he wasn’t sure they’d be able to open in time—if they could open at all. It wasn’t too late to back out. They could return the product they’d ordered, give back the money they’re received from investors and still call the whole thing off.    Heather decided not to share her news just yet and left, making her way to the sneaker store in town—the only other Black-owned business in Stephenville—to buy a pair of tiny shoes. She was pregnant, and wanted to surprise Jahmicah, not catch him in his moment of uncertainty.   Returning to the shop later that day, she presented the shoes and broke the news to him that he was going to be a father. Everything changed-for the better.  “What are we going to do?” Jahmicah remembers thinking. “Not in the sense that we were stuck, but I think like, we were honestly just more committed than ever.”  While a baby on the way added new layers to their ambitions, it also created newfound motivation and creativity. Now, in addition to opening a business, they were hoping to create something more—something for the next generation. And that’s exactly what SPO has become. A man smiling and standing in front of his store, with clothing display racks behind him Image courtesy of Wondercamp   Celebrate Good Times Community has always been a priority for the SPO team. It’s a core foundation of who they are as individuals, as a married couple, as a family and as shop owners.     “We knew that if we were going to be successful with this, we would need to have community buy-in,” Jahmicah reflects.   Prior to the shop opening, the local community banded together to help support the Dawes. They built clothing racks, helped inventory incoming product and really got the building into shape.    Fast forward to their one-year anniversary. SPO hosted a live music event to celebrate with the community. As they reflected on their doubts and worries right before opening their doors, their friends, supporters and community came together to celebrate all that they had accomplished so far.    Sleepy baby Silas was passed around the room and rocked back and forth to the music. As one of her favorite memories to date, Heather recalls the happiness she felt during the one-year celebration.   “We did make it. And not like, we’ve made it, but this is like what we’re going to do. We are going to keep showing up, we’re going to keep bringing our kids, we’re going to keep doing the hard things and then maybe eventually it will pay off,” she explains. “And maybe it won’t. But this is what we’re going to keep doing.”    Now, as they celebrate five years as a business and community, the SPO team acknowledges that they are never perfect, they are always growing, they appreciate what’s most important. It’s all part of what they aim to share with their customers, supporters and continually growing audience.    Walking through the doors, you’ll see more than just a shop. You’ll see all the bits and pieces of Jahmicah, Heather and their family that went into its creation. You will find subtle influences of Jahmicah and Heather’s time in the outdoors, hear tunes from the record player, and may even be greeted by now four-year-old  Silas with a smile on his face. A man and a woman holding their two kids, wearing matching outfits inside their store The Dawes Family - Image courtesy of Tommy Cory   Act Justly, Serve Kindly, Love Humbly, and Adventure Out SPO is Black-owned, women-ran and they keep it all in the family. They are looking to express positive energy to make a change in the outdoors, in the outdoor industry and beyond. Everyone belongs in the outdoors, and the team at SPO wants you to know that there is space for you.    Jahmicah is grateful to have created a space for everyone to be themselves, and to feel safe and welcome.    “This is a place that people are able to call a community, and feel welcomed in, and safe in, and encouraged in, and being challenged to step out of their comfort zone and getting back outside,” he says.   Heather wants everyone to know that they are welcome.    “Hey, you belong outside. You belong outdoors,” she says. “There is space for you.”    If you don’t know where to start, know that there are people in this industry like the Slim Pickins team who want to help others feel safe and comfortable in the outdoors. And if you already have the privilege to feel comfortable in the outdoors, you can work to help others feel safe and know that they belong in the outdoors, too.

SPO, 5 years in the making This year, SPO is celebrating their fifth anniversary—an incredible milestone. And while time might seem to have flown by, it hasn’t always been easy for the Dawes. After pushing back the opening of SPO once already to ensure everything was in place and ready to go, Heather and Jahmicah were coming down to the wire only six days until their grand opening.    That morning, when Heather arrived to the shop with her own exciting news to share, Jahmicah was feeling overwhelmed with nervousness and doubt. He explained to her that he wasn’t sure they’d be able to open in time—if they could open at all. It wasn’t too late to back out. They could return the product they’d ordered, give back the money they’re received from investors and still call the whole thing off.    Heather decided not to share her news just yet and left, making her way to the sneaker store in town—the only other Black-owned business in Stephenville—to buy a pair of tiny shoes. She was pregnant, and wanted to surprise Jahmicah, not catch him in his moment of uncertainty.   Returning to the shop later that day, she presented the shoes and broke the news to him that he was going to be a father. Everything changed-for the better.  “What are we going to do?” Jahmicah remembers thinking. “Not in the sense that we were stuck, but I think like, we were honestly just more committed than ever.”  While a baby on the way added new layers to their ambitions, it also created newfound motivation and creativity. Now, in addition to opening a business, they were hoping to create something more—something for the next generation. And that’s exactly what SPO has become. A man smiling and standing in front of his store, with clothing display racks behind him Image courtesy of Wondercamp   Celebrate Good Times Community has always been a priority for the SPO team. It’s a core foundation of who they are as individuals, as a married couple, as a family and as shop owners.     “We knew that if we were going to be successful with this, we would need to have community buy-in,” Jahmicah reflects.   Prior to the shop opening, the local community banded together to help support the Dawes. They built clothing racks, helped inventory incoming product and really got the building into shape.    Fast forward to their one-year anniversary. SPO hosted a live music event to celebrate with the community. As they reflected on their doubts and worries right before opening their doors, their friends, supporters and community came together to celebrate all that they had accomplished so far.    Sleepy baby Silas was passed around the room and rocked back and forth to the music. As one of her favorite memories to date, Heather recalls the happiness she felt during the one-year celebration.   “We did make it. And not like, we’ve made it, but this is like what we’re going to do. We are going to keep showing up, we’re going to keep bringing our kids, we’re going to keep doing the hard things and then maybe eventually it will pay off,” she explains. “And maybe it won’t. But this is what we’re going to keep doing.”    Now, as they celebrate five years as a business and community, the SPO team acknowledges that they are never perfect, they are always growing, they appreciate what’s most important. It’s all part of what they aim to share with their customers, supporters and continually growing audience.    Walking through the doors, you’ll see more than just a shop. You’ll see all the bits and pieces of Jahmicah, Heather and their family that went into its creation. You will find subtle influences of Jahmicah and Heather’s time in the outdoors, hear tunes from the record player, and may even be greeted by now four-year-old  Silas with a smile on his face. A man and a woman holding their two kids, wearing matching outfits inside their store The Dawes Family - Image courtesy of Tommy Cory   Act Justly, Serve Kindly, Love Humbly, and Adventure Out SPO is Black-owned, women-ran and they keep it all in the family. They are looking to express positive energy to make a change in the outdoors, in the outdoor industry and beyond. Everyone belongs in the outdoors, and the team at SPO wants you to know that there is space for you.    Jahmicah is grateful to have created a space for everyone to be themselves, and to feel safe and welcome.    “This is a place that people are able to call a community, and feel welcomed in, and safe in, and encouraged in, and being challenged to step out of their comfort zone and getting back outside,” he says.   Heather wants everyone to know that they are welcome.    “Hey, you belong outside. You belong outdoors,” she says. “There is space for you.”    If you don’t know where to start, know that there are people in this industry like the Slim Pickins team who want to help others feel safe and comfortable in the outdoors. And if you already have the privilege to feel comfortable in the outdoors, you can work to help others feel safe and know that they belong in the outdoors, too.

SPO, 5 years in the making This year, SPO is celebrating their fifth anniversary—an incredible milestone. And while time might seem to have flown by, it hasn’t always been easy for the Dawes. After pushing back the opening of SPO once already to ensure everything was in place and ready to go, Heather and Jahmicah were coming down to the wire only six days until their grand opening.    That morning, when Heather arrived to the shop with her own exciting news to share, Jahmicah was feeling overwhelmed with nervousness and doubt. He explained to her that he wasn’t sure they’d be able to open in time—if they could open at all. It wasn’t too late to back out. They could return the product they’d ordered, give back the money they’re received from investors and still call the whole thing off.    Heather decided not to share her news just yet and left, making her way to the sneaker store in town—the only other Black-owned business in Stephenville—to buy a pair of tiny shoes. She was pregnant, and wanted to surprise Jahmicah, not catch him in his moment of uncertainty.   Returning to the shop later that day, she presented the shoes and broke the news to him that he was going to be a father. Everything changed-for the better.  “What are we going to do?” Jahmicah remembers thinking. “Not in the sense that we were stuck, but I think like, we were honestly just more committed than ever.”  While a baby on the way added new layers to their ambitions, it also created newfound motivation and creativity. Now, in addition to opening a business, they were hoping to create something more—something for the next generation. And that’s exactly what SPO has become. A man smiling and standing in front of his store, with clothing display racks behind him Image courtesy of Wondercamp   Celebrate Good Times Community has always been a priority for the SPO team. It’s a core foundation of who they are as individuals, as a married couple, as a family and as shop owners.     “We knew that if we were going to be successful with this, we would need to have community buy-in,” Jahmicah reflects.   Prior to the shop opening, the local community banded together to help support the Dawes. They built clothing racks, helped inventory incoming product and really got the building into shape.    Fast forward to their one-year anniversary. SPO hosted a live music event to celebrate with the community. As they reflected on their doubts and worries right before opening their doors, their friends, supporters and community came together to celebrate all that they had accomplished so far.    Sleepy baby Silas was passed around the room and rocked back and forth to the music. As one of her favorite memories to date, Heather recalls the happiness she felt during the one-year celebration.   “We did make it. And not like, we’ve made it, but this is like what we’re going to do. We are going to keep showing up, we’re going to keep bringing our kids, we’re going to keep doing the hard things and then maybe eventually it will pay off,” she explains. “And maybe it won’t. But this is what we’re going to keep doing.”    Now, as they celebrate five years as a business and community, the SPO team acknowledges that they are never perfect, they are always growing, they appreciate what’s most important. It’s all part of what they aim to share with their customers, supporters and continually growing audience.    Walking through the doors, you’ll see more than just a shop. You’ll see all the bits and pieces of Jahmicah, Heather and their family that went into its creation. You will find subtle influences of Jahmicah and Heather’s time in the outdoors, hear tunes from the record player, and may even be greeted by now four-year-old  Silas with a smile on his face. A man and a woman holding their two kids, wearing matching outfits inside their store The Dawes Family - Image courtesy of Tommy Cory   Act Justly, Serve Kindly, Love Humbly, and Adventure Out SPO is Black-owned, women-ran and they keep it all in the family. They are looking to express positive energy to make a change in the outdoors, in the outdoor industry and beyond. Everyone belongs in the outdoors, and the team at SPO wants you to know that there is space for you.    Jahmicah is grateful to have created a space for everyone to be themselves, and to feel safe and welcome.    “This is a place that people are able to call a community, and feel welcomed in, and safe in, and encouraged in, and being challenged to step out of their comfort zone and getting back outside,” he says.   Heather wants everyone to know that they are welcome.    “Hey, you belong outside. You belong outdoors,” she says. “There is space for you.”    If you don’t know where to start, know that there are people in this industry like the Slim Pickins team who want to help others feel safe and comfortable in the outdoors. And if you already have the privilege to feel comfortable in the outdoors, you can work to help others feel safe and know that they belong in the outdoors, too.

SPO, 5 years in the making This year, SPO is celebrating their fifth anniversary—an incredible milestone. And while time might seem to have flown by, it hasn’t always been easy for the Dawes. After pushing back the opening of SPO once already to ensure everything was in place and ready to go, Heather and Jahmicah were coming down to the wire only six days until their grand opening.  That morning, when Heather arrived to the shop with her own exciting news to share, Jahmicah was feeling overwhelmed with nervousness and doubt. He explained to her that he wasn’t sure they’d be able to open in time—if they could open at all. It wasn’t too late to back out. They could return the product they’d ordered, give back the money they’re received from investors and still call the whole thing off.  Heather decided not to share her news just yet and left, making her way to the sneaker store in town—the only other Black-owned business in Stephenville—to buy a pair of tiny shoes. She was pregnant, and wanted to surprise Jahmicah, not catch him in his moment of uncertainty. Returning to the shop later that day, she presented the shoes and broke the news to him that he was going to be a father. Everything changed-for the better.  “What are we going to do?” Jahmicah remembers thinking. “Not in the sense that we were stuck, but I think like, we were honestly just more committed than ever.”  While a baby on the way added new layers to their ambitions, it also created newfound motivation and creativity. Now, in addition to opening a business, they were hoping to create something more—something for the next generation. And that’s exactly what SPO has become. A man smiling and standing in front of his store, with clothing display racks behind him Image courtesy of Wondercamp   Celebrate Good Times Community has always been a priority for the SPO team. It’s a core foundation of who they are as individuals, as a married couple, as a family and as shop owners.  “We knew that if we were going to be successful with this, we would need to have community buy-in,” Jahmicah reflects. Prior to the shop opening, the local community banded together to help support the Dawes. They built clothing racks, helped inventory incoming product and really got the building into shape.  Fast forward to their one-year anniversary. SPO hosted a live music event to celebrate with the community. As they reflected on their doubts and worries right before opening their doors, their friends, supporters and community came together to celebrate all that they had accomplished so far.  Sleepy baby Silas was passed around the room and rocked back and forth to the music. As one of her favorite memories to date, Heather recalls the happiness she felt during the one-year celebration. “We did make it. And not like, we’ve made it, but this is like what we’re going to do. We are going to keep showing up, we’re going to keep bringing our kids, we’re going to keep doing the hard things and then maybe eventually it will pay off,” she explains. “And maybe it won’t. But this is what we’re going to keep doing.”  Now, as they celebrate five years as a business and community, the SPO team acknowledges that they are never perfect, they are always growing, they appreciate what’s most important. It’s all part of what they aim to share with their customers, supporters and continually growing audience.  Walking through the doors, you’ll see more than just a shop. You’ll see all the bits and pieces of Jahmicah, Heather and their family that went into its creation. You will find subtle influences of Jahmicah and Heather’s time in the outdoors, hear tunes from the record player, and may even be greeted by now four-year-old  Silas with a smile on his face. A man and a woman holding their two kids, wearing matching outfits inside their store The Dawes Family - Image courtesy of Tommy Cory   Act Justly, Serve Kindly, Love Humbly, and Adventure Out SPO is Black-owned, women-ran and they keep it all in the family. They are looking to express positive energy to make a change in the outdoors, in the outdoor industry and beyond. Everyone belongs in the outdoors, and the team at SPO wants you to know that there is space for you.  Jahmicah is grateful to have created a space for everyone to be themselves, and to feel safe and welcome.  “This is a place that people are able to call a community, and feel welcomed in, and safe in, and encouraged in, and being challenged to step out of their comfort zone and getting back outside,” he says. Heather wants everyone to know that they are welcome.  “Hey, you belong outside. You belong outdoors,” she says. “There is space for you.”  If you don’t know where to start, know that there are people in this industry like the Slim Pickins team who want to help others feel safe and comfortable in the outdoors. And if you already have the privilege to feel comfortable in the outdoors, you can work to help others feel safe and know that they belong in the outdoors, too.

SPO, 5 years in the making This year, SPO is celebrating their fifth anniversary—an incredible milestone. And while time might seem to have flown by, it hasn’t always been easy for the Dawes. After pushing back the opening of SPO once already to ensure everything was in place and ready to go, Heather and Jahmicah were coming down to the wire only six days until their grand opening.  That morning, when Heather arrived to the shop with her own exciting news to share, Jahmicah was feeling overwhelmed with nervousness and doubt. He explained to her that he wasn’t sure they’d be able to open in time—if they could open at all. It wasn’t too late to back out. They could return the product they’d ordered, give back the money they’re received from investors and still call the whole thing off.  Heather decided not to share her news just yet and left, making her way to the sneaker store in town—the only other Black-owned business in Stephenville—to buy a pair of tiny shoes. She was pregnant, and wanted to surprise Jahmicah, not catch him in his moment of uncertainty. Returning to the shop later that day, she presented the shoes and broke the news to him that he was going to be a father. Everything changed-for the better.  “What are we going to do?” Jahmicah remembers thinking. “Not in the sense that we were stuck, but I think like, we were honestly just more committed than ever.”  While a baby on the way added new layers to their ambitions, it also created newfound motivation and creativity. Now, in addition to opening a business, they were hoping to create something more—something for the next generation. And that’s exactly what SPO has become. A man smiling and standing in front of his store, with clothing display racks behind him Image courtesy of Wondercamp Celebrate Good Times Community has always been a priority for the SPO team. It’s a core foundation of who they are as individuals, as a married couple, as a family and as shop owners.  “We knew that if we were going to be successful with this, we would need to have community buy-in,” Jahmicah reflects. Prior to the shop opening, the local community banded together to help support the Dawes. They built clothing racks, helped inventory incoming product and really got the building into shape.  Fast forward to their one-year anniversary. SPO hosted a live music event to celebrate with the community. As they reflected on their doubts and worries right before opening their doors, their friends, supporters and community came together to celebrate all that they had accomplished so far.  Sleepy baby Silas was passed around the room and rocked back and forth to the music. As one of her favorite memories to date, Heather recalls the happiness she felt during the one-year celebration. “We did make it. And not like, we’ve made it, but this is like what we’re going to do. We are going to keep showing up, we’re going to keep bringing our kids, we’re going to keep doing the hard things and then maybe eventually it will pay off,” she explains. “And maybe it won’t. But this is what we’re going to keep doing.”  Now, as they celebrate five years as a business and community, the SPO team acknowledges that they are never perfect, they are always growing, they appreciate what’s most important. It’s all part of what they aim to share with their customers, supporters and continually growing audience.  Walking through the doors, you’ll see more than just a shop. You’ll see all the bits and pieces of Jahmicah, Heather and their family that went into its creation. You will find subtle influences of Jahmicah and Heather’s time in the outdoors, hear tunes from the record player, and may even be greeted by now four-year-old  Silas with a smile on his face. A man and a woman holding their two kids, wearing matching outfits inside their store The Dawes Family - Image courtesy of Tommy Cory Act Justly, Serve Kindly, Love Humbly, and Adventure Out SPO is Black-owned, women-ran and they keep it all in the family. They are looking to express positive energy to make a change in the outdoors, in the outdoor industry and beyond. Everyone belongs in the outdoors, and the team at SPO wants you to know that there is space for you.  Jahmicah is grateful to have created a space for everyone to be themselves, and to feel safe and welcome.  “This is a place that people are able to call a community, and feel welcomed in, and safe in, and encouraged in, and being challenged to step out of their comfort zone and getting back outside,” he says. Heather wants everyone to know that they are welcome.  “Hey, you belong outside. You belong outdoors,” she says. “There is space for you.”  If you don’t know where to start, know that there are people in this industry like the Slim Pickins team who want to help others feel safe and comfortable in the outdoors. And if you already have the privilege to feel comfortable in the outdoors, you can work to help others feel safe and know that they belong in the outdoors, too.

SPO, 5 years in the making This year, SPO is celebrating their fifth anniversary—an incredible milestone. And while time might seem to have flown by, it hasn’t always been easy for the Dawes. After pushing back the opening of SPO once already to ensure everything was in place and ready to go, Heather and Jahmicah were coming down to the wire only six days until their grand opening.  That morning, when Heather arrived to the shop with her own exciting news to share, Jahmicah was feeling overwhelmed with nervousness and doubt. He explained to her that he wasn’t sure they’d be able to open in time—if they could open at all. It wasn’t too late to back out. They could return the product they’d ordered, give back the money they’re received from investors and still call the whole thing off.  Heather decided not to share her news just yet and left, making her way to the sneaker store in town—the only other Black-owned business in Stephenville—to buy a pair of tiny shoes. She was pregnant, and wanted to surprise Jahmicah, not catch him in his moment of uncertainty. Returning to the shop later that day, she presented the shoes and broke the news to him that he was going to be a father. Everything changed-for the better.  “What are we going to do?” Jahmicah remembers thinking. “Not in the sense that we were stuck, but I think like, we were honestly just more committed than ever.”  While a baby on the way added new layers to their ambitions, it also created newfound motivation and creativity. Now, in addition to opening a business, they were hoping to create something more—something for the next generation. And that’s exactly what SPO has become. A man smiling and standing in front of his store, with clothing display racks behind him Image courtesy of Wondercamp Celebrate Good Times Community has always been a priority for the SPO team. It’s a core foundation of who they are as individuals, as a married couple, as a family and as shop owners.  “We knew that if we were going to be successful with this, we would need to have community buy-in,” Jahmicah reflects. Prior to the shop opening, the local community banded together to help support the Dawes. They built clothing racks, helped inventory incoming product and really got the building into shape.  Fast forward to their one-year anniversary. SPO hosted a live music event to celebrate with the community. As they reflected on their doubts and worries right before opening their doors, their friends, supporters and community came together to celebrate all that they had accomplished so far.  Sleepy baby Silas was passed around the room and rocked back and forth to the music. As one of her favorite memories to date, Heather recalls the happiness she felt during the one-year celebration. “We did make it. And not like, we’ve made it, but this is like what we’re going to do. We are going to keep showing up, we’re going to keep bringing our kids, we’re going to keep doing the hard things and then maybe eventually it will pay off,” she explains. “And maybe it won’t. But this is what we’re going to keep doing.”  Now, as they celebrate five years as a business and community, the SPO team acknowledges that they are never perfect, they are always growing, they appreciate what’s most important. It’s all part of what they aim to share with their customers, supporters and continually growing audience.  Walking through the doors, you’ll see more than just a shop. You’ll see all the bits and pieces of Jahmicah, Heather and their family that went into its creation. You will find subtle influences of Jahmicah and Heather’s time in the outdoors, hear tunes from the record player, and may even be greeted by now four-year-old  Silas with a smile on his face. A man and a woman holding their two kids, wearing matching outfits inside their store The Dawes Family - Image courtesy of Tommy Cory Act Justly, Serve Kindly, Love Humbly, and Adventure Out SPO is Black-owned, women-ran and they keep it all in the family. They are looking to express positive energy to make a change in the outdoors, in the outdoor industry and beyond. Everyone belongs in the outdoors, and the team at SPO wants you to know that there is space for you.  Jahmicah is grateful to have created a space for everyone to be themselves, and to feel safe and welcome.  “This is a place that people are able to call a community, and feel welcomed in, and safe in, and encouraged in, and being challenged to step out of their comfort zone and getting back outside,” he says. Heather wants everyone to know that they are welcome.  “Hey, you belong outside. You belong outdoors,” she says. “There is space for you.”  If you don’t know where to start, know that there are people in this industry like the Slim Pickins team who want to help others feel safe and comfortable in the outdoors. And if you already have the privilege to feel comfortable in the outdoors, you can work to help others feel safe and know that they belong in the outdoors, too.