Project description

Business Owner: Scott Carson
Business: International Mountain Equipment
Location: Salt Lake City, Utah

Meet Scott Carson
Walk into his shop and Scott Carson will gear you up for whatever climbing adventure lies ahead.  His store, International Mountain Equipment (IME), has been around since the mid 1980’s, proving a small, highly focused specialty outdoor shop can coexist with the REI’s (just around the corner) and Amazon’s of the world by providing outstanding customer service and by really connecting with the community they serve. “We coexist well with those guys, and we have actually never had a single issue,” Scott says.

“I have had jobs where you work 70 hours a week and you have no time to do anything, you don’t even notice what you are missing because you are just too busy. Owning your own business just gives you a more balanced life.”

The Climb
Scott started at IME in 1990, working for the original owner, Rick Wilcox who still owns an IME back east. Scott ran the Utah store for him for a while, and then ended up purchasing it. He explained that one of the biggest parts of his journey has been in the climbing community itself, and how much it has grown and changed over the years. “It has been a lot of fun to watch new people get into it. It’s always super fun when people are new and fresh in the game—the excitement level is always pretty high,” says Scott. He also told us that although their growth may have been slow, it seems to have always been heading in a steady, constant positive direction.

Scott’s Biggest Win
Scott loves the flexibility of owning his own business. Going from jobs where you are too busy to notice what you are missing, to owning your own business is a pretty big leap, and Scott loves it. “Owning your own business just gives you an opportunity for a more balanced life,” he says.

Entrepreneurial Advice
“A lot of things in the future that are not internet-based will need to be customer service-based. You’ll really have to take care of customers, which you should already want to do—you shouldn’t be in it if that’s not the priority.” In a world that is already very internet-based for sales, Scott and his staff keep customers coming into IME by providing outstanding service and unparalleled knowledge of everything climbing that goes on around them.