The Future of Dirtbag Runners: A Letter from Crista Tappan

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Dearest Dirtbag Runners Community,

Crista Tappan here! It’s been a while since I’ve drafted a letter to the community, and it’s much needed. This month marks seven years that we’ve been a community and also a business.

Many of you know that the business side of Dirtbag Runners is owned and operated largely by myself. Financially, many roadblocks have stood in our way, and despite our best efforts, it’s becoming more and more unsustainable to continue (literally and figuratively).

Over the last year, I’ve worked 70-80 hour weeks between my full time job, teaching, research and DBR. I’ve used weeks of PTO to ship DBR orders and manage production. And although I’ve done it, it’s come at a huge sacrifice to my mental and physical health.

In a society that celebrates pushing ourselves beyond our means and the “grind” of work – I’m here to say that it is not healthy. Time is our most precious resource and it’s vital we each think critically about how we spend it.

I worry about the long-term impact that we have in making products. This is not what I set out to do originally with DBR. I am very proud of all the things I have created with DBR – and I also know we are so much more than our products.

I hope to figure out a new source of income for DBR that does not involve physical products. And if no good solutions exist, that’s okay too!

It’s clear to me that I need time and space to:

1) Relax and have true time off from at least one of my jobs,

2) Think about the future of Dirtbag Runners (the business) and what our next steps may be, and most importantly:

3) Reconnect with my own running and adventures again.

Between December 15, 2021 – June 15, 2022 I will be taking a “Sabbatical” from the business side of DBR and our online store will be closed for all products except stickers (if there are any left over).

Our “Everything Must Go!” Sale

  • We will be opening up our online store on November 1st and hope to sell all of our products by early December.
  • This is the most inventory we’ve ever had and we hope to sell everything so we can truly take a break next year and hopefully have enough to cover business costs.
  • We can no longer afford to ship internationally. Shipping have become astronomical, resulting in us losing all if not more than our profit margins. We are so sorry to our international community members for this.
  • We will not be able to offer discounts on any products.
  • We WILL have some discounted products available (misprints, small defects, etc.)
  • Lastly, if you love what we do and want to support us in 2022, we will have a donation button at checkout in our online store. Any amount helps šŸ™‚

2022 Ambassadorships

  • We will not be accepting new ambassadors for 2022, but offer any current and past ambassadors to be automatically accepted for 2022.
  • For anyone who wanted to apply for 2022, we encourage you to join our community group, “Dirtbag Runners Community Group”, where I will be doing community weekly check-ins rather than just for the ambassadors.

Most of all, I want all of you to know how much I love and appreciate this community. It has been my biggest life accomplishment to date and it’s incredibly difficult to take this time and space to figure out next steps.

I also encourage each of you to reflect on your own lives – are you spending your time doing the things you love? Even though it can be scary – it’s OK to take breaks and step back to reevaluate.

Remember – the DBR community has and always will be a giant family. We will continue to grow and find opportunities for fundraising, supporting social justice and environmental activism.

If you’d like to follow along on my journey, you can find me at @crista.tappan here on IG (I’m also on FB / LinkedIn / Twitter!). The DBR social media feed will continue thanks to our incredible social media team and web designer: Kara, Becca, Shayla, Kelsey, Kuwanna, Rebecca & Becky. I could not do this without them.

Thank you all for everything,

Crista

2 comments

  1. Good for you! Iā€™m an assistant principal and I appreciate the hours you must be putting in every day. DBR is pretty awesome so let us know if and how we can help. Stay cool.

  2. Good for you! We dropped our fun race for similar reasons. Change is good and having more time is muy importante.!
    Proud our community and looking forward to whatever happens.

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