New Outdoor Retailer Exhibitors: Calibre8, Madrone Technical Headwear and FrozenPeaz

About 250 brands were new to Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2013. We take a look at a couple that caught our eye at the show.
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Throughout the next month, SNEWS will recap its coverage of Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2013 with select stories from the O.R. Daily we published at the show July 31 – Aug. 3. It’s an opportunity for you to catch up on stories you might have missed in O.R.D., and for us to update and upload the articles to our searchable archives.

About 250 brands were new to Outdoor Retailer Summer Market 2013. We take a look at a couple that caught our eye at the show.

>> Calibre8 / www.thescrubba.com / Ash Newland, managing director / Richmond, Australia 

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Ash Newland on Calibre8’s Scrubba Wash Bag: “The Scrubba Wash Bag is the first product to come out of our outdoor innovation company, Calibre8 Pty Ltd. With a strong background in intellectual property, our aim is to develop products that make traveling easier and bring them to the market by aligning ourselves with the best retailers around the world.”

What were you doing before this? 
I worked for several years as a patent attorney assisting clients in developing and protecting their own inventions.

Where did your inspiration come from?
There are many times when traveling that you come across a problem and think: “Wouldn’t it be great if someone solved it by…” The problem is, most of us don’t act on these thoughts. In 2010, I was preparing for a trip to Africa to climb Mt Kilimanjaro when I recognized that with all my cold-weather and camping gear I would only be able to take a few changes of clothing and would have to wash them regularly. While waterproof bags can be used to soak clothing, they really aren’t very efficient. I had the revelation that washboards have been around for centuries and they work! If I could incorporate a flexible washboard into a sealable bag, I could change the way people wash clothing when they travel.

What’s the one best feature of your product? 
Its portability. The Scrubba weighs less than 6 ounces and folds to pocketsize, yet it’s capable of performing a machine-quality wash in minutes.

What has been your biggest challenge? 
The design. While the Scrubba wash bag looks simple, a lot of research and development was required to properly integrate the flexible washboard and grip surface. We’re extremely happy with the result and the method we developed has become important additional intellectual property for our company.

Who do you look up to in the industry? 
Tim Macartney-Snape, Australian mountaineer and founder of Sea to Summit.

>> Madrone Technical Headwear / www.madronegear.com / Meadow Lacy, brand manager / Talent, Ore.

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Meadow Lacy on Madrone Technical Headwear: “Madrone’s premium and rugged headwear specifically targets the outdoors, fishing and hunting markets. The brand was created to meet the increasing consumer demand for rugged sun protection solutions from male outdoor enthusiasts. Our high-performance line is designed to stand up to nature’s harshest elements while maintaining unparalleled quality and innovation.”

Tell us about your brands and products.
Madrone specializes in technical headwear for fishermen, hunters, hikers, explorers and workmen. We’re launching the line with 12 designs tailored to function as tools for outdoorsmen as they pursue their passions. Our spring 2014 line will offer a selection of hats that include wide brims, booneys, legionaries, cadets, visors, caps, buckets and accessories.

What were you doing before this? 
I continue to work at Sunday Afternoons (Madrone’s parent company) as brand manager. Sunday Afternoons is a 20-year-old, sun-protective headwear company with a great depth of knowledge and experience in designing, manufacturing and selling headwear.

Where did your inspiration come from? 
While working at Sunday Afternoons, my team and I noticed an unmet need in the headwear market for rugged headwear for the outdoorsman who fish, hunt, hike and work in the great outdoors.

What’s the one best feature of your product? 
We will always focus on keeping our product as lightweight, breathable and sun-protective as possible. Other notable features used throughout the line include folding brim technology, anchor-lock sizing system, flow-thru ventilation system, floating brim technology, sunglasses securing system, UPF 50+ fabrics and water-resistant fabric treatments.

What has been your biggest challenge? 
We’ve spent a great deal of time getting the brand right. We’re confident our innovative designs will appeal strongly to outdoorsmen, hunters and fishers and can’t wait to see how they respond.

Who do you look up to in the industry? 
There are so many great brands in the industry that it’s hard to choose. However, we are inspired by Carhartt for its no-nonsense rugged men’s workwear that lasts for years, and by Patagonia, which is continually pushing the envelope on innovation through simplicity and quality.

Who do you want to compete against in the industry?
All existing headwear manufacturers that serve the outdoor and hook-and-bullet industries.

>> FrozenPeaz / www.FrozenPeaz.comMaryCarol Dolivier, presidentChicago, Ill.

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MaryCarol Dolivier on Evatonni Products’ FrozenPeaz: “FrozenPeaz are high-performance hot- and cold-therapy products designed for athletes, weekend warriors and those who take hot and cold pain relief seriously. FrozenPeaz products shatter previous expectations of hot and cold therapy.”

Tell us about your brands and products.
I was leaving work one night and decided to take a shortcut down the side stairs. When the heel of my shoe got caught in the staircase, I fell face first. Fortunately nothing was broken, but I had a lot of bruises and a swollen ankle. I needed a cold pack to relieve the pain and to help keep the swelling down. I went to the freezer and was confronted with the usual suspects: a gel pack (too stiff), ice (messy and uncomfortable) or a bag of frozen vegetables. I followed the advice of many medical professionals and chose frozen peas because of their unique ability to conform to my injuries. After throwing away another mushy bag of peas I thought there had to be a way to combine the conformability of peas with added benefits of existing hot and cold therapy packs.

What were you doing before this?
I was vice president of professional services for a data and content management company. The technology background has been very helpful in establishing our online presence. My co-founder, Arthur Blackwood, was a manufacturing engineer within Rolls Royce Aerospace. When you designing aircraft engines, there is no room for error. We have adopted his motto, “if it can, it will,” in an effort to design out any flaws or quality concerns.

How has the reality of starting your business differed from the dream of it? 
It has been much more costly than we originally expected — from skillful lawyers to protect our intellectual property to paying for inventory in advance because, as a start-up, we have a limited credit history. We are excited to be turning the corner into making money not just spending it. We have also learned that creating a quality product is only a fraction of what is required to run a successful business. No matter what time of day it is or what holiday is on the calendar, there are always challenges to be met. 

Where did your inspiration come from?
If you have ever gone to the freezer and used a bag of frozen vegetables as an ice pack instead of the blue goo or one of those other ill-fitting or brick like gel packs, you understand where the inspiration for FrozenPeaz came from. Everyone knows what you do with a bag of frozen peas. You either eat them, or you put them on an injury. Until now, to get the flexibility of frozen vegetables, you had to sacrifice the reusability of a gel pack and deal with the messy pea juice. FrozenPeaz solve that problem, combining the flexibility of a bag of frozen vegetables with the reusability of a gel pack. The VirtualPeaz in FrozenPeaz can be used for hot therapy, too! We didn’t stop there. Compression is an important element of the RICE protocol and hot/cold therapy. The PeazPod wrap delivers customizable compression with a protective cotton flannel layer to keep you comfortable.

What’s the one best feature of your product?
The VirtualPeaz are what give FrozenPeaz is flexible performance edge. Unlike gel- or glycerin-based beads, VirtualPeaz won’t break down with microwaving or with repeat use. And, FrozenPeaz stay colder, or hotter, longer than traditional gel packs.

What has been your biggest challenge? 
We used to think the hardest part in all of this was developing a product that actually did what it said it did. Turns out that as challenging as that’s been, the hard part is letting everyone know you’ve done it.

Who do you look up to in the industry? 
Athleta. I love their advertising theme of empowerment and athleticism. I love their marketing quotes.

Who do you want to compete against in the industry?
Moji, ColdOne and Game Ready.

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