You'll find mostly national brands when browsing the merchanside at Champaign Outdoors, but hidden in plain sight among the racks of The North Face, Patagonia, and such are some created by local artisans. As the store moved to it's new location last fall, Director of Inventory Suzanne D'Andria wanted to add some local vendors to the mix. "I thought it would be a really great thing — since we are a family owned, local place and we’re really working on supporting the community — to support our local artisans...It means a lot to me, and to the store, and to our story to support people in the community, tells our story, and adds a nice touch to the store."
Initally brought in for holiday gift-giving, the local additions were well-received and have remained on the shelves. Here's what you can find:
Jackie Wright brings batches of whatever soaps she has on hand, and has also created a signature scent just for Champaign Outdoors.
These are created from repurposed wine and beer bottles (hence the name), and Champaign Outdoors always keeps the Campfire and Evergreen on the shelves, naturally.
Created by a local photograper, these calendars, note cards, and gift tags feature local vegetation.
You can find a handful of styles from this Urbana, IL atelier.
These inspired-by-nature shirts are screen-printed by hand in Oakwood.
Photos by Julie McClure