It was a stormy, wet week out in the Colorado backcountry where Rob Hart was leading his group of Outward Bound students. At night in camp, Rob wondered why he didn't have something better to sit on than a fallen log or tree stump... he desperately wanted a warm, dry spot to rest his weary butt and back.
Then, one night, the proverbial "light" flickered on when Rob remembered an old wood and canvas canoe chair that his grandfather had used on camping trips. Rob and his girlfriend Louise ‘Weezie’ Chandler, a fellow Outward Bound instructor, took that basic chair concept, updated it with modern materials, and tested it through countless prototypes over many months. Finally, the Original Chair was born. Together, Rob and Weezie toiled away in the attic of their house in Red Lodge, Montana – cutting fabric, sewing chairs and selling them one-by-one out of the back of their car.
The ‘Chair’ was selling so well that, in 1987, Rob and Weezie officially started Crazy Creek Products. With two used industrial sewing machines they purchased from friend Dana Gleason of Dana Design fame, they opened their first office/production facility – a cramped basement with overly tight, steep stairs in a small redbrick building in Red Lodge.
Soon thereafter, Rob hired his friend John Elsberry to serve as the company’s business manager. John worked with Rob handling every task imaginable on the production and business sides, while Weezie relentlessly served the customer and handled most of the marketing. They all paid meticulous attention to quality materials and workmanship. They knew from experience that only the best would do when you're in the mountains and miles from access to a gear repair. Sales of ‘The Chair’ grew by leaps and bounds...new chair designs were added to the company’s line-up... quite simply, Crazy Creek had totally revolutionized lightweight, portable backcountry sitting comfort!
Then, in 2009, tragedy struck when Rob was killed in a ski accident. Friends from all over the country and world were stunned. John Elsberry (who after leaving Crazy Creek in 2000 had started his own company, Business Support Services, in Red Lodge) stepped forward to help operate Crazy Creek for Rob’s family.
Over the course of the following year, John and his wife Kim became convinced that Crazy Creek was a worthy enterprise that needed to remain in Red Lodge, and they decided to acquire the company. With the rest of the Crazy Crew, they have successfully carried on and expanded Crazy Creek’s unwavering commitment to quality products and customer service. Further, the company has remained true to its roots as an authentic mountain brand. It is still located in Red Lodge... at the foot of the Beartooth Mountains that have served as such an inspiration over all of these years.
Crazy Creek's tag line says it all: Creating Comfortable Products for the Outdoors. Products that enhance outdoor experiences for hikers, backpackers, fishermen, soccer moms/dads, stadiums, RV's, festivals, picnics... anywhere people venture out, from the North to the South Pole, and everywhere in between.
So, the next time you're looking for a little comfort – wherever you are, whatever you’re doing – remember, Don't Just Do Something.... Sit There!