About us

Hi and welcome.

James_Paragliding_the_outdoor_depot_round.jpgI am James (that's me in my paraglider!) and the Outdoor Depot has been my home from home since 2010. The picture below is Emily, my wife and right hand (wo)man! She tends to head up the office side of our little team but I let her out occasionally on buying trips and if you're very lucky you may catch a glimpse of her in store doing some merchandising. She is a woman of many talents and also heads up our other project - the family - bringing up our two boys, a full time job by any one's standards. We are backed up in the shop by our superb staff members Steve, Danni and Frances who all have a love of the outdoors, Danni is a trained fitness instructor with a varied portfolio of interests, Steve is an ultra distance runner & mountaineer with some epic routes under his belt, and Frances enjoys yoga, pilates, walking and running.  We count ourselves very lucky to have them all to support our endeavors. 

I am a keen mountain biker, ex Ski instructor and para-glider pilot (having your own business does nothing for your flying hours) and I have also been known to do a spot of climbing, all in my home county of Shropshire. Emily is a recent convert to the world of the outdoors but took up running in 2013 and in 2014 completed her first Half Marathon raising money for CLAPA and Birmingham Children's Hospital, charities that both offered us help and support following the birth of our second child in 2012. In 2018, she took on the legendary Long Mynd Hike, a 50 mile overnight event taking in the Shropshire Hills, and achieved it in a brilliant 18 hours 14 mins. After swearing "never again" she went on to do it again in 2019 and may well do it again . . . one day!   

Em_run_round.jpgWhen we met we were both gainfully employed by multi national companies and both enjoyed the pressures our respective roles offered us. I was in the electronics industry working as a Business Development Manager for the likes of Hewlett Packard, Ricoh and Samsung. Em was a manager at the large Laura Ashley store in Telford. In 2010, with the arrival of our first child imminent, I decided that I wanted to be closer to home, to the family we were beginning to build, and to the community in which we lived but that I so rarely felt a part of. And so we took on The Outdoor Depot, an outdoor lifestyle shop that we felt had slightly lost it's way, and set about breathing new life into it. It now boasts a range of the best outdoor brands, technical clothing, the latest gadgets and accessories, camping essentials and - my favourite area - a new Custom Boot Fitting Zone. 


This is the area I am most proud of , and that has seen the greatest change since we took over. My approach to boot fitting is not mainstream but it does work and the results and reviews have been great. For more information check out our Custom Boot Fitting page. 

I am very lucky, I love where we live, I am able to watch as my family grows and I am proud of the business we have built so far. This website is the next extension of our shop and I am hugely excited to see where it takes us next. I am constantly learning, and as the outdoor industry evolves you can be sure I will continue to do so.