We knew starting a new ski company would be a challenge.
The competition in the industry is internationally fierce - patrons have nearly unlimited choice in design, shape, art, build quality, manufacturer and price. The business is seasonal. Everything from product cycles to photo-shoots need to line up for a few short months out of the year. Customers are among the most product obsessed in the world - magazines and websites that dedicate themselves to ski reviews that would make the auto industry blush.
And then the coronavirus hit. What a challenge it was.
The pandemic presented a unique and unprecedented trial to our fledgling brand. Travel was heavily restricted all winter - even within Canada - preventing the team from shopping the skis and snowboards to local retailers and traveling to BC for promotional photography. The resorts weren’t allowed to run demo days as they could cause a congregation of people that would be an unnecessary risk to staying open. Global supply chain disruptions caused manufacturing and shipping delays that pushed back launch day to half-way through the 20/21 Winter. The only upside was people were getting out into the mountains in droves, discovering a new love for the world’s best sport and driving sales of all things alpine. We knew we had to quickly adapt or be left behind.
We moved demonstration skis and snowboards online - organized through social media (the team spent a lot of time driving around the Bow Valley dropping off demo skis). We had to move direct advertising from huge Trade Shows to socially-distant parking lot BBQs. The whole business plan quickly shifted to a direct-to-consumer model where we’d have to rely on word-of-mouth and online sales to stay afloat. (If you’re reading this, tell your friends!).
All the while we remained hard at work in the lab, designing, modelling, prototyping, testing and skiing - making sure the end-product was something we’d be proud of spending a hundreds of days on. Skis and snowboards that would help us and you find Paradise - every single day in the mountains - whether it was a Hawaiian shirt day or not. Thank you so much for the love and support we’ve received and continue to receive. We won’t let you down.
From the mountains with love,
by Ethan Shaheen September 08, 2021 2 min read
by Ethan Shaheen September 02, 2021 2 min read
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