Local Goodness

Cairn offers a monthly grab-bag of outdoor goodies

In the fall of 2013, entrepreneur and Wharton School of Business graduate Rob Little moved to Bend, bringing with him the idea to motivate people into spending more time outside. By December, Little had launched Cairn, an innovative subscription box service for outdoor lovers. Three months later, Little, along with his wife and some friends (thanks to a little motivation from free pizza) packed the first shipment of small boxes to ship to early subscribers.

Subscribers pay $25 a month, and receive a shoe-box sized package featuring products in five distinct categories: food and energy, gear, apparel, skin care and emergency supplies. Past goodies range from a Stanley packable shot-glass set to locally made Picky Bars. In an effort to give customers a chance to discover new products, Cairn continuously seeks out new brands, local to international. Just over a year from launch, Cairn has shipped more than 10,000 boxes across the globe.

The crew of friends and family has since been replaced by four full-time employees. In addition, Cairn has hired six part-time employees from Abilitree, a Bend-based nonprofit that coordinates jobs for people with disabilities, to pack boxes three days a month.

Ever the innovative entrepreneur, Little perfects marketing strategies and tailors future boxes to match customer preferences. Meanwhile, subscribers look forward to the monthly box of goodies with childlike, wide-eyed enthusiasm. For more information, visit getcairn.com.

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