Working Holiday are the guys behind Bond Outerwear, SLVDR, and Weekend Snowboards. Dan McNamara was cool enough to give us their take on topics ranging from the economy to how TJ Schneider is working with them to create a signature line. Check it out.
We’re going into what some are predicting to be one of the roughest seasons ever in retail. With that in mind what steps are you taking with both Bond Outerwear and Weekend Snowboards in preparation to deal with all the troubles with the economy and building your brands?
The biggest thing that we are doing is just seeing how we can support our retailers as much as possible in their premier year with our products. I think we definitely believe in the “from chaos come opportunity” theory and we are looking to build up some solid relationships right now to help get the industry back on track.
Is having a limited release this year for Bond and Weekend part of your plan to build the image around these brands and help support stores that may be struggling in this economy?
Absolutely. Over the past few years, a lot of the retail focus from the larger brands in snowboarding has been focused on growth in the larger chains and not in the retailers that helped build snowboarding to what it is today. We want to be one of the many new great brands that help the smaller guys differentiate themselves from the bigger guys and drive riders into their stores to find the newest and most cutting edge brands. There is somewhat of a revolution of new brands going on right now that are doing very well in specialty shops, and I think it’s an exciting time to have a new brand.
Rocker and Reverse Camber are the hot ticket items in regards to technological progression. Will you be offering any anti-camber option in your boards and do you feel this is just a passing trend in tech or the real deal?
For 2010 we aren’t offering it, but 2011 is a different story. I think that the technology is here to stay, although I think it is a preference for some and not one for others. Carter is backing it in powder 100% though, which is saying a lot.
Under the tri fecta of brands that you are a part of is, SLVDR, in its mission statement there is mention of getting donated gear into the hands of deserving youth. With accessibility and a decline of participants in snowboarding is this part of your way to get and keep people interested in our sport? Keeping up with the theme of inaccessibility The Snowboard Realms offer people an inside look into snowboarding, do you feel that what TJ is doing also makes snowboarding look more accessible?
I think the more accessible the sports look the better. I grew up in a single parent home in broke ass Buffalo, NY, and I know that without used equipment to start out with and some help from a good shop back there, it would have been impossible to get into snowboarding. The number of barriers to participating in snowboarding are pretty numerous, so the more help we can give the better. That is what SLVDR’s Common Thread Project is all about, getting those products into peoples hands that otherwise may have not been able to get it. The Snowboard Realms is another great example. TJ’s podcasts make snowboarding more accessible to kids by showing them that you don’t necessarily need to be riding a well manicured park or a backcountry kicker to enjoy riding. It shows the lifestyle, which is what we all love about snowboarding. That and chili bread bowls.
TJ is known for having a huge part with designing his outerwear, will he continue with this trend for you guys, and will he have a signature line?
He definitely will, we have a Limited Edition Snowboard Realms pant coming out in October actually, and some product for 2011 as well. His first ad has some of his art in it as well.
Besides having TJ on Bond and Mark Carter on Weekend will we be seeing any other big names on the team roster or should we be looking out for any up and comers?
Definitely stay tuned for some big names to be added in the future, as well as for some great up and comers. We have a great kid out of Idaho named Martin Campbell who is an amazing backcountry rider, as well as AJ Ogden, from Boise, who is a super good all around rider. We also have Trevor Rhoda who is originally from Michigan and now lives in SLC, who is amazing. We definitely look to grow riders rather than buy them. There are a ton of good riders out there that just need some support and guidance, and that is what we are all about.
In a time when a lot of companies are tossing around “Green” as a marketing tool you’re coming right out the gates with a top down fully sustainable model that is carbon neutral. How hard is this to achieve and does it carry over to Weekend Snowboards as well?
Luckily we have a lot of experience in building product and sourcing materials so it isn’t as hard as it could be. With Weekend, we try to source materials that are as close to our Austrian factory as possible and the factory itself is state of the art, especially in terms of being Eco friendly.
What are your thoughts on how every company has suddenly become “green” as of late?
It really depends on the company. Some of them are making legitimate strides, and others are really just doing it where it is convenient. But, I should add, as long as they are doing something, we are behind them 110% whoever they are.
Five years from now where would you like to see your brands and what can we expect from you in the future?
We would like to see people look at our product as great, quality outerwear and snowboards that are made with timeless snowboard design and sustainable manufacturing practices. We are always looking for ways to improve not only our product, but the whole riding experience, and people can look to us for those innovations in years to come for sure.
If people walk away with one thing from what Bond and Weekend are doing what do you hope that is?
Great product, inspired by real snowboarding and built for and by real snowboarders. Most of all, we want them to think of having fun, which is why we all got in to this in the first place.