Nolan Paini is the buying manager at Liberty Mountain. He oversees the buying of all non-climbing products and manages our team of five buyers who work with vendors to find products that are appealing to our customers. Understanding what it is that the vendor is offering and how it will be valuable to Liberty Mountain’s customers is a balancing act that requires a sharp mind to weigh both the qualitative and quantitative data. Thanks to Nolan and his team, Liberty Mountain offers a variety of brands which can be delivered in one shipment to streamline our customer’s supply chain. Nolan is a big part of what makes the Liberty Mountain system work, so here’s a little more about who he is.
Nolan went to college and got a degree in Finance. After spending some time in that industry, he discovered that money wasn’t the highest item on his priority list. It wasn’t the thing that was going to bring the most satisfaction. He found that he wanted to be in an industry where he could be passionate about what he was doing. This led him to the outdoor industry. He knocked on the door a few times and got shut down, but by being persistent he found his opportunity at Backcountry.com. Being part of a business that shares his same passions is ultimately one of the big reasons why he chose the path that he did. Now, he enjoys the fact that his manager is passionate about some of the same things Nolan is. They even go rock climbing after work some days. Working with people that share the same values he does is probably the biggest reason Nolan enjoys what he does.
It was around ten years ago when Nolan entered the outdoor industry at Backcountry.com. His finance degree got him started in the accounting department and he soon realized that he preferred being more on the front lines of the business. He craved interacting with customers and vendors. He progressed within the company to be part of the buying team and then on to manage the camp team before transitioning to Liberty Mountain. He says that his motivation for this change was to challenge himself and find a space where he could work with brick-and-mortar shops as a resource for them to grow and thrive.
Much of what Nolan does for Liberty Mountain centers around the people he works with. This includes his team, his colleagues in other departments, the vendors that he works with directly, and the customers that he is working to serve. To him, they’re more than just colleagues. They’re friends and family members. At his core, that’s what gets him in to work every day.
Another high of working at Liberty Mountain for Nolan is getting to know what products are coming out. Nolan is a bit of a gear head. He loves to play in the outdoors and playing in the outdoors is heightened through the use of gear. In his position, he gets to see what brands are coming out with and gets to study the new products to figure out exactly what makes one piece different from another piece and in which situations one piece may or may not have an advantage over the other. He uses this information when deciding whether or not to purchase that piece and offer it to Liberty Mountain customers. He always considers the needs of the vendors and their customers. It’s really a win-win for Nolan, as working with the gear also necessitates that he works with the people behind the gear. For someone motivated by interactions with people, there couldn’t be a better place for Nolan to be.
Outside of work, Nolan spends a lot of time out of doors. His main passion is split-boarding but he also enjoys mountain biking, climbing and tries to get 20 days of camping in each summer. Before moving to Utah, he identified just as a snowboarder but since moving to Utah he has developed passions for these other sports and has really enjoyed learning new things.
In the winter months, he is the one waking up at 4:30am for dawn patrol to take a couple laps on his split board before making it back to his desk at 9:00am. He feels very fortunate that Liberty Mountain has enabled him and his team to do that. Split-boarding is not the best sport to do solo, so, Nolan is often accompanied on this morning missions by members from the buying team. While he definitely enjoys the adrenaline that comes from the downhill the most, he says there’s something special about the struggle fest that is the uphill. It’s not easy to climb a mountain, but struggling along and achieving the summit with your partners is a powerful bonding experience to Nolan. These dawn patrol missions have tightened the friendships between Nolan and the members of his team. In doing so, Nolan’s passion for his work is reinforced.
Like any true adventurer, Nolan’s curiosity takes him to new places all over. He and his wife enjoy travelling together and exploring everything about these new places from restaurants and breweries (bonus points if they have sours) to natural features. Sometimes they camp, sometimes they sleep in the rooftop tent of Nolan’s car, and sometimes they stay in a hotel. Nolan would say that exploration is about finding something that’s new to you regardless of how you get there or where you sleep.
Liberty Mountain is lucky to have Nolan on our team. He puts into practice the values of working hard but playing harder, supporting our customers by finding the products that help make their businesses successful. Nolan has been extremely adaptable through times of unpredictability and is a big part of Liberty Mountain and we are stoked to have him as part of our team