Local, over-sized outerwear company takes off
special to the daily
Many young adults have aspirations to start their own business; to own and operate a company of their own. Summit County is no exception, with new ski- and snowboard-industry entrepreneurs popping up every year. Kevin Slattery and Sam Shaheen, founders of Lethal Descent Clothing, have found their niche with new-school skiers by producing over-sized, technical outerwear with original designs. With the business now four years young, these two have continued to increase their production numbers year after year, slowly turning their dream into a reality. They share responsibilities of designing, marketing and sales; learning more about each process as they go.
Kevin and Sam have accomplished what many only dream of: starting their own business while still in high-school, and they continue to look forward and grow LDC. Kevin, a Summit County resident, can be seen taking advantage of the terrain park at Keystone on any given day. Skiing next to him, he appears to be the stereotypical “park-skier” – few would guess he’s part owner of an up-and-coming ski outerwear company. Their venture has been no walk in the park however; problems with manufacturers, heavy competition from other young, youth-oriented brands, and a virtual lack of a marketing budget have only been a few of the obstacles LDC has had to overcome. Sam and Kevin continue to face the typical everyday concerns most young adults face, such as college classes or finding employment in a mountain town in addition to running their own company. For the 2010/11 season Lethal Descent Clothing is taking a big step forward, expanding their distribution from in-house web sales to retailers across the country, and ultimately the world.
Q: How does it feel to see someone in your product?
A: Sam: Seeing someone I don’t know in Lethal Descent is the best feeling in the world. It is the reason why I put so much effort into the company.
Kevin:- I see a kid at Keystone on a regular basis that still rocks the first product we released. It has to be one of the best feelings; not only has our product held up but three years later he still likes it enough to wear it every time he shreds. It gives me a feeling of accomplishment.
Q: Who does the majority of the designing?
A: Kevin: It is completely 50-50 – we’ll definitely throw things back and forth to get each others thoughts. We encourage each other to bring up ideas and provide concerns, even over the smallest of details. We understand we are both striving to put out the best piece of outerwear we can.
Sam: We share the design process, it’s not like we took 45 designs that we have sketched out and took a piece from one, and a part from another, to make the “ideal” set for what we are going to release. We design and modify, and design and modify, and design and modify until we see exactly what we like to create a cohesive piece.
Learn more at http://www.lethaldescent.com
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