There’s exciting news for all you outdoorsy people. It’s Portland, so we are assuming there are a lot of you. Wild Outdoor Apparel is Crowd Supply’s newest e-commerce launch (TODAY). Haven’t heard of Crowd Supply yet? They are the next generation crowdfunded e-commerce that picks up where Kickstarter and other platforms leave off. They provide product creators post-funding support and permanent space in their e-commerce site. Hear all about Wild Outdoor Apparel from the founder himself below and try your chance at winning a jacket of your choice after/if they are funded. Just follow these simple rules:
WHAT’S YOUR SPIRIT ANIMAL?
Rules: Like Crowd Supply on facebook and post a pic of your spirit animal on our wall or tweet us @crowd_supply. 2 winners will receive a jacket of their choice from Wild Outdoor Apparel if/when the project gets successfully funded.
E+E: How did Wild Outdoor Apparel come to be? What was the inspiration behind it?
Dan Tiegs: I have 15 years experience in the outdoor/ski apparel world and I am an avid skier and mountaineer. After working for a number of well-known companies, large and small, I worked up the courage to start something all my own. The inspiration literally came from a proto sample mistake! I was designing and manufacturing a line of apparel for a value-based footwear brand that is located here in Portland. We had made a big puffy men’s down jacket that had a hood and something like 250 grams of 700-fill down in it. The company I was doing the work for has very conservative customers and they almost never venture out from a very basic color story (black, gray, forest green), and the first proto sample of this parka came from the factory in a very bright tangerine and aqua blue color combo. Often times, the proto samples are made from available fabric to see the design lines and check the fit. This color combo was totally random from the factory, but I personally loved the colors and wore the jacket as my own. (It was a real attention-getter.) I did a test and wore the finalized production jacket in a respectable royal blue and black combo with the company logo on it and I was invisible. That is when I decided to forge ahead with a line of apparel that had a more unique color story. The name came from thinking about qualifying things—wild colors, wild life, wild rivers, wild party, the wild outdoors—whatever you put “wild” with seems to be a good thing. Get WILD.
E+E: You state, “We make small runs of independently minded product for independently minded people who don’t follow the crowd.” Why do you find this important today in the outdoor clothing market?
DT: There is a big outdoor trade show held twice a year in Salt Lake City called the Outdoor Retailer show. It is a big show that takes days to walk, but if you do walk it, you will see an overwhelming sameness. Everyone uses the same color services, the same freelance designers, the same trend services, thereby guaranteeing sameness throughout the industry. Also, the retail buyers become the gatekeepers for what the consumer gets to see. This almost guarantees that anything new or different hits the web first since retailers generally do not like to take chances. Wild likes to be blissfully ignorant of the trends so as not to follow them. Wild is targeted at the niche consumer who is not looking for the same jacket everyone else has. Wild feels there is an unmet need for non-mass-produced performance apparel that looks at the world from a different perspective. A fun, unique perspective, unconstrained by the traditional market forces that tend to channel products into sameness.
E+E: There are two animal icons on all of your clothing. Can you tell us a bit how those were chosen?
DT: Both icons represent spirits and the greater wild world around us. They are watching over you as the wearer of the garment. Specifically, an owl and a fox came from the qualities both posses and the feelings they inspire in people. The owl: wise, intelligent, feared, revered, and the fox: clever and intelligent with the capacity to morph between the human and animal world. They are not intended to be logos or brand identifiers, but more like embellished good luck charms. I have also intended to change the icons with new styles each year. So, if you have an owl or a fox, that means you were with Wild from the very first season. Next year it will be something different.
E+E: What has proved to be the most surprising/bizarre/unexpected thing that has happened since starting the company?
DT: I was worried about how the animal icons would be received; it is an offbeat approach to making the Wild brand something different and unique and I have been pleasantly surprised by the overwhelming support of the idea. People are highly supportive of changing it up every year as well.
E+E: Any big plans for the next year we should know about?
DT: The new animal icon, of course, and a greater release of product. I plan on running one men’s and one women’s style simultaneously on Crowd Supply with new releases coming every 15 days or so. Every new-to-market style gets released on Crowd Supply.
The Sweet Sister Down Hoodie launches Tuesday, May 7th on Crowd Supply. It is a down insulated hoodie made from water resistant, lightweight nylon. The flattering fit, warmth and colorful and comfortable lightweight fabric make it perfect for NW outdoor adventure.