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Trail Tales

What Happened When I Left the Corporate Rat Race

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At the beginning of 2005, I found myself in a corner office with a great job paying a respectable salary. And yet, I was miserable. I was depressed. I dreaded going to work. Then, one Monday morning, my phone rang. The boss wanted to see me. Off I ran to his office, as I'd done countless times before. But this time was different; someone accompanied him from human resources.

A few minutes later I was unemployed. My position had been eliminated as the division was being strategically downsized. It was nothing personal. Thanks for all your hard work. We'll give you a glowing reference. These two security guards will escort you back to your desk so you can collect your personal belongings.

Then I was home, sitting on the couch in my underwear. For the first time in twenty years I was jobless. It was surreal.

I chose to see it as a blessing and used it as an opportunity to strike out in a different direction, one I'd wanted to follow for a long time but hadn't because I'd become too comfortable, too complacent.
Castle Rock and Storm Clouds
Swapping a corner office for this backyard has worked out for Oboz Ambassador and professional photographer Bret Edge. All images: Bret Edge.

A few months later I got married in a wildflower filled meadow in the Tetons. Our honeymoon consisted of a sixteen-week road trip throughout the western U.S. We hiked or mountain biked almost every day. We just wandered, quite literally aimlessly.

Winter at the Windows

The rest of that year was spent wrapping up loose ends and dealing with family issues, and then, in April 2006, on a whim, my wife and I moved to Moab, Utah. We had no jobs and nowhere to live.

Autumn Palette

Living in Moab provided me easy access to some of the most beautiful landscapes in America. Could I make a living as a photographer? My wife managed to snag a good job with benefits. I started aggressively marketing my work and leading photography workshops. It took some time and an incredible amount of work but eventually, my photography business took off.

In January 2012, I noticed a "For Lease" sign in the window of a local retail shop. I half-jokingly suggested to my wife that maybe we should open a gallery at that spot.

Approaching Storm at Green River Overlook

Two months later our new studio, The Edge Gallery, was open for business. As I type this we're preparing to enter our fourth season.

Sitting in that corner office, I never imagined that one day I'd trade my wingtips for a pair of Oboz, that I'd own a photography gallery, or that I would call Moab home. None of it would have been possible if someone else hadn't made a decision that would ultimately change my life for the better.

It isn't always easy to accept change, to go with the flow, but every once in a while, when we let things happen, our lives are changed in the most positive and dramatic way. Mine most certainly was.

Bret Edge is a professional nature and adventure photographer, gallery owner, husband, Dad and dude. He leads private and group photography workshops all year in the Red Rock landscape around Moab, Utah.

At the heart of everything we do are the folks who make the magic happen. A group of likeminded footwear-industry vets who left our big-brand jobs back in 2007 intent on doing business a better way. 

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