Meet #TeamTopo: Gail Murray

In The Wild

Meet #TeamTopo: Gail Murray

What do you do for Topo?

I do accounting for Topo! To keep it simple, I calculate, organize, and explain the financial numbers that make Topo a business, from sales to expenses, and everything in between. Topo has a two-woman accounting team, and we’ve proudly crushed goals and overcome obstacles together during my 3 years here!

Photo: @katietreks

Photo: @lindsayontherocks

How'd you get here?

There are a number of roads that led me to Topo. I was first introduced to Topo several years ago on a trip to Bali when one of my friends used her Rover as her go-to bag for the trip. A few years later after experiencing a personal loss, I realized I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life in a job or industry that I frankly didn’t care about. I started working through the book Designing Your Life (highly recommend!), and ultimately applied for the job at Topo where I’ve been able to marry my skills with my love of the outdoors!

What are some of the most common assumptions about accountants you get?

Oh man, the number of times people have falsely assumed that I should be an introverted, socially awkward or boring, Type A bean counter has been too many times to count. At least people are pleasantly surprised when they find these stereotypes to be untrue! Certainly accounting can appear boring and monotonous, but what keeps me excited about my job is doing the detective work to uncover issues and answer specific questions that are not easily answered with the click of a button. People also assume that I’m *really* good at math, which is mostly false haha. I’ll admit I’m a bit of an Excel enthusiast as well, so turning complex data into user friendly and meaningful spreadsheets is also my idea of fun on the job.

Tell us about #NoWastedWeekends.

#NoWastedWeekends came to life at the end of 2017, about a year after my younger brother died. After suffering immense grief, I came to a point of realization that while he no longer has a life to live, I still have the opportunity to live a full life, both for myself, and on his behalf. Tired of hearing myself say “I wish I could do that”, I made a point to start fulfilling my empty wishes with the free time I had, no longer allowing myself to “waste” my weekends. For every weekend that following year, I found myself filling my free time with meaningful experiences from quality time with family and friends to my first backpacking trip, my first solo travel, my first time rock climbing outside (and first lead climb soon after!), my first time horseback riding, and so so many other adventures small and large. Truly, it was the best year of my life so far.

You're an advocate for mental health awareness and normalization. Why do you feel it's so important?

Yes! Mental health affects every single one of us, and yet we generally don’t discuss it or tend to it as regularly as we do our bodily health. I have personally struggled with depression and anxiety for much of my life and know how isolated and helpless it can make you feel, especially when access and cost feel like roadblocks to getting help. Being more transparent about this in my personal life, and offering help to people when I can has empowered me and the people I am close to. Over the years, mental health has become a more common topic in the media and in personal discussions, but I believe we still have much more work to do to offer greater accessibility, resources, and information to everyone who needs it.

What's a quarantine survival tactic that's been working for you?

PLANTS! Taking care of plants, propagating plants, learning about plants. My personal jungle grew from a bunch of small succulents, to over 60 houseplants (and counting) through the pandemic. Truly, plants have taken up a lot of my time during the pandemic and have given me a sense of purpose and fulfillment on the days when I didn’t have much more to do other than keep them alive.

Photo: @katietreks

Favorite Topo product?

My Mountain Pack! From day one I have loved my Mountain Pack, originally using it for my daily bike commute to work and for weekend hikes. Now it has become my permanent gym/crag bag.

Can you show us your EDC, either current or post-pandemic aspirational?


Gail's Picks

Gail's Picks