Cirque Mountain Apparel
Current Apparel not doing it for you?
Get back to your roots and rep your state pride with Cirque Mountain Apparel
To find out more behind how Cirque Mountain Apparel got its start and what’s in store for the future, Josh interviews Cirque Mountain Apparel founder, Alex Biegler
More about the episode...
Josh sits down with Cirque Mountain Apparel founder Alex Biegler. Cirque Mountain Apparel is a lifestyle brand that was born in the backcountry of Jackson Hole, Wyoming. Once Alex’s side project started to gain momentum he readily turned his focus on his new endeavor, making state specific beanies wrapped in eye catching designs. With Cirque’s successful launch and quickly growing momentum, Alex and the Cirque team has moved to Vail to continue to produce outstanding apparel while developing some seriously ambitious plans for the future.
Have an opinion? We want to hear it! Join the conversation and leave a comment, check out show notes, and get all the links mentioned in this episode below
- Head to Cirque Mountain Apparel’s website
- Follow Cirque Mountain Apparel on Facebook, Pintrest, Instagram, and Twitter
- Grab some state apparel and rep your state with pride
- Pick up Cirque Mountain Apparel for Men, Women, and Kids
- For deals and steals on all things Cirque
- Check out Cirque Mountains Apparel blog and stay up to date
- Cirque custom made gear can be found right
What is Cirque Mountain Apparel?
“We started as a backcountry skiing apparel brand our original designs, which we still have today, feature touring bootpacking, lifestyle skiing for locals. Afew local ski shops caught wind of what we were doing and wanted to sell the brands in the stores and picked us up…”
How did you get into Cirque Mountain Apparel
“We didn’t really sit down and say hey we’re gonna start and outdoor sport brand. I personally had graphic design and business experience from my undergrad college days so I was just doing it as a hobby in Jackson on the side…”
How do you manage your inventory with having such niche specific products?
Each individual has it’s own stock keeping unit number or SKU. For our relative volume to SKU ratio, we have a ton of SKU’s and not a lot of volume per SKU. It’s tough to manage inventor to get our factories to produces runs...That being said we’re embracing the challenge because that is the key to our success…”
How did you prototype your product?
“The first and foremost thing we did was get our quality dialed in first. A lot of companies will have a very extensive research and development phase where the inside staff are testing the quality and the fit. For us, we’ve done a different approach where we’ve always got them into the market faster and have taken client and customer feedback…”
Where do you guys manufacture if you can operate so quickly?
“We’re manufacturing our knits overseas in China. That’s the worldwide leader in knit manufacturing by far. All of our screen printing and embroidery is done in Salt Lake City, and our facemasks are done in Denver…”
What is something that’s unique about you or your business?
I think the most interesting piece of it that people don’t know is that we’re a really a small company and we’re just like everyone else out there. There’s 8 of us in the office and we all live in Vail to ski on the weekends…our brand really represents our team...”
Have you had any mentors that helped you build Cirque?
“We’ve definitely had some mentors. We certainly have to give a shout out to Lee’s Tee’s in Jackson Hole. He’s a gift and souvenir shop right on the square and he was the first client to ask for a Wyoming beanie…”
Did you have friends or a team help you when you first started?
“We’re a grassroots company so we never need funding or we didn’t raise money. We started just as a hobby on the side of my other job. And with each sale we reinvest the profit of that to help us grow…”
What would you say is the overall culture with Cirque Mountain Apparel?
“I think the overwhelming, current vibe in the office is that we’re just so busy for such a small company but everyone loves what they’re doing. The environment is that we all love the outdoor market and we’re passionate about it…”
Did you run into any legal issues with putting company names on hats and apparel?
“There’s a gray area around that, called copyright law. Copyright law we’ve had some snags where, let’s say we put the Colorado flag in a trout. We don’t know if other brands have done it before but if someone did it before they come to us and we just take it off the market…”
What kind of commitment does cirque have to sustainable manufacturing?
“Our biggest contribution to non profits is Protect Our Winters and we donate them product that they then sell and keep all the proceeds. As we’re such a small company we don’t have a big voice or the manpower to get out on the front line so we support the companies that do, do that…”
What has been one of the hardest parts about starting Cirque Mountain Apparel
“What we talked about earlier, running a ton of designs at lower quantities. We’re, everyday, getting push back from our manufacturing facilities…”
What would you say is some of your biggest fears and how do you manage them?
“I’d say at the moment, keeping our heads above water as we grow so fast. It’s been a challenge to keep up with all the orders and you know keeping on time with everything and keeping quality…”
“My biggest fear is that I don’t want to disappoint my clients who we have given a promise to produce them this perfect apparel on their perfect ship date…”
What would you say have been the biggest mistakes that you’ve made?
“I personally like to get things out on the market before coming up with a business plan…”
What is some advice you would give someone that wants to start a business?
“Look at the space, figure out where your idea fits in the market, and if you can identify demand then just get it done…”
How long did it take for you to go fulltime with Cirque Mountain Apparel?
“It took until the company was making enough bottom line profit that I could fully live off of it to dive in…”
What’s in store for the future of Cirque Mountain Apparel?
“The immediate one to two year goal is we’re trying to match our beanie by state program with hats by state…”
“Over the next five years we really want to beef up our lifestyle apparel for everyday wear…”
What would you say is the best part about running Cirque Mountain Apparel?
“The best part is we get to work in the industry we’re all passionate about everyday and we’re able to live a pretty flexible schedule and go skiing when we want to…”
Where does most of your business come from?
- “We have three revenue streams the first being wholesale, so that means we sell some products to ski shops and then they resell them...the next revenue stream is custom apparel...The third revenue stream is direct to consumer, which you’re selling online…”