Local couple launches mountain lifestyle apparel company
DILLON — Ram and Jean Mikulas, a local couple involved in the area’s ski scene, set out to make what they would consider the perfect hoodie over a year ago. Now with products and a website up and running, the two have launched the business SkyGOAT with their new “camp hoodie” and are bringing in other mountain lifestyle apparel merchandise. The business is currently being run out of the Mikulas’ home in Summit Cove.
“I’ve got an entrepreneurial spirit. I had a small business in the past and I’ve always looked at things from a financial aspect and what’s most profitable,” Ram Mikulas said. “but I’ve always had a creative spirit as well and I wanted to develop something or come up with a brand or concept that was exciting to the rest of my community.”
The couple has been in Summit County full-time since 2005, with Ram Mikulas being active in the ski mountaineering and racing community in Summit and the two working at Copper Mountain Resort. Ram Mikulas said he loves critiquing apparel items and is always looking for comfortable and well-fitting garments.
Ram Mikulas explained that to get things started, he went through his closet and picked out garments that had features he liked. The idea was to take the favorite parts of different garments and combine them into a single piece of clothing. Ram Mikulas said he created a pattern from this process and designed garments based on his own preferences, as well as input from family members and friends.
“I wanted to go with more of an athletic fit but a little more baggy to give room for that casual feel,” Ram Mikulas said. “Some of that comes into play with the sleeves and the way that they wrap up around on the back and also in the way that the garment is fitted, especially to women, and it has some really great curved features and fitting features but yet aren’t too restrictive so they’re very flattering and comfortable.”
Jean Mikulas explained the pilot test that was done with close friends who provided feedback on the fit and feel of the hoodie. She laughed as she shared that one friend wore the hoodie for 11 days straight while another friend tested out the hoodie by wearing it on his long runs and other adventures.
The mens and womens hoodies officially launched on SkyGoatUSA.com on Sept. 25 for $99. SkyGOAT also sells hats and stickers. The Mikulases plan to sell T-shirts and other tops as well.
Ram Mikulas explained that he spent a lot of time researching a fabric company to work with. It was important to him that the fabric was made in the U.S. and as close to home as possible. He was led to Polartec, a company based in Tennessee. He decided on the company’s micro grid fleece fabric, which is made of polyester and checks Ram Mikulas’ boxes of being soft and comfortable.
Jean Mikulas brings a retail knowledge base to the business as she oversees retail operations in her job at Copper Mountain. She said she works on product placement and operations and is weighing the options of a business to business model versus direct selling online.
“For us it’s really about having a product that people can A, feel good in, but B, also be comfortable with the story,” Jean Mikulas said speaking in reference to the merchandise being made in the U.S.
As for the future, Jean Mikulas said that the two would like to be business owners on their own at some point, running SkyGOAT while traveling. In the meantime, Jean Mikulas said the two are looking to the short-term future, discussing what their next piece of apparel might be.
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