Tsedo Sherpa-Ednalino: Take a Chance and Work With Your Family

September 21 - Sarah Ashlock

FIRST THOUGHT: Define Your Own Adventure

Social media makes me feel like I’m about as adventurous as Betty White. Actually, I’m pretty sure Betty’s more daring than I am. There are more than 68 million Instagram posts with #adventure in the caption. Sun-kissed hair and blue ocean waves are the most popular types of pictures, and I say that as I’m sipping room-temperature coffee in a papasan chair that’s barely holding up. In these moments of discouragement, I’ve got to remind myself that we all have different definitions of “adventure” as it pertains to our actual lives. Going to a movie solo because it’s the middle of the day and you want to? Adventurous. Asking your boss for a raise? Adventurous. Walking out of Target without a single purchase? Adventurous.


There’s something especially audacious about owning your own business, where you only have yourself to blame if things fizzle or fail. Working with your relatives also requires having some guts. If going on holidays with your extended family gives you PTSD, though, then it might surprise you that family businesses make up 64 percent of gross domestic product in the United States. There are plenty of pros to working with your family: You may trust them more and share some core values. You might also find that your sister’s going to have greater loyalty and understanding than a stranger.

WOMAN TO WATCH: Tsedo Sherpa-Ednalino, COO of Sherpa Adventure Gear

When today’s Woman to Watch, Tsedo Sherpa-Ednalino looks back at her childhood, she remembers always having been interested in one day working with her family. Her father, founder of Sherpa Adventure Gear, recalls when Tsedo and her brother visited him. Tsedo’s brother was sitting in their father’s office chair when Tsedo tackled him to get out of it, declaring it was hers. From that moment, she says, she knew she wanted to be part of the family biz. Now Tsedo acts as the chief operating officer of Sherpa Adventure Gear and continues to combine Sherpa’s ancient principles with a modern mission.

Tsedo studied international and intercultural communications
in college. She says the most significant lesson she’s learned thus far is to build long-lasting relationships with good people. A couple of years ago, she was recognized on Sports One Source’s 40 Under 40 list, demonstrating that staying strong in your values and culture is quite the achievement and adventure.

Tsedo mentioned something that was really a light-bulb moment for her: The outdoors, she thought, is a totally inclusive space. How powerful is that? It’s this concept of inclusivity that inspires Sherpa’s products. Sherpas, Himalayans living on the border of Nepal and Tibet, are known for their tremendous mountaineering skills.

Mount Everest climbers rely on Sherpas, who set the paths, tie the ropes and carry loads. Mountaineering is dangerous and an often humbling job. Sherpa Adventure Gear focuses on four aspects to support climbers: working with manufacturers who abide by ethical labor standards and eco-conscious materials, as well as providing stable jobs and income to the Nepalese.

Sherpa Adventure Gear has already made a ton of impact. Ten students have received full scholarships through Sherpa’s philanthropic efforts, and these scholarships include tuition, food and lodging, and more. Aside from that, nearly a thousand people were employed in Nepal in 2017 alone. One of the products Tsedo’s company offers is a hat that is handcrafted by groups of women. Assembled in small co-ops, these knitters spend about three hours per hat and have produced more than 31,000 of them.

In addition to accessories, Sherpa Adventure Gear has plenty of men’s and women’s products that are far more inspiring than what you might find at a chain outdoor retailer. Each item is finished with Sherpa’s signature Endless Knot, a symbol that means everything—and everyone—is tied together.

Follow Tsedo on Instagram @tsedoednalino.


Another family business owner, Conrad Hilton, said:

“Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.”

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