LGBTQ+ Outfitters Take Digital Path to Climb Out of Pandemic Low
June 2, 2021: Sarah McDonald and Heidi Fenstermacher have camped along the coast of Portugal, backpacked in Glacier National Park, and hiked the trails in Sedona, Ariz. In 2018, the couple’s love of the outdoors led them to buy Out There Outfitters, an outdoor sporting goods and supplies store based in Wayne, Pa.
Business was good until the COVID-19 pandemic forced them to close for over three months. During this unwelcome hiatus, Sarah and Heidi made the pivot to ecommerce, which brought them unexpected success.
Out There Outfitters is one of 10 LGBTQ+ owned businesses being featured during Pride Month in Qurate Retail Group’s Small Business Spotlight, a collaboration with the National Retail Federation (NRF) Foundation to offer diverse small businesses increased exposure through QVC’s, HSN’s, and Zulily’s platforms.
Five of the businesses, including Out There Outfitters, will tell their stories live on air at QVC and HSN, video also shared on QVC’s and HSN’s social pages, streaming service, and our YouTube channels. In addition, these businesses will be featured on QVC’s and HSN’s digital platforms, including a profile on QVC.com and HSN.com landing pages, and will have an opportunity to participate in a virtual mentorship program with Qurate Retail Group team members. The other five businesses will be highlighted on QVC’s and HSN’s digital platforms and will receive social tools and resources to share their participation. The Small Business Spotlight program is also promoted on Zulily’s digital platforms.
“Out There Outfitters is thrilled to be a part of the Small Business Spotlight on QVC and HSN for Pride month,” said Sarah. “HSN and QVC have a very large customer base that trusts them. To have the opportunity to introduce ourselves to these customers is amazing. This year has been tough, and it’s impressive to have a large retail organization help a small, local business like ours get back on our feet.”
During Pride Month, QVC and HSN will also promote a line of products curated to celebrate and show support for the LGBTQ+ community, including fashion, food, beauty, and home décor items. In addition, QVC.com and HSN.com will digitally feature our current LGBTQ+ vendors, highlighting their pages on our websites where customers can learn about each business and shop its products.
Qurate Retail Group and the NRF Foundation are supporting 100 entrepreneurs of diverse backgrounds this year through the Small Business Spotlight initiative. The program builds on Qurate Retail Group’s longstanding foundation of supporting small businesses and reflects our and NRF Foundation’s commitment to increasing opportunities for underrepresented groups.
(In the above photo, Heidi is pictured on the left and Sarah is pictured on the right)