My name is Evans Prater, and I'm the guy who started Mount Inspiration. Thanks for stopping by!
In 2008 I was 19 years old: a lost and confused college sophomore. I was going to school in the town I grew up in (Tallahassee, Florida) and, aside from summer trips to see my Dad and Stepmom in Brooklyn, hadn't really been anywhere. Sure, I was an avid runner and triathlete, but even traveling to races never took me more than a few hours from home.
Then, one day the thought just popped in my head: "I HAVE TO GET OUT OF HERE." I called my best friend, and 72 hours later we were on the interstate driving West, with no real idea of how far we would go or where we would end up. We slept in the back of my Ford Explorer with my dog Keyster, ate rice and beans, and explored the United States from Phoenix to Flagstaff, Los Angeles to Las Vegas, Yosemite to San Francisco for 3 exhilarating, adventurous months. We finally ended up (with barely any money left) in San Diego.
It was there we found jobs at YMCA Camp Surf, and, though our travels had shown us much of our country, this opportunity showed us much about ourselves; things we otherwise may have never known. I like to think I regained my zest, positivity, and became a kid again. I also learned how to surf.
From there, I spent a semester at the University of Hawai'i, two months surfing in Costa Rica, another year back at Camp Surf, and ended with another trip bumming across the country in the ol' Explorer. After two and a half years of exploring, I decided it was time to finish school.
Fast forward to a month after college, Fall of 2012: I would hike as far as I could on the Appalachian Trail before finding warmth for the Winter. That hike led me to Asheville, North Carolina, a place I fell in love with and four years later, still call home.
It was here I saved enough to hike the entire Appalachian Trail (starting back from the beginning, of course!) from April 1 to August 15, 2014. This experience, by far, had the most profound, paradigm-shifting, core-altering impact of anything I had done or seen yet.
I bought an '84 Volkswagen Van shortly after my hike, and spent some time continuing to live the nomadic, bed-in-a-van lifestyle.
An Idea Becomes a Company
It was on my 2014 Thru-hike that I coined the phrase, "Everything you carry should be light." After that hike, I began exploring the world of graphic design. I had always been a guitarist and musician, and for the first time in my life, found myself falling deeper and deeper in love with the visual arts as well -- needless to say, I became obsessed.
"Everything you carry should be light" became my personal mantra, a way of living. It was the first design I made and sold on stickers around Western North Carolina. It was then I began to see just how a company that celebrated the wonder of our world could really exist.
Mount Inspiration was founded in July of 2015, with the goal of using sustainable and organically made products to spread messages of light, love, hope, and positivity. I also think that donating a portion of our profits to environmental non-profits is a no-brainer; I call all these core operating values a "holistic company model." From our buying process to our sustainable choices, to our mission, vision, and unique designs, I like to think that we are pretty darn different from most companies.
I don't live in my van anymore, and don't have any big trips planned in the near future: reason being I'm busy spreading good vibes, creating a more positive society, and encouraging people to express what they love about the natural world and great outdoors through awesome clothing. I do still hike, run, camp, and get outside whenever I'm not working on building a company, though!
I hope you'll join me on my quest to inspire the world to Think Outside.
Creator, Mount Inspiration (see a video about the company)
Company Values, Purpose, and Mission
Values: Appreciating the healing and transformative powers of being in nature, and respecting and protecting the natural world so all can experience this power.
Purpose: Revolutionize the apparel industry through igniting the already trending switch to sustainable (that is organic and recycled) materials.