BRAND WATCH: SNOOKS
Made for women, by women, Snooks is the first British female exclusive snowboard and ski outerwear brand.The whole concept of femininity is shifting according to Co-Founders of Snooks. Girls are 'unashamedly getting outdoors, getting active and loving it'. Which is why they decided to create ski and snowboard outerwear that's not just traditionally girly in a 'pink it and shrink it' way but a unique British women's brand focused on' a British heritage style with an urban twist infused with some quirky personality'. We ask our 10 + 1 Brand Watch questions to Co Founder, Sophie Kelly...
'Snooks is the first British snowboard and ski outerwear brand dedicated solely to women. Our mission is simple: provide stylish and well fitting outerwear for all you female snowboarders and skiers who know the struggle is real. We want to represent the women we design for.'
Snooks just launched a Kickstarter campaign to fund their 2018 brand new outerwear called the ‘Union Series'.
1) When and why did you decide to set up your brand?
We had thought about the idea in 2013 because we noticed a real lack in variation in women's ski and snowboard outerwear, especially if you didn't want to wear a slim fitting jacket that was too short! Or if you wanted to avoid any overly feminine designs, I'm referring to the 'pink it and shrink it' effect I guess. There's been such a shift of late – strength is the new beautiful, sweat patches and grazes are the new make-up!
The whole concept of femininity is shifting
Beauty is no longer the gold standard of womanhood – the whole concept of femininity is shifting and the strength, adventures and success of women are being celebrated - not how good you look in a pair of heels. As a unique British brand, we focus on a British heritage style with an urban twist infused with some quirky personality.
Board meeting for Co-Founders Susie Beere and Sophie Kelly
2) Where do you manufacture and what fabrics do you use?
We are super proud to manufacture our outerwear in the U.K. It was a decision that we made in order to keep a close eye on quality control and any manufacturing hiccups, and also to keep sizing as as we could.
For the shell, we use 100% Polyester woven fabric with a durable water resistant coating and a waterproof membrane. All our outerwear has a 10K/10K rating, so it's even great in the rain! As we grow, we want to focus on sustainable and recycled polyester. In fact, we have a really exciting sustainable project that we are currently planning.
3) What's your price range and target market?
We cater for women in skiing and snowboarding, and will only ever be a female focused brand. Snooks girls like to adventure, they love to have fun, they climb, they shred, they fall over, they're silly, they're enthusiastic, they try new things - and most of all, they love the mountains. Prices for jackets and trousers are premium and affordable, with outerwear this season retailing at £249 and trousers at £140.
Next season's will be similar, but with more on offer including riding hoodies and other exciting products that we are developing. Our very affordable tees and beanies range from £15-£30 and are very popular lifestyle wardrobe additions.
4) Where does your inspiration come from?
Both Susie, Co-Founder, and I have always had aspirations to start our own businesses before we had even met, and this combined with a love of the mountains and snowboarding inspired us to develop what we have today. We were so inspired when Jenny Jones won Britain's first ever on-snow medal at the Winter Olympics in 2014, and we were so proud of British snowsports. We really thought it was time that there was a 'made in Britain' brand that represents the radness of British riders - the girls especially.
Killing it, sponsored skier, Thea Fenwick
We are keen to support up and coming athletes like our sponsored skier, Thea Fenwick, who has been killing it this year and made us super proud. Our inspiration also comes from the amazing people around us. At our studio for example, where other startups work, we are always learning and getting creative with ideas. The ultimate ambition of really loving what you do and curating this within our working lives is our daily inspiration. You have to love what you do everyday.
Inspirations for our designs come from the female shredders we have met, especially the awesome girls killing it in the snowdomes, and the country in which we live in. As a unique British brand, we focus on a British heritage style with an urban twist infused with some quirky personality.
5) Why do you think we should wear your brand?
We understand the difficulties women have come up against when buying gear and swirled all the solutions into every product we craft; a lot of thought, love and passion goes into our products. We tailor our designs around our own experiences and those of female skiers and snowboarders.
Snooks gear has been created with the same grit and determination and passion that runs through the veins of British riders. Unique in detail and original in design, there's nothing else on the market like Snooks.
Unique in detail and original in design
6) What part do the mountains and skiing/snowboarding play in your life - and the creation of your brand?
The love of the mountains is why we do it! The sport and lifestyle is exhilarating, and comforting at the same time, it really helps you gain perspective, on everything, I think, and inspires you to believe anything is possible - and let's be honest the views are just breathtaking.
7) Best moment so far for you and your brand?
The SNOOKS first season launch party was pretty overwhelming; it was incredible to share that milestone in our journey so far with the people who have really helped and supported along the way. Winning the Baldwins Kickstart competition and £20K to go towards funding SNOOKS, after a very nerve-racking pitch in front of 450 business owners was absolutely epic!
But perhaps most rewarding is the first time we saw someone we didn't know wearing a Snooks jacket, when we were out in Morzine last month. You can just imagine the excitement and the high fives, probably a little dance too! The Snooks word is spreading.
8 Where can we buy it?
You get your hands on your own SNOOKS garms via our website and at the moment Snowfit Revolutionz in Norwich.
9) What mountain brand (other than yours) do you admire the most?
Patagonia have always nailed it in terms of their ethics and environmental awareness, aspects of which we'd aspire to replicate - with a Snooks twist of course. Patagonia has such a strong root in climbing, but have expanded into other outdoors and adventure sports.
They have a deep love for the outdoors and they do a lot of work to reduce the amount of pollution they create as a byproduct of business, and do loads of environmental work. I'd definitely recommend any entrepreneur reads Let My People Go Surfing by Yvonne Chouinard - Patagonia's founder. Inspirational!
10) What is your favourite piece and why?
Hands down next season's jacket. It brings with it all the best features from the Reviver range including the length of the tailored stylish cut, dressed in fresh tones and a flash of colour. We absolutely love the colours and the textures of the specialist fabric we have used, it's really something special. It's also tried and tested for comfort, practicality and durability.
And one final question - on behalf of anyone who's ever fantasised about finding the Holy Grail of a business that combines work with skiing or snowboarding:
11) Has creating a winter sports brand enabled you to have a better lifestyle with more time to ride in the mountains? If so, how?
Getting the product to market has been a long old process but now that we have, yes, I guess it has given us the opportunity to spend more time in the mountains. More time to ride? Well, that's debatable - we sometimes manage to grab a morning, but when there's two of you doing everything...the business doesn't run itself. Maybe one day!
Be part of the journey by helping Kickstart Snooks and take their British brand to as many female riders-in-need as possible. Funds raised will go into the production of the new season's outerwear - The Union Series, and growing the brand to reach new markets. So Join The Charge, and make it happen! Girls, get OUT of the men's section, SNOOKS has arrived.