Above all else, we are craftspeople. We enjoy the act of creating/taking raw materials and transforming them into something useful yet beautiful, and built for adventure. Each day our talented team of Makers works hard to make gear you can count on. This week we want to introduce Allie Durr, our Design Engineer.
Born in upstate New York, Allie moved to the coast of North Carolina when she was just 7 years old. She joined us as a Design Intern between her junior and senior years at NC State, before making the move to a full-time Design Engineer in 2018. Her time as an intern proved to be the best education for her time as a designer.
“I think as with a lot of internships you do end up doing a little bit of everything, which is really great because it exposes you to a lot of different aspects of the company,” she says. “I got to see a little bit of purchasing. I got to see some marketing and sales. Some days I would be organizing sample bins. And other days I would be traveling up to a Scout camp in West Virginia. It was a good learning experience, and it really made me coming here full-time super seamless. I was able to kind of just jump right in my first day.”
Find out more about this talented Maker below:
What does being a Maker mean to you?
I think above all else, being a Maker means making something with your hands. I think there are a lot of different types of Makers, but I think across the board, being a Makers means using your own creativity and your own skillset to really be able to make something from nothing. I’ve always been very hands-on; I think it’s such a rewarding thing to be a Maker, to be able to see the final product that comes out of all of your blood, sweat, and tears. There’s just so much satisfaction and reward that comes from that. And here I get to make things that I’m super passionate about, that I then get to go out and use and have those experiences with something that I was a part of.
What is the first thing you remember making?
I’m an engineer by degree. So the technical side is probably what comes a little bit more naturally to me. I remember as a kid I would make these model houses out of whatever I could find: cardboard, paper, just whatever I could find. I even dabbled with the idea of becoming an architect for some period of my life. So I think the creative side is definitely something that takes a little bit more nurturing, whereas the technical side definitely comes naturally to me. I’m comfortable with the numbers and the functionality side of things. I’m learning a lot more about the aesthetic and the visual side of things as I’ve been working here
Where can we find you when not at work?
I’ve got two dogs, so love to get out in the woods with them. They are total trail dogs. My oldest dog’s nickname is “Side Trail,” because anytime we’re hiking on a trail, anytime there’s a branch in the trail, anytime there’s a different way she could turn off, she just has to run down and check it out. My youngest dog is her shadow so we call him “Sidekick,” because he follows her everywhere. So I love hiking, love spending time on trails. But I’m also a fan of the water: kayaking, any type of water sports. I have even recently started doing some paddle camping.
What’s something people would be surprised to learn about you?
I met my boyfriend while section hiking the Appalachian Trail!
What’s your favorite thing about living in Western North Carolina?
The outdoors, and the fact that you can see so many different things in such a short drive. And the fact that there are still some hidden gems—to know that you can still go to some small towns like Murphy and Franklin. There are still some unknown spots, spaces where you can still get that true WNC feel.
What’s your favorite spot around Western North Carolina?
I love the Mount Pisgah hike. It’s not the longest hike in the world, but it has just enough intensity and interesting little features to it that I think are a lot of fun. And obviously the view at the top is pretty killer. I love that climactic point in a hike; it’s always fun to have that beautiful, picturesque view or waterfall.
If you were stuck on a desert island and could only bring 3 things, what would you bring?
As an ode to my practical side, I’m gonna go with a Wall Tent and water. As an ode to my non-practical side, I’m gonna say the company of my boyfriend and dogs. Gotta have some company, because otherwise you’re gonna go crazy and wind up like Tom Hanks in Castaway!
What’s the one thing you do EVERY DAY, without fail?
The one thing I do every day without fail at work is handle fabric (which I love!) and the one thing I do every day without fail personally is play with my dogs.